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Posts Tagged ‘Asheville area music’

Moogfest 2014 is Here!

April 25th, 2014 by abedofroses

The Moog Store and Factory on Broadway

The Moog Store and Factory on Broadway

You can tell that Moogfest has arrived in Asheville by all the young people walking around downtown dressed in black with their heads tilted down reading their phones. It’s the dressed in black part that’s different from every day in downtown Asheville! Just kidding. The occasional strange looking head gear (see the video below)  may give it away too! Moogfest describes itself as The Synthesis of Technology, Art & Music. For 5 days, at locations scattered around the city lectures, workshops, interviews and visual/musical installations and performances are taking place with some of it free to the public. A look at the schedule is astounding in terms of the breadth and range of the experiences being offered. Experimental music, art and technology is a perfect match for Asheville.

Electronic music pioneer Bob Moog

Electronic music pioneer Bob Moog

It all started with Bob Moog, the inventor of the Moog Synthesizer and founder of Moog Music. A pioneer in electronic music, Moog spent the early 1990s as a research professor of music at the University of North Carolina here in Asheville and died here in 2005. The Bob Moog Foundation is based here as is the Moog Store and Factory. Moog Music brought Moogfest to Asheville in 2008 as a 3 day multi-stage electronic music festival featuring contemporary bands that exemplified the innovative spirit of Moog. This year the festival has exploded to become so much more!


Just one example of the dynamic new focus of the festival is an installation that allows you to compose music through the electrical activity of your brain using the head gear referred to earlier. Participants are invited to wander around the city creating an audio-visual  experience in response to the environment. Very cool.

The Masonic Temple is one Moogfest venue

The Masonic Temple is one Moogfest venue

There’s an area with Theramins that you can experiment with, new media art installations and a “Modular Marketplace” that are all open to the public, as well as many of the concerts.  I checked out a “Durational Performance” at the Center for Creative Design that was a continuous multimedia electronic music experience, one of several taking place over the 5 days.

The panels, films and work shops include conversations with music pioneers, philosophers, technology leaders and more. Economic development and just plain networking is going on along with the cool music and art. It’s definitely an event!

The Summer Music Scene in Asheville: So Much to Hear and See!

June 28th, 2013 by abedofroses

Lorraine Conard Band at Bele Chere

Lorraine Conard Band at Bele Chere

Musicians gravitate to Asheville from all over to take advantage of one of the most eclectic music scenes in the country. From Blue Grass to Celtic, Blues, Reggae and classical, you’ll see it all on the streets, at the music festivals, in the clubs and in the concert halls of Asheville. With some of the best music venues, Asheville draws some big names that you might not expect for a city our size performing concerts in surprisingly intimate settings. Smashing Pumpkins, Sonic Youth, Damien Rich, Flaming Lips, Blondie and Bonnie Raitt have all played here. Bob Dylan and David Byrne with St. Vincent were here just recently. Some of our guests even got to go back stage and talk to David Byrne and St. Vincent and get some very unique autographs.

David Byrne and St Vincent

David Byrne and St Vincent

The Orange Peel Social Aid & Pleasure Club has a rich history of bringing headliners to the region and is nationally recognized. The US Cellular Center (previously the Civic Center) also attracts nationally known acts. But smaller venues abound as well with jams at local pubs like Jack of the Wood. Music and local ale from Asheville’s abundant craft brewers. What could be better?

The area’s traditional music springs from the Scottish, English and Irish early settlers of the western NC mountains. Our traditional Appalachian Music roots can still be seen here with a summer concert tradition, Shindig on the Green. At sundown every Saturday from July to September you’ll see free traditional blue grass music and dancing in Pack Square Park. It’s been called “the back porch on stage”. One very unique and unforgettable Asheville music tradition is The Drum Circle.

Asheville's Drum Circle

Asheville’s Drum Circle

The percussion of African American slaves’ songs had a great influence on Appalachian Folk music so it shouldn’t be surprising to see little Pritchard Park in the heart of downtown Asheville pulsing with a couple hundred drummers and dancers every Friday night, but it is! And it’s just a lot of fun. On Thurday nights in the same park a very different kind of free concert takes place. Homegrown in Pritchard features local singer-songwriters from June through August and there is lots of great homegrown talent here! Another ongoing free outdoor concert series in the summer is Downtown After 5. Taking place the 3rd Friday of the month from May through September on Lexington Avenue this is it’s 25th Anniversary Season.

Music Festivals are also a great place to enjoy live music in Asheville. The largest, Bele Chere takes place at the end of July. The 86th Annual Mountain Dance and Folk Festival will be at the Diana Wortham Theatre at Pack Place on August 1st-3rd. The famed Biltmore Estate hosts a summer concert season with big names like Cheryl Crow, Casting Crowns, and The Beach Boys. And the Brevard Summer Music Festival is not far from Asheville. Joshua Bell will be performing June 29th with Keith Lockhart conducting. There is just unending variety to the music choices here. Enjoy the season with us!

 

A Relaxing Day Trip to Black Mountain- The Front Porch of Western North Carolina

March 5th, 2012 by abedofroses

Black Mountain General Store

Downtown Black Mountain nestled in the mountains

Just 15 miles from Asheville is the quaint town of Black Mountain, nestled in the mountains and overflowing with charm. That small town feeling makes for a relaxing day trip of hiking, shopping or enjoying a leisurely lunch at one of their restaurants or cafés. We did just that the other day and took in the beautiful mountain views on the quick drive into town. With a history steeped in the arts, Black Mountain has lots of art & craft galleries to browse through as well as artists studios and unique gift stores. From the 1930s until the 1950s Black Mountain College brought the focus of American culture and arts to the mountains of North Carolina with a dazzling array of artists and thinkers associated with the college. John Cage and Buckminster Fuller taught there and Albert Einstein served on the board of directors to mention just a few. Fuller’s Geodesic Dome was created there.

Mountain Dulcimer Players

Instruction on the Mountain Dulcimer at Song of the Wood

Black Mountain is still a hub of creativity in a peaceful, slow paced way. I could have stayed all afternoon in the dulcimer showroom and workshop where Terry Read Smith crafts beautiful instruments. I particularly loved his richly toned and intricately carved hammered dulcimers. His sister was demonstrating and instructing a customer on a mountain dulcimer at the time and I couldn’t leave without buying one of Terry’s own CDs. Their shop is aptly called Song of the Wood.

Antique stores and gift shops drew us in as well, and we couldn’t miss the old fashioned general store. It was almost warm enough to eat on the lovely patio at the Black Mountain Bistro. Instead we lingered over lunch within a glassed-in area of the restaurant that gave us the views and feel of the patio.

Black Mountain's Lake Tomahawk

The Fountain at Lake Tomahawk

After lunch we explored the neighborhoods, admiring some of the older homes, (our weakness!). We’ve always been hooked on Victorian and Arts & Crafts architecture. We took a lovely stroll around Lake Tomahawk before heading home. All in all, a relaxing getaway for a few hours.

If you go, don’t forget the Black Mountain Music Scene as well. In addition to outdoor festivals such as the Lake Eden Arts Festival, Groovin on Grovemont, Park Rythyms at Lake Tomahawk, the local clubs offer a wide range of live music drawing fans from around the area.

You can find more photos of Black Mountain in our photo gallery.

 

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