Friday, April 15, 2011

Art and music

Third Friday of the month is gallery stroll night here in Salt Lake. "Stroll" is a bit of a misnomer, as gallery stroll is at various galleries all over the city, and there aren't many with in walking distance of each other. So, for the most part gallery stroll is more like gallery drive, and since there are way too many locations to peruse in 3 hours of the stroll, I have a fairly set list of favorite galleries I like to visit. One of my favorites is the Michael Berry Gallery, where I go not just for the art, but for the music. Michael has invited a great band to play for stroll nights; the Quintento Noir and I make it a point to go listen when ever I can.

The music is kind of tango style, sort of european gypsy sounding, lyrics often sung in foreign language. They also have an interesting mix of sounds: guitars, violin, bass, flutes, accordion, and vocals. Tonight they brought out some new instruments, some familiar, some new to me. A kazoo... when was the last time you heard someone in a band play the kazoo? Then there was a soprano banjo. I'd never seen such a tiny banjo before before... it looked kind or like the 'ukulele' of banjos. The there was another small unfamiliar instrument. I had to ask the musicians about this one. It was a Bolivian instrument, a charango. I really, really enjoy the Quinteto's unique style of music, stopping in to listen during gallery stroll has become an monthly addiction for me.

And for another dose of unique music...
On the way home from gallery stroll I made a quick stop at Dan's grocery. I heard music as I got out of the car and was surprised to find a band playing outside of the store. A bunch of high school kids, one on guitar, another playing harmonica, a third using wooden spoons to play percussion on a bunch of buckets and boxes, and a fourth, the most unique, was using his wooden spoons to play a longboard. I have to say, I have never seen anyone play a skateboard before. Despite their young age and unconventional choice of instruments, these kids were quite good. A really fun late night shopping treat.

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