Arts & Life

Album review: 'Samadhi'

Oct 1, 2020

“Samadhi” is a Sanskrit term referring to a state of heightened awareness, leading to communion with the divine. That may seem to be quite a reach for a record title, but on Jacám Manricks’ new album, “Samadhi,” you can feel the musicians aspiring to a lofty goal.

Manricks not only wrote all eight tracks (one is a collaboration), he also plays alto, tenor, and soprano saxophones, clarinet and bass clarinet, flute and alto flute, and MIDI (synthesized) strings. His arrangements are unfailingly ambitious.

Album review: 'Lilac Hill'

Oct 1, 2020

If Korean-born pianist Sukyung Kim ever visits Rochester in the springtime, she can feast her eyes on our real lilac hill at Highland Park. The title tune of Kim’s impressive debut EP, “Lilac Hill,” was inspired by a dream, but that won’t stop listeners from taking an evocative musical journey there.

Aaron Winters

A controversial State Liquor Authority ban on advertising and selling tickets for live music at bars and restaurants in New York has been ruled unconstitutional.

Both musicians and businesses found themselves unable to promote indoor shows under the SLA edict, which was put in place as a mechanism to help keep crowds within guidelines on venue capacity during the coronavirus pandemic. Any music could be only what the authority called “incidental.”

John Solberg

As best as Francie Marx can reassemble the story after more than seven decades, Robert Marx was 19 years old, serving in the U.S. Army Air Force as a military policeman somewhere in Europe. World War II had just ended, and he was assigned to sit outside the cell of a prisoner. Francie recalls Robert describing him as "a pathological killer."

"And if the guy wanted a cigarette, Robert would light one, put it on the floor, push it forward with his foot," Francie says. "This guy could then smoke the cigarette."

The ninth KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival comes to a provisional close after Saturday's shows. All of the performances have been virtual, as we’ve been reminding people throughout the festival's 12 days. Yet while the scheduled events will be gone, the on-demand shows — which are actually the bulk of the festival — will linger a while in the cloud. By purchasing a ticket before the end of Rochester Fringe on Saturday, you can watch that show through Oct. 10. The schedule, and tickets, are at rochesterfringe.com.

HomeStage: Dylan Dowdle

Sep 25, 2020

Dylan Dowdle is a student and a full time chef in Geneva, but that doesn't get in the way of his music. Before the shutdowns, Dylan and his guitar could be found playing bar gigs around the city.

He has a new EP out this week, "Dylan Love." You can find it on dylanlove.bandcamp.com.

Fringe Day Eleven: Down the rabbit hole

Sep 25, 2020

Fringe festivals are diversity. Today, as the KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival moves into its final weekend, we plunge down a Alice in Wonderland rabbit hole of experimental film, experimental interactive theater, and the resurrection of a "Dangerous Signs" show by National Technical Institute for the Deaf's Performing Arts at Rochester Institute of Technology.

"#txtshow (on the internet)"

Fringe Day Ten: Cirque du Fringe goes ‘Laugh-In’ on us

Sep 24, 2020

Now in its ninth year, we already know what to expect of the KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival – or most any other fringe festival – even under non-coronavirus conditions. A diverse array of music, dance, theater, spoken word, puppets, magic and more, with artists bending Shakespeare into unrecognizable shapes to suit their own purposes.

With these shows, we will witness great artistic achievement. We will see shows that are works in progress. We will see failures.

"Contemporary Musicians' Guide to Modern Love"

It's clear from the outset of "Contemporary Musicians' Guide to Modern Love" that this isn't just a standard recital presentation.

Smart art must make smart choices.

And the process often means making far more compromises than most artists will admit to. The coronavirus pandemic has forced the arts to re-think everything. As in: To what degree will our society be embracing virtual presentation of the arts?

The answer is being explored in a major way during Rochester Fringe. It is a petri dish of virtual performance as we watch what kind of bacteria, mosses or pleasantly edible fungi emerge over this 12-day experiment. Is virtual arts useful culture, or is it contamination?