Arts News

The Backlot Cinema at Epsilon Spires presents “Sisters with Transistors,” a new documentary that explores female pioneers of electronic music Friday in Brattleboro. Pictured is composer Maryanne Amacher.

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Electronic music

BRATTLEBORO — On Friday, June 18, the downtown arts organization Epsilon Spires will screen the film “Sisters with Transistors” (2021) in the parking lot of the historic First Baptist Church on Main Street. The event, which is the third installment of the weekly Backlot Cinema Series, will begin at sundown.

“Sisters with Transistors” uses captivating archival footage and insightful interviews to rewrite the history of electronic music, which has often neglected the stories of the women who were making breakthroughs in technology and composition alongside their male counterparts, decades before the first wave of feminism.

Suzanne Ciani, a masterful player of analog synthesizers and the first woman hired to score a feature film, recounts in the documentary that she would arrive early at recording studios to set up her complex equipment only to be asked when the engineers arrived which microphone she would be using to sing.

“It’s vitally important for the female innovators of electronic music to get the recognition they deserve for their accomplishments, both creative and scientific,” says Jamie Mohr, programming director of the Backlot Cinema Series.

The Backlot Cinema encourages audience members to bring blankets, pillows, and chairs to make themselves comfortable while viewing an exciting array of films every Friday night under the stars. In the event of inclement weather, the screening will take place in a socially distanced manner in the sanctuary of the church.

Tickets range between $10-$12 depending on the size of your party, and $2 of each ticket goes directly to the restoration and maintenance of the historic church. Go online to www.epsilonspires.org/backlotcinema for tickets or information.

‘Three Viewings’

MONTPELIER — Directed by Joanne Greenberg, Green Room Productions presents Jeffrey Hatcher’s “Three Viewings” online beginning at 7 p.m. Friday, June 18, and continuing to midnight June 27.

“Three Viewings,” set in a mid-western funeral parlor, features three darkly comic monologues by three distinctly quirky, fascinating characters. In “Tell-Tale,” we overhear the private thoughts of a respectable, timid mortician (Eric Reid-St. John), pining for a beautiful real estate broker who markets to the bereaved. “Thief of Tears” spotlights Mac (Maren Langdon Spillane), the defiant daughter of an upper class WASP family, who steals jewelry from corpses. And in “Thirteen Things about Ed Carpolotti,” a newly widowed suburban matron (Noni Stuart) finds her world crashing about her, only to be rescued by love from beyond the grave.

Go online to greenroomproductions.anywhereseat.com/channel.php for tickets or information.

Queer alum art

JOHNSON — Vermont Studio Center is currently presenting “Pride: A VSC Queer Alum Online Exhibition,” in honor and celebration of Pride Month 2021. The jury selected 29 works from 28 queer artists who live throughout the United States, Canada, China and New Zealand.

Three exhibiting artists will be included in VSC’s Virtual Alum Feature pages, and one artist will be selected to participate in a Virtual Visiting Artist Talk on Virtual VSC, date and time TBD. The Virtual Visiting Artist Talk is free and open to the public.

“Having a show like this is super important; where VSC can say ‘I see you and I support you,’” says Kristen Mills, visual arts program manager and VSC alum. “It’s about raising a platform or a voice for those who are not automatically granted one. And I feel honored to be a part of this community, being a VSC alum who identifies as queer. This exhibition makes me proud!”

Go online to vermontstudiocenter.org/exhibitions/pride-2021 to view the exhibit.

Social justice music

BRATTLEBORO — The Brattleboro Music Center presents the second concert in the EOS (Educate. Open. Strengthen.) Project’s inaugural season Saturday, June 19. The 5 p.m. performance will feature Kathy Andrew and Heather Sommerlad, violins; Emily Packard, viola; and Zon Eastes, cello.

The EOS Project is a direct response to questions about social justice as it pertains to the world of classical music and institutions such as the BMC. Developed and led by BMC faculty member Heather Sommerlad, EOS is envisioned as a collaborative effort of BMC Music School faculty and other local musicians to actively seek out and intentionally study and perform music by composers who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, as well as composers who identify as anything other than cis male.

On the June 19 program are Javier Alvarez’s “Metro Chabacano”; Joel Thompson’s “In Response to the Madness”; Caroline Shaw’s “Blueprint”; Irene Sazer’s “Duet for Two Fiddles”; and William Grant Still’s “Lyric String Quartet.”

Tickets are $20; call 802-257-4523 or go online to bmcvt.org for tickets.

Taconic extras

MANCHESTER — Taconic Music opens its 2021 summer festival with a full complement of faculty, students, and guest musicians.

At noon, Saturday, June 19, Taconic Music opens the first of its dress rehearsals at the Riley Center to the public — an opportunity to observe the casual interaction among all the musicians as they put the finishing touches on their program.

At 7 p.m. Monday, June 21, also at the Riley Center, longtime faculty member, master violinist, and award-winning pedagogue Danwen Jiang will lead a master class for Chamber Music Intensive students, helping them prepare for their first NextGen concert the following week, and giving the audience a behind-the-scenes look at how the musical interpretation is discussed and refined.

In addition to the live performances, all of Taconic Music’s 2021 summer concerts at the Riley Center will be live-streamed on Taconic’s YouTube channel.

Admission to all faculty and NextGen concerts, master-classes and live-streams is free (donations are always welcomed); go online to taconicmusic.org for reservations or information.

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