The Recorder - Sounds Local: Pushing the boundaries of banjo music, Nix released a new album, "Aperçu"

The Recorder – Sounds Local: Pushing the boundaries of banjo music, Nix released a new album, “Aperçu”

Greenfield-based Michael Nix has lengthy been difficult individuals’s perceptions of the banjo, an instrument that many see as restricted to bluegrass or nation music. By way of his intensive work as a musician, composer, and educator, Nicks has proven us that the banjo is way more versatile than we thought.

Nix continues to push the boundaries of music and create new terrain on his new album “Aperçu” from his New Basic Banjo Venture. “Aperçu” is Nix’s first launch for Massive Spherical Data by PARMA, distributed by NAXOS. Will probably be launched domestically on all streaming platforms and on CD tomorrow, Friday, January twenty seventh.

To rejoice the album’s launch, Nix will likely be acting on Fridays at 7:30pm on the Hawks and Reed Performing Arts Heart in Greenfield. His longtime collaborator, Chris Devine, will open the present with some preparations of Bach. Devine may even be part of Nicks throughout his set and play some neo-classical banjo items. The celebration will proceed on Saturday, January twenty eighth with a launch get together on the Luna Heart in Greenfield. Nix will likely be obtainable to speak about his New Basic Banjo Venture, signal CDs, present him some movies of the exhibits, and play a few tracks from the album. The get together lasts from 7-9pm and is free.

On the brand new album, Nicks challenges the listener to reimagine the banjo as a solo instrument. He achieved this by way of the usage of the seven-string Banjar, an instrument he developed in 2004 that mixes parts of the five-string banjo and classical guitar to create a novel sound. He later based the New Basic Banjo Venture to develop and document trendy classical banjo repertoire for the banjo, the traditional five-string nylon banjo, the six-string guitar banjo, and different banjo hybrids.

Nicks referred to as the music he recorded for the brand new album “neoclassical banjo” and stated it incorporates many people, world and classical kinds. Maybe we are able to get a greater understanding of this music from the album’s title, “Aperçu,” which suggests “a survey or sketch, or quick impression, particularly perception.”

As Nicks defined in a current e-mail: “I got down to forge a brand new model of classicism—banjo cross-play. I name the group of thirty or extra sketches on this trendy model that I’ve deliberate, the primary 5 recorded on this album, ‘Aperçu,’ as a result of It provides a glimpse or perception into my ideas on the neoclassical composition of the instrument.”

Nicks continued “I discovered it acceptable to make use of the phrase because the album’s title as a result of the album itself offers first take a look at what is perhaps doable shifting ahead in traditional banjo composition”.

The seeds of “Aperçu” have been planted years in the past.

“I did the primary rounds of commissions and compositions for the New Basic Banjo Venture in 2019. And on March 7, 2020, I carried out the primary live performance for the undertaking at Hawks & Reed and had a number of live shows accompanying the undertaking. Then the COVID confinement started,” Nicks stated.

Like many different musicians, the exhibits Nicks had scheduled bought canceled — so he determined to maneuver into educating and performing just about. Nix additionally used the COVID downtime to work on new items and fee a brand new piece for the New Basic Banjo Venture. He was able to document the album in June 2021 when he obtained an e mail from a PARMA Data consultant.

The actor watched the movies on (my web site) and was within the traditional/cross-cutting nature of my work, citing Barton Coveand quite a few different items he thinks is perhaps match for the Massive Spherical Data label, which makes a speciality of modern crossover composition.”

“Barton Cove” is an aberso essay by Nix concerning the reconciliation ceremony of the Abanaki individuals and a specific portray from Turners Falls.

The label’s philosophy is “Massive Spherical Data is devoted to bringing you world-class musicians who do what they do finest: breaking down style partitions and creating groundbreaking new sounds whereas maintaining one foot firmly rooted in custom.” “This appeared like an ideal match for Nix’s job and he agreed.

“I used to be in a position to negotiate the usage of my longtime good friend and cello-playing associate from The Pioneer Consort, Greg Snydecker, because the recording engineer at his Riverview manufacturing studio in Jill.” Nicks stated of engaged on the album. The album was recorded and edited final summer time and Nicks spent the autumn working with PARMA on graphics and advertising technique. Now “Aperçu” is able to be part of Nix’s spectacular line-up of works.

And you may hear this modern music for your self this weekend: tickets are $20 prematurely and $25 per day for performances. Tickets may be bought from or by calling 413-774-050. CDs may be bought at each occasions or may be ordered from

Inexperienced River Pageant lineup introduced

The Inexperienced River Pageant has introduced quite a few artists who will grace their performances this summer time. The occasion, now in its thirty sixth 12 months, will return to the Franklin County Fairgrounds from June 23-25. Stay music will likely be accompanied by native meals and beverage distributors, a makers market and loads of family-friendly actions.

Little Toes and The Wooden Brothers headline this 12 months’s multi-genre live performance chart. St. Paul and the Damaged Bones, Sierra Ferrell, Sammy Ray & Buddies and Fulvik Corey Wong may even carry out. Different artists on the invoice embody Rubblebucket, The Felice Brothers, Thee Sacred Souls, Jon Cleary, The Absolute Monster Gents, The Heavy Heavyweights, Donna The Buffalo, Sarah Shook & the Disarmers, GA-20, Cachitas Now! and Miko Marks, AJ Lee & Blue Summit, and the Glen David Andrews Band.

Extra artists will likely be revealed within the months main as much as the occasion. Weekend and day passes at the moment are on sale, as are parking and tenting passes, which is shifting rapidly. You may view the lineup and buy tickets at

Get down along with your hometown this weekend

You may get pleasure from a pageant from the consolation of your individual residence this weekend when the third annual Get Down with Your Hometown Pageant returns on Saturday and Sunday nights, January twenty eighth and twenty ninth.

This free music pageant is a collaboration between and fundraiser for North Star, the Institute of Musical Arts (IMA), and the Shea Theater Arts Heart. These three nonprofit organizations share the Widespread Music Affiliation. Shea hosts live shows and the IMA and North Star promote the coaching and progress of younger musicians.

Music begins at 6pm each night time. The road-up features a group of musicians recognized each nationally and regionally. The viewer can benefit from the folk-pop sounds of the Indigo women, the soulful vocals of Lake Road Dive singer Rachel Worth, banjo nice Tony Treshka and singer-songwriter Chris Smither.

Mateen Sexton, Jimmy Kent, Winterpills, Nayakiti, The Go well with Kiss Junkette, Cloudbilly, The Needles, Eric Phelps and Lee-It-Raine, and Stompbox Trio are simply among the different artists who carry out.

A number of taking part Northstar and/or IMA artists have attended and carried out at Shea.

It is free to look at this pageant, however you can also make a donation by donating a tip jar and shopping for VIP passes that allow you to hang around and be part of a digital inexperienced room with the performers. To be taught extra, buy inexperienced room tickets and watch the pageant go to:

Cheryl Hunter is a contract author based mostly in Easthampton. Her work has appeared in quite a few regional and nationwide publications. They are often reached at [email protected]

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