By Spencer Schneier, Staff Writer
Published in print Sept. 17, 2014
This fall, UNCG’s New Music Greensboro will be showcasing the work of musicians with ties to the university, the first shows of which come this weekend.
In what is self-described as Greensboro’s “premier presenter of cutting-edge new music,” the 11th annual festival will give audiences a chance to take in a plethora of music. The music on display will range from orchestral rock to opera.
The festival looks to showcase artists with UNCG ties including grad students, professors and even friends of the university. Performers will come from places as far as Baltimore and even Belgium, but also from the campus itself. It will be an experience that showcases the wide degree of musical and artistic talent that the university has to offer.
It is not only a campus event, as the UNCG School of Music, Theatre and Dance partner with local artists to help put on this event spanning the course of nearly two months.
On Thursday, September 18 at 7:30 PM, Three Red Crowns will be playing a free show at the UNCG Music Building Recital Hall to kick off the season-long event.
Three Red Crowns, originally a group of three performers, has since grown to include nine for Thursday’s show. Not only does this group include nine people (sometimes as many as 14), but they also ply their trade in sounds such as sax, strings, bass, guitar, percussion and vocals.
Anna Meadors and John Paul Carillo of Three Red Crowns were kind enough to speak to The Carolinian via email.
Meadors describes the group’s sound as “gritty big-beat chamber rock. It’s a lush and rocking sound, yet, as per all the textures available in a group this big, can break down to many different feelings.”
Their lead vocalist, Rajni Sharma, writes and performs the lyrics. Meadors described her inspiration to The Carolinian: “Rajni’s lyrics are often inspired by her experiences in Baltimore, New Orleans, and Punjab, India, [and by] French philosopher Jacques Lacan and current political climates.”
Amoeba-like in its versatility, Three Red Crowns originated as a group of three that was looking for a string quartet to round out a piece they were working on. As Carillo noted, they are a group inspired as much by their sound as they were by the instruments “they didn’t have.”
Based in the Baltimore music scene, described as “active, vibrant and varied,” it is clear that they give an apt representation.
Meadors, a graduate student at UNCG, says she is “excited that the ensemble is coming down from Baltimore for this, and I am looking forward to sharing what we do with the UNCG community!”
Continuing the festival on Friday night at 7:00 PM at the Weatherspoon Art Museum will be Collective for Happy Sounds (COLLAPSS).
While COLLAPSS did not respond to requests for interview, they are described on the festival’s website as “an experimental music and art ensemble presenting innovative concerts in non-traditional venues.”
They consist of Laurent Estoppey, saxophonist/composer, Nick Rich, guitarist/composer, and featuring Brianna Taylor, dancer. They work with “art-makers” throughout the southeast to create synchronized music and art.
The festival begins this weekend, but will feature acts through to November 1, all of which will be free of admission and hosted by on-campus venues.