Posted by: Necci – Aug 02, 2012
Todd Raviotta is one of my greatest collaborators. With my articles in RVA Magazine, I’ve been fortunate to have Raviotta as one of the regular photographers that I get to work with. When I began assembling all of the details for my fundraising event this year, I knew he was an obvious choice to reach out to and see if he’d like to take a few pictures and shoot some video. Here is a portion of the evening from his point of view, as he helped to showcase six of the last musical groups that took to the stage at Gallery 5 on July 14th.
Many were confused that White Laces were playing so early in the day. I wanted to give them a proper partner in their time slot, and the pairing that seemed to make the most sense was with The Snowy Owls. As for this song, it was the first time that they had played this particular track, from their upcoming album Moves, live. “Impossible Windows” is an incredibly telling sign of the direction the group is taking with their debut full-length. It is also a great display of what I encourage any and all of the bands to do when they participate with this event--try out something different, or provide a rare showing that will make this event something to talk about later. White Laces decided to play their new record from start to finish. It was a perfect way for the band to help permanently transition into the world of these new sounds, for which they should soon be receiving tremendous acclaim.
The Colloquial Orchestra
The Colloquial Orchestra is a unique idea. A rotating cast of musicians that take to a free-flowing musical thought, spearheaded by local game-changer Dave Watkins. It seemed like the perfect group to throw upstairs at Gallery 5--they represented an idea that might be best executed in that space. I initially imagined Dave Watkins collaborating with Nelly Kate, but upon discovering that Kate was unavailable to participate, Watkins encouraged the idea of getting The Colloquial Orchestra together once more. The space allowed the members of the group to occupy different areas of the corridor and face the audience within. Members of Hoax Hunters, The Snowy Owls, Marionette, Adah, and many others took part, and here is a snippet of what they came up with.
As a last minute addition, Swordplay turned out to be a wonderful choice, a unique artist in the Richmond scene to showcase. Isaac Ramsey has always been one to watch, and anyone who has seen him live has experienced this time and time again. Prior to his set, he mentioned to me that he was going to really try something different. By utilizing multiple vocal effects, digital set-ups, turntables, and acoustic guitars that were all spread out across the stage, his performance was quite remarkable. As you may be able to tell, sound issues were making him flustered throughout his entire set. Ramsey acted like a champ and persevered through each challenge. If anything, his set may have been all the better, considering how much his sonic attack allowed him to overcome any and all obstacles.
The Low Branches
I have been an advocate for The Low Branches for quite a while now. I take full advantage of any chance I have to help celebrate the art they create. Having them headline the upstairs space was an easy choice, and they were involved with one of my favorite moments of the evening. As they were about to begin, the audience immediately began hushing one another. It was a sign that they knew they were about to behold something immaculate. This song is set to be featured on a long-anticipated full-length that the group has been readying for a while. A few other fun facts to mention about this particular set include it being Josh Quarles' first time playing electric bass for the group in a live setting, as well as being Matt Klimas' third set of the day (as he had performed with The Snowy Owls and The Colloquial Orchestra earlier). The room upstairs at Gallery 5 is a perfect accommodation for this kind of sound, and it perhaps lent itself to The Low Branches sounding even more chilling and haunting than usual.
Bermuda Triangles segue into Canary Oh Canary
When I first envisioned this entire day, Bermuda Triangles and Canary Oh Canary were obvious choices to have close it out. They were bands that deserved appreciation and celebration. There were talks of collaboration between the two, and although I was never completely certain as to what they had in mind, I had a slight sense of what they were up to. The transition between this cut from the latest Bermuda Triangles album, Transmissions, and one of the many new Canary Oh Canary tracks, was perfect. It seemed like the crowning moment for an already impressive evening that helped to showcase what I consider to be many of the best things happening in Richmond music.
I hope these videos have helped you gain an insight into what we were all up to on July 14th. If you missed it this year, I hope to see you next year. Cheers.
Words by Shannon Cleary
Images and Video by Todd Raviotta