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Good News on the way

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We asked our dear friend director David Eppel, a native of South Africa, to tell us about the time he spent with Abigail Nessen Bengson and Shaun McClain Bengson in his birth country this summer.¬†¬† The duo are performing Ain’t That Good¬† News (directed by David) here on Saturday, November 7.

Abigail Nessen and her husband, Shaun Bengson and I, traveled through South Africa together, last July. They performed their show Ain’t That Good News in Cape Town and in Johannesburg. They participated in the work of a choir in Khayalitsha, and taught the students at the Market Theatre Lab in Johannesburg. For them, South Africa was a new experience, for me, a revisiting through a fresh lense. I worked with Abigail when she was a student at Williams College, and I knew then, the extent of her remarkable talent. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted October 26, 2009 by MASS MoCA
Filed under Alternative Cabaret, BLOG, Music
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What are you doing for Berkshire Blackout?

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Our wonderful company manager Meghan Robertson is part of the Berkshire Leadership Program.¬† She reports here on their Berkshire Blackout, a program that MASS MoCA is taking part in this year.¬† We’d love to hear what you’re doing to save energy.

The Berkshire Leadership Program class of 2009, a program of the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce (www.berkshirechamber.com), announces the Berkshire Blackout.  The Berkshire Blackout will kick off in conjunction with www.350.org РInternational Day of Climate Action on Oct 24th and continue until Oct 31st.

One of the biggest hurdles affecting both businesses and residents in Berkshire County is the price of energy.  Energy efficiency also plays a large role in attracting new businesses to the County.  The Berkshire Blackout will help businesses discover information that will be useful to the Chamber as well as future legislative work.

Over 100 businesses will be asked to take part in the program which will ask participants to reduce their energy for one week.  Participating is simple.  Businesses can pledge to do simple things that are easy to remember, such as unplugging a copier when not in use, turning off lights, computers or starting a recycling program.

The Berkshire Leadership Program will compile a report by sector for the purposes of showing other businesses the benefits of becoming more energy efficient.   We will then report it to the 350 organization that will generate the information and we will know how much we did during the 1 week campaign.  We hope that this will continue once everyone realizes that it just takes small steps and it will make a difference both at home as well as work.

If you or your business is interested in participating in the program then feel free to email: berkshireblackout@gmail.com.  We would love to have as many people participate as possible locally and beyond.

Posted October 24, 2009 by MASS MoCA
Filed under BLOG, North Adams, Solar energy
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La Nave de los Monstruos Journal: Installment #1

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We asked the members of ETHEL who are performing their original soundtrack to La Nave de los Monstruos (Ship of Monsters) here on Friday, October 30 in a co-presentation with Cinema Tropical and Williamstown Film Festival to tell us a little bit about the collaborative creative process that went into scoring the film.¬†¬† Ralph Farris, who plays the viola in this rocking string quartet provided the first installment which he entitles “Diving Under the Hood”

Ralph from ETHEL here. Greetings from sunny Manhattan!

ETHEL cannot wait to bring this show to North Adams!

We had a blast putting this live soundtrack together this season (thank you Rachel Chanoff!), and now we’re digging through the whole show, picking everything apart to bring YOU the most coolest day-before-Hallowe’en show y’all have ever seen!

Here’s what-all we’ve been up to of late:

Neil and I just finished two days of high-intensity working sessions together.

–¬†Yesterday was mostly concentrated on the big picture (“What was the name of that toy percussion instrument that you said we should get?”, etc.)¬† …And then I went out and bought me some of those toy percussion instruments. Don’t tell Neil, but his new recorder is green. Should go nicely with my new red slide whistle.
–¬†Today was digging into some particulars (“Are you SURE that we should play a-sharp minor for that funky groove? I mean, the monster seems so peaceful…”) …And then we copied DVDs and made sure we each had the same version of the score, as we are now about to step away from our respective home offices for a few days.

Dorothy has been doing some super-intensive ear training work — she’s been working with the original score, figuring out harmonic structures and melodic elements where we can accompany the already-awesome soundtrack. The result is a very cool blend of old-fashioned orchestral sci-fi awesomeness and lush, super-romantic, kitschy strings.

Mary’s
floating down the Mississippi now (really!); she had pounded out our tech rider and all of the lighting and sound cues before she paddled off. She also said she was gonna determine if that was an F-sharp or G in measure 15 of the overture…
Will check in next week with another update. See y’all on the 30th!

Posted October 20, 2009 by MASS MoCA
Filed under Bang on a Can, BLOG, Film+Live Music, Music
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Starling film should open Wednesday

Red Rivers film stillWe¬† did not get the Starling film about his trip down the Hudson as expected today. We are optimistic it will arrive Tuesday which means you can see it in the Building 5 gallery on Wednesday.¬† We’ll hope to see you then.

Posted October 19, 2009 by MASS MoCA
Filed under BLOG, Film, Simon Starling
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The Mighty Hudson

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In a somewhat serendipitous set of circumstances, the beautiful Hudson River figures prominently in two events/exhibitions that will be here in the end of October: Simon Starling’s new film Red Rivers (In Search of the Elusive Okapi) is on view in the galleries from October 17 through November 1 and the film Against the Current, screens here on Saturday, October 24, as part of the Williamstown Film Festival. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted October 15, 2009 by MASS MoCA
Filed under BLOG, Film, Simon Starling
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This Is Only Practice

Our fabulous Marketing Intern Will went on an adventure through the non-public buildings of MASS MoCA to share his thoughts on the LeWitt Practice Walls:

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After five weeks of working at MASS MoCA I finally gathered up enough courage to go wander our campus of abandoned factory buildings in search of a treasure that had intrigued me since my first week. Like any first week on the job I was taken around and given a tour of the building, shown where the bathrooms are, and given a history of the museum and the buildings we occupy. I learned that we have renovated and are using only 6 or so buildings out of a total of 27. I also learned that we use the remaining non-public buildings for a wide variety of things, mainly storage and workshops, but some hold treasures of times past. You can see previous MASS MoCA blogs that highlight the time capsule-like nature of our buildings, where you can find old tabloids with Tom Selleck on the cover. But what interested me most about these buildings were a set of practice walls used in preparation for the Sol LeWitt Wall Drawing Retrospective. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted October 14, 2009 by Brittany Bishop
Filed under Architecture, BLOG, Interns, LeWitt
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