The Scrag Mountain Music season opens on September 22 with “The Intersection of Art and Music.” Drawing inspiration from the Kent Museum Fall 2018 exhibition, Backstory, Scrag Mountain Music co-artistic directors Mary Bonhag (soprano) and Evan Premo (double bass), together with celebrated Vermont cellist Emily Taubl, offer four intimate mini concerts within the art-filled walls of the Kent Museum in Calais on Saturday afternoon, September 22.
Each of the four mini concerts feature Lembit Beecher’s song cycle, Three Songs of Remembered Love, selections from Harrison Birtwistle’s 9 Settings of Lorine Niedecker, as well as a daring 21st-century remix of the 14th-century song “Douce Dame Jolie” by Guillaume de Machaut. Throughout the duration of the Backstory exhibition from September 7 to October 7, a video of Bonhag and Premo performing Lembit Beecher’s oratorio, And Then I Remember, will be available for museum goers.
Three Songs of Remembered Love recounts the incredible story of Beecher’s grandparents’ love during a tumultuous time in Estonia during World War II. The piece makes use of a recording of his grandmother’s voice to tell this story along with soprano and double bass. The four movements of Harrison Birtwistle’s piece are about Blackhawk Island in Wisconsin, where poet Lorine Niedecker was born and spent nearly her entire life. The music shares observations of Niedecker’s surroundings—the animals, plants, and, of course, the water. Guillaume de Machaut’s “Douce Dame Jolie” is a bit of a remix by friend and fellow soprano Ariadne Greif. Just as one of the artists featured in Backstory has collected and stitched old scraps of fabric together in new ways, this piece illuminates the old by bringing it into modern times.
All mini concerts are “Come as you are, pay what you can,” with at-will donations collected at the door. Admission to the museum is separate and by donation at the door. Advanced sign-up for the mini concerts is required at scragmountainmusic.org, as space is limited. Please note that the mini concerts will take place on the second floor of the Kent Museum, accessible only by stairs.