The Recorder – Sounds Native: Return of the antenna cloud farm
After a year they describe as “challenging, tiring and important”, the owners of Antenna Cloud Farm are excited to announce their return for 2021 with an exciting musical line-up – genre music festival and artist retreat on a beautiful 100 acre former dairy farm in the town of Gill.
Founded in 2017 by composer Judd Greenstein and his wife, Juilliard-trained violinist and composer Michi Wiancko, the farm has put on some dazzling performances over the years. The music they present is often described as “modern” and “innovative”, words that aptly describe the upcoming line-up. This year, however, there will be significantly fewer shows than in previous years.
“This year we are limiting our on-site concerts here at Antenna Cloud Farm to two events as we continue to open up and recover from the challenges of the pandemic that has negatively affected so many arts organizations and concert venues around the world. “Wrote Wiancko, the farm’s artistic director, in a recent email.
The season kicks off on Saturday, July 10th, with Bombay Rickey, a group of five described as “Soft Rock meets Bollywood” and “a group that could provide a Bollywood soundtrack to a 1960s noir movie” . Who could resist such descriptions? The powerful vocals of Kamala Sankaram and the band’s surf guitar make for a unique musical experience that you won’t want to miss.
The second show on their program will take place on Sunday, July 18, with cello virtuoso Andrew Yee.
While reducing the number of on-site shows, Antenna Cloud Farm is working with some community organizations to showcase music in other locations.
“We are excited to partner with RiverCulture and Laudable Productions this year and are grateful to continue our collaboration with Musica Franklin as well as some of our favorite local food artisans and growers,” said Wiancko. “We also have a new partnership with the Nolumbeka project that we are very much looking forward to.”
On July 31st, they will team up with RiverCulture to present a show with Sam Amidon of Brattleboro, Vt., At Peskeompskut Park in Turners Falls. Amidon is a banjo playing folk musician who gives the genre his own twist by adding a touch of jazz and classical music. He has toured the world and received praise for his unique interpretation of traditional melodies.
“It will be a free show in Peskeompskut Park, but we will be making donations to support the 8th annual Pocumtuck Homelands Festival: A Celebration of Native American Art, Music and Cultures, which will be held on August 7th and 8th at Unity Park in Turners , encourage falls, ”added Wiancko. “We’re going to be hosting one of the artists performing at the Pocumtuck Homelands Festival here on the farm, Jennifer Kreisberg, for her weekend gig.”
Later this summer, Antenna Cloud Farm will partner with Laudable Productions to bring some exciting acts to the Barbes in the Woods Festival taking place in Montague on Saturday, August 21st.
You will greet Arooj Aftab, a singer who blends Pakistani ghazal with jazz and Hindustani singing, and BIGYUKI, a keyboardist and composer originally from Japan. For more information on Barbes in the Woods, please visit www.barbesinthewoods.com
While this is the first time the farm has presented off-venue shows, in the past they have held two free performance workshops at the Brick House Community Resource Center for younger people. They have also worked with Musica Franklin to host workshops and concerts, and in 2019 they partnered with the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music as part of a creative mentoring program with a cohort of aspiring composers.
“At the beginning of 2020 we had planned a very exciting collaboration with the Shea Theater in Turners Falls, which was unfortunately canceled because the pandemic forced the closure of venues across the country,” said Wiancko. “But we look forward to reviving that collaboration as the Shea is such a rich community good and a really popular place.”
Shows at Antenna Cloud Farm start at 7:00 p.m., but the farm opens two hours before show time for concert goers to enjoy a picnic or stroll around the beautiful grounds. Tickets can be purchased at www.antennacloudfarm.com.
Commenting on the coming season, Wiancko said, “It feels more important than ever to give artists a beautiful, peaceful space in a welcoming, art-loving community here in Franklin County, so they can focus on creation, inspiration and wellness. Concerts at the ACF promote intimate and transformative connection points between artists, audience and community. Our love work continues to be deeply rewarding. ”
Suds and Songs debuts at the Montague Village Store tonight
A new free music series called Suds and Songs starts tonight from 5pm to 7pm at the Montague Village Store in the Montague Center. Suds and Songs will run every Thursday in July, combining beer tastings from local breweries with music from local musicians. Tonight’s opening show will feature beer from the Hitchcock Brewery in Bernardston with music by Sam Perry. You probably know Perry from his work as the lead guitarist in the band Old Flame, but he also works as a solo artist and records under the nickname SVIP. On July 8th the Pioneer Valley Brewery will take place with music by Lexi Weege and JJ Slater. On July 15th Progression Brewing with Mike Wood (Rebel Alliance) and on July 22nd the White Lion Brewing Team with Khalif Neville. The series ends on July 29th with Berkshire Brewing and singer / songwriter Nate Martel.
Suds and Songs take place in the garden of the Montague Village Store with burgers and dogs provided by the Montague Fire Department.
“We’ve all been through a lot in the past year,” says Kathleen Lynch, owner of the Montague Village Stores. “This event is a wonderful opportunity for the grassroots community to showcase local businesses and artists in a fun, low-key environment. We are excited to showcase some of the best local beers, music and locally grown food in store and at these events. We should all go out and reconnect with our neighbors, or for some of us for the first time. “
Co-op concerts tonight
Don’t forget that the co-op concerts will kick off the 2021 season at 6 p.m. tonight at Greenfield Energy Park. The show will feature R&D (Rob Adams and Dennis Avery) who describe their sounds as a mix of old and new music that includes Dobro and Lap Steel. The evening also includes a set by guitarist / singer Joe Graveline, accompanied by classical violinist Nina Gross. This broadcast is free. Further information on Coop Concerts can be found on the website www.coopconcerts.org. And when the weather gets a bit trickier, cancellations are published on their Facebook page www.facebook.com/greenfieldenergypark.