After Harvest. What comes to mind? Ponder for a moment how one might artistically explore the theme. How might it sound, move, or come to life through poetry or on canvas. As Thomas Mann wrote, “art is the funnel through which spirit is poured into life”. The event, After Harvest, organized by Pampi & Lore of alpoarrentao Productions, brought together a diverse range of talented artists and musicians to celebrate the autumnal spirit with a crowd of arts patrons. And all for a suggested donation of $25, U.S., perhaps the most satisfying and least expensive night of quality entertainment to be found anywhere!
After Harvest took place at a studio on Fort Point 18 feet and seven floors above sea level between Chinatown and South Boston. The studio had a cozy feel and warm vibe due in part to its design with wrap around windows and After Harvest adornments including atmospheric stringed lighting, dyed textiles hanging from the ceiling like open parachutes and a welcoming Persian rug. A violin/flute duet of after harvest faeries escorted guests into the studio as the artists warmed up. Volunteers served hearty and delicately spiced food. The gracious folks at Likelii supplied wines perfectly suited to the food and the occasion. My personal favorite, and one that my wife particularly enjoyed, was a fragrant Pinot Noir with a flavor profile of crushed, lightly spiced cherries, with a long finish; highly quaffable. And when I finished my glass, I immediately went back for seconds. I sampled the other wines and found them all appealing. The Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva was one to buy by the case and reserve for festive occasions like After Harvest.
The opening act was a cellist by the name of Paulo Cesar Pereira. If you don’t know his name, you should. He’s a captivating performer and someone you don’t want to miss live. He played with passion and great technical skill and was a popular guest player with some of the other bands on the main bill. He encored with requests, including a Jobim tune – Garota de Impanema during which a vocalist joined in along with the house bass player, Jo. Paulo even played some Led Zeppelin, the opening of Kashmir to be exact, for the patron who yelled, “Metallica”.
The bands performed brilliantly. So Sol defies description, like a complex wine that surprises and delights after every sip; a real crowd pleaser! In their music, I heard a little rockabilly, Brazilian, and folk with hints of calypso, zydeco and a dash of polka. Pure fun, nearly turning After Harvest into a Hootenanny. After Harvest Hootenanny…I like that.
Lee Loo and Jason, two members of Incus, gave a stunningly gorgeous performance during the open mic program. This amazingly talented duo reminded me a bit of Damien Rice and Lisa Hannigan, who covered a Billie Holiday tune on Herbie Hancock’s Possibilities. Absolute magic together. I’ll be looking to attend a local Incus gig soon.
Detour . Wow. This duet floored me. Their music had an ambient quality to it, calming and meditative, and yet beautifully melodic and precise. I could listen to them all night. One of my favorites acts from the open mic segment.
Four Elements. Certainly a fitting name for an After Harvest performance. They played last and they too floored me. I was impressed with the players’ technical mastery of their instruments. Chris Baum on violin and Paul Erlich on guitar played with focused intensity. I was watching their hands and wondering how they could play so fast with such precision. The percussionist was so absorbed in the music that he appeared to be in a trance like state. And I should add that Jo the bassist was spot on and performed yeoman like work the whole night. What a great band! I heard many influences in their sound including that of guitarist Fareed Haque and the great John McLaughlin’s legendary band, the Mahavishnu Orchestra.
The Leaves Broken In Poem Dance. Brilliant! The improvised movement to cello, flute and spoken word mesmerized the audience. Pampi and Natalie moved with grace and fluidity to Aura’s spontaneous narration based on Pampi’s original “Leaves Broken In Poem” creating an evocative, dramatic work of beauty; a masterpiece that captured the essence of After Harvest.
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