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HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

The Gate Theatre’s ‘Strange Snow’ – an encore staging

Fugues and Foot-tapping: Kritsana Chitpreecha on Saxophone

Australian jazz fusion band comes, plays and conquers

‘Art and Ideas’ at Suriya Gallery

 

The Gate Theatre’s ‘Strange Snow’ – an encore staging

Elena Edwards
The Gate Theatre Group proudly presents an encore staging of Stephen Metcalfe’s beautifully told, timely story of love, loss, healing and hope, Strange Snow. Under the direction of Stephan Turner, Strange Snow features performances by Robert Young, Peter Mushenko and Veronica Guarino.

A scene from ‘Strange Snow’ with David and Martha.

Strange snow falls on two young Vietnam veterans as they reunite for a fishing trip to make good on a long lost promise to an old friend.
It’s dawn on Opening Day and Megs shows up at his buddy David’s house only to encounter David’s shy, plain sister Martha. Megs’ larger-than-life nature coaxes Martha out of her shell and into his heart. His mere presence, however, brings up painful memories of Vietnam for David, whose method of coping so far has been to drink too much and talk as little as possible.
As a result of the play’s success during its first run, the Gate Theatre Group has decided to stage four encore performances, beginning on April 3. The show will run Fridays and Saturdays through April 11, at the Studio Theatre, 7th floor, Kad Suan Kaew shopping mall. Doors open at 7 p.m. with curtain at 7:30 p.m.
Suggested donation 300 baht. For more information, please email thegatetheater @asia.com or visit the Gate Theatre Group’s website at www.gate-theater.com

 

Fugues and Foot-tapping: Kritsana Chitpreecha on Saxophone

Jai-Pee
Saturday night, March 7, at the Saisuree Hall at Payap University provided a really good-sized audience with some very polished saxophone playing from Kritsana, the almost 23-year-old student giving his first recital. With undaunted confidence, this smart young man strolled on to the stage and announced each item in his wide and interesting repertoire before setting off on various excursions into the realms of Russian, German, South American and USA jazz music. He played with gusto in his first piece, Glazunov’s Concerto in E flat and was delightfully accompanied on the electone by his friend Gamp. She gave him superb support as he played its opening movement in a rich, mellow manner so befitting this lyrical piece. The highlight came later in the final movement when Kritsana performed the scampering arpeggios and trills with brilliance, mastery and polish. In his second piece, Moussorgsky’s Old Castle from Pictures at an Exhibition, he was accompanied by the wonderfully delicate and carefully balanced playing of David Wilson. Here, the music entered a mysterious and often gloomy world, nicely captured by the mournful sounds of the saxophone and the soulful tones of the left hand on the piano. Ending with a more modern piece, Fantasia by Heitor Villa-Lobos, Kritsana gave us a deeply emotional interpretation of the central section, allowing the melody to float rapturously at times; then we were plunged into the depths of strident rhythms so typical of this composer, and so well captured by the saxophonist.
After a short intermission, our young performer was joined by three fellow saxophonists, Yim, O and Tae, in a great little quartet playing Bach’s Little Fugue in G minor with finesse and understanding and more than a hint of drama. How good they sounded together in this well known classic. Then came the foot-tappin’ to the melodies of Fats Waller, Scott Joplin and Theolonious Monk. Here the quartet really enjoyed itself immensely and this was echoed by great applause and cheers from the appreciative audience. Ain’t Misbehavin’ came across with the kind of cheekiness this famous song merits while Blue Monk allowed some fine solo performances which were very warmly received. The helpful and well-written program notes, the relaxed atmosphere, the wonderful playing and the smooth presentation by Kritsana all contributed to a fine evening of delightful entertainment.


Australian jazz fusion band comes, plays and conquers

The Australian jazz fusion band, Logic,
during one of their performances at Moxie’s Restaurant.

Michael Davies
The Australian jazz ensemble, Logic, visited Chiang Mai from March 6-9, performing at the dusitD2 hotel and also completing a workshop at Payap University. The band were invited to tour by the Australian Embassy under its Cultural Relations Programme, which promotes Australia through its art and culture, mainly in Bangkok but now extending to Chiang Mai. Representative Piyarat Suksiri explained that Logic are a great reflection of both Australia and its music, with their infectious energy and new and different style.
The band was formed way back in 1999 by Glenn Cannon (guitar) and Tim Wilson, (saxophone) with Ben Vanderwal (drums) joining 3 years ago and Dane Anderson (bass) just recently. Their music is a mixture of styles – jazz, new wave, pop rock and folk. Glenn told the Chiang Mai Mail he was influenced by UK jazz fusion musician Alan Holdsworth. Tom’s inspirations are Wayne Krantz, John Coltrane and Dave Binney. Dane elected Jaco Pastorrus as his original influence, and Ben’s first teacher, the New Zealander Frank Gibson, provided the focus for his style.
Prior to this tour, Logic had released three albums—a self-titled debut album in 2002, ‘The Waiting Game’ 2004 and ‘Native Stut’ in 2008. On various occasion, they had been invited to back and record with several ‘greats’ on their visits to Australia, including Hugh Jackman, Ray Charles and Olivia Newton John. They have also performed at major festivals such as the Java Jazz Festival, the Mosaic Music Festival in Singapore and the Melbourne International Festival of Jazz.
CM Mail columnist Mark Whitman was at the first performance by the quartet, held at Moxie’s, and reports that a large and enthusiastic group of diners enjoyed the spirited playing by the quartet, responding with enthusiastic applause to the extended sets. Although the setting seemed slightly restricted for a quartet, the idea was certainly something that could be repeated, as live music is always a welcome addition to a meal.
Whilst in Chiang Mai, the band also gave a workshop at Payap for 2nd year students and their teachers, with Glenn explaining that workshops are a great way to meet people and share the music. It’s to be hoped that Logic visit Chiang Mai again. For this visit, they came, they played, and they certainly conquered!


‘Art and Ideas’ at Suriya Gallery

Elena Edwards
The ‘Art and Ideas’ series of talks continues at Suriya Gallery on Sunday March 29 with a visual presentation by Jacqueline Suter entitled, ‘Hide and Seek: Social Commentary in Contemporary Burmese Art.’ Successive governments in Burma have controlled public expression through systematic censorship, with paintings included in the restrictions. Any works deemed to disturb the ‘tranquillity’ or ‘security’ of the state are banned from public display or export. Works of art depicting explicit sexuality are also banned from public viewing. With overt social comment forbidden, artists find more subtle ways to express their thinking. The presentation will provide a unique glimpse into the ways in which artists manage to express their interpretations of their society in spite of these restrictions. Rare works not seen in public before the talk will be on show.
As usual with the Suriya Gallery talks, 10% of any art sales during the evening, and 20% of any other sales will be donated to Cultural Canvas, a local organisation which provide art therapy experiences for the children of migrants in Chiang Mai. Guests can also choose to donate to a fund which finances medical care for people with serious health problems who cross the border into Thailand. For more information on this, please visit homepage. mac.com/inkish/Pansodan/AnipoAppeal.ppt.htm.
Come to Suriya at 6 p.m. to look around; the talk begins at 6.30 p.m. Suriya Gallery is located on Soi Bua Lang (the same soi as Holiday Garden Hotel), off Huey Kaew Road. Look for the spray-paint Suriya Art Gallery sign at the soi entrance, park in Nice Nails car park, and walk through the gate to no. 2. For further info, please call on 053-221-969, or email on [email protected]