By Laurelle Walsh
The cozy quarters of the Spartan Art Project will play host to another “Intimate Performance” on Friday (June 20) at 7 p.m. on the TwispWorks campus.
This week’s performance features violinist Christine Beckman and lutenist John Lenti playing works by Baroque composer Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber, followed by Seattle slam poet Daemond Arrindell performing original poetry in the second act.
Beckman and Lenti are members of Seattle’s Early Music Guild and perform around the Northwest, most frequently with the Seattle and Portland Baroque orchestras. Both period music specialists, the duo has selected sonatas written by Biber around 1676.
On violin, Beckman will employ “scordatura,” which is the tuning of the violin in an unconventional way to enhance the sonority of the instrument, she said. Scordatura “facilitates the playing of chords, polyphonic passages, and other musical effects that would otherwise be impossible, or nearly so, on the violin,” Beckman said.
Lenti will play theorbo, a Baroque instrument of the lute family that is capable of playing a complete continuo section, playing the bass line and chords similar to a harpsichord, according to Beckman. “Both [violin and theorbo] parts are equally important, indeed integral, for the Baroque musical aesthetic of treble and bass lines working together in counterpoint,” she added.
“These sonatas are deeply devotional pieces and as such are very well suited to performance in an intimate setting such as the Spartan Art Project,” Beckman said. “I have performed several times in small venues such as private homes, but I have never performed anywhere quite as intimate as the Spartan Art Project and am looking forward to experiencing it. The Baroque instruments themselves are also very well suited to intimate settings, as they have a warm, mellow, and soft tone that is often lost in large performance venues.”
In the second act, Arrindell will perform a 30-minute set of original poems on the topics of “identity, pop culture, heart break, and the hardships of facing ourselves,” he said.
“Much of it is narrative, so essentially I am inviting the audience into my stories,” Arrindell said. “There will be some seriousness, some silliness, a bit of self-deprecation, a bunch of fun and plenty to make you think.”
Arrindell is a Seattle-based poet, performer and teaching artist with Seattle Arts and Lectures’ Writers in the Schools program. He has performed and facilitated workshops in high schools and colleges across the country, Freehold Theatre’s Engaged Theatre program, and has worked with homeless and incarcerated youth and adults.
“I love intimate spaces,” Arrindell said. “The smaller the group, the more of a conversation we get to have and I love that dynamic. … No matter what size of group I perform for, my goal is to connect, to be genuine and vulnerable with myself and to pull people in. I like art that takes risks and challenges me as an observer or participant, and I strive to do the same.”
All Intimate Performances are in a pass-the-hat format, where audience members pay “as they are moved,” according to host Donna Keyser, who provides happy-hour refreshments for each event.
For more information, contact organizer Matt Armbrust at 997-1022.