Electric Earth making a return to live concerts

  • Electric Earth Concerts Artistic Directors Jonathan Bagg and Laura Gilbert will play as part of an ensemble for the first live show since 2019 in Conference of the Birds on Monday, June 21. Courtesy photo

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 6/18/2021 12:03:12 PM

Electric Earth Concerts will make its much-anticipated return to in-person performances this summer, something general manager Joan Epro has been looking forward to since the decision was made to drastically alter the 2020 season.

Instead of live concerts, Electric Earth collaborated with a number of artists over the last year to provide videocasts for local chamber music fans, and Epro said it went as well as could be expected given the unprecedented circumstances.

“The videocasts we did were really quite good, but it’s not the same as seeing it live,” Epro said.

So with shows spanning from June to November this year, Epro is ready for a return toward normalcy for what will be a big milestone for Electric Earth as the series celebrates its 1oth season.

But it wasn’t the easiest of seasons to plan. With things opening up, musicians’ schedules started to fill up and the late decision to once again hold in-person concerts made it a bit of a crunch to put it all together.

“It was harder because we had a much smaller window to work in,” Epro said. “We had been talking about it for months and had a goal that we were going to start live concerts in June.”

And for chamber music, Epro said, it’s optimal to be played indoors in a setting that lends itself acoustically because “outside, the sound gets lost.”

Despite all of that, Epro is excited for what the year will bring.

“We have a lot of really wonderful artists,” she said. “I can’t wait to get this going.”

Before its first live show since December of 2019, Electric Earth will present one final videocast on Saturday in celebration of Juneteenth, which was actually slated to be part of the 2020 season. Spiritual Voices, featuring the Ciompi Quartet, was scheduled for Electric Earth’s Changing the Conversation series, but had to be postponed a year. It will be available beginning at 4 p.m. on Saturday, just two days before the official live season opener, Conference of the Birds, on Monday, June 21 at the Jaffrey Meetinghouse.

Mezzo-soprano Jazimina MacNeil joins an ensemble that includes Electric Earth Artistic Directors Laura Gilbert and Jonathan Bagg to celebrate the summer solstice.

In yet another collaboration with the Harris Center for Conservation Education, MacNeil and poet Henry Walters will offer a series of half-hour introductory talks on Friday, June 25 and Saturday, June 26 that dig into the stories behind the music and poems they have put together for a digital mixtape that interested hikers can listen to as they ramble along the Hiroshi Loop Trail. The downloadable mix can be used to accompany your hike at any time after June 24.

Celebrate the Fourth of July with Hanz Araki, a master of the Celtic flute and the Shakuhachi – a Japanese bamboo flute – at 4 p.m. at the First Church in Jaffrey Center.

One of Electric Earth’s most popular artists and annual season participant, the Horszowski Trio will perform at Bass Hall at the Monadnock Center for History and Culture on Wednesday, July 14.

Making their Electric Earth debut in 2021, the Neave Trio will take to Bass Hall on Monday, July 26. In August, David Breitman will use his fortepiano for a concert of Mostly Mozart on Aug. 2 at Bass Hall.

“It’s a nice mix of old and new,” Epro said.

Violinist David McCarroll will perform Bach solo works on Sunday, Aug. 15 at a venue to be determined. Epro calls the planned array “the most beautiful music in the world.”

The Schubert Quintet, which includes both McCarroll and Bagg, takes to the Jaffrey Meetinghouse stage on Aug. 17.

The Auréole Trio, founded by Gilbert, returns to offer a concert of consolation and celebration on Sept. 12 at the Francestown Old Meetinghouse, featuring works by Ravel, Debussy, Nielsen, Earl Kim.

And the season finale on Nov. 21 at the Park Theatre in Jaffrey celebrates Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons.”

“It’s just going to be one after another after another fabulous concert,” Epro said.

Due to various COVID-19 guidelines, the number of available tickets for each concert varies by venue and are on a first-come, first-serve basis. But new this year, Electric Earth is making it possible for concert-goers to sit outside and listen via a sound system, free of charge.

“So bring a blanket, bring a chair and sit outside,” Epro said.

Epro said they will be working with venues to create socially distanced atmospheres and will ask people to wear masks inside.

“We just want to keep everybody safe,” she said.

For more information and tickets, visit https://electricearthconcerts.org/.


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