For Immediate Release
7 December 2016
Contact: Jodi Joseph
Director of Communications
FreshGrass Presents: Parsonsfield
Nanook of the North
NORTH ADAMS, MASSACHUSETTS — Pioneer Valley-based indie-folk heroes Parsonsfield blew minds at MASS MoCA’s FreshGrass Festival, playing original live music to an excerpt of the iconic Richard Flaherty documentary Nanook of the North. We’ve asked them to expand their haunting original score for the entire film, and they’re back to take the stage in that encore performance on Saturday, January 28, at 8pm.
Parsonsfield is a western Massachusetts homegrown band that is rising in international acclaim. During their 6 years together, the 5 musicians have developed an ear for elegantly exciting entanglements of jazz, bluegrass, and folk that is impossible to ignore. “They harmonize; they play saws, mandolins, and pump organs; they back their songs with crickets and squeaking screen doors; they are boisterously youthful yet deftly sentimental…” (The New York Times). With “no patina, just authenticity” (Ear to the Ground Music), Parsonsfield embraces an honest and heartfelt accompaniment to the historic cinematic feature Nanook of the North, which explores a year in the life of an Inuit family on the subarctic eastern seashore of Canada’s Hudson Bay. Filmed from the inside out and employing filmmaking practices that include cinéma vérité, stagings, and simulations, the 1922 documentary cemented its place in cinematic history by sparking conversations of the potential of the medium, challenging the genre before it even existed.
FreshScores is a FreshGrass Festival program that commissions original film scores by contemporary artists. Past performances have included Grammy Award-winner Alison Brown: A Child of the Ghetto, Aoife O’Donovan: As It Is in Life, Stephane Wrembel: A Trip to the Moon, and Mamie Minch: The Flying House. In 2016, Parsonsfield took the Hunter Center stage mid-festival and entranced the gathered audience with its unexpectedly power-packed performance. Dozens of festival-goers noted it as their favorite performance in a weekend that delivers close to 100 staged musical moments across the museum campus.
Back in North Adams to turn their excerpt into a feature-length rendition, Parsonsfield premieres Nanook of the North on Saturday, January 28, at 8pm, in MASS MoCA’s Hunter Center. Join us before the show when Lickety Split, MASS MoCA’s café, serves up crisp salads, hearty soups, and lip-smacking pub fare. A full bar serves Bright Ideas Brewing beers and Berkshire Mountain Distillery spirits. Tickets are $12 for students, $18 advance, $24 day of, and $30 preferred. Tickets for all events are available through the MASS MoCA box office located on Marshall Street in North Adams, open 11am to 5pm every day except Tuesdays. Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 during box office hours or purchased online at massmoca.org.
This performance is sponsored by The Porches Inn at MASS MoCA, FreshGrass, and No Depression.
High-resolution images of MASS MoCA’s spring 2017 events are available through this link: bit.ly/MMWinterSpring2017.
About MASS MoCA
MASS MoCA is one of the world’s liveliest (and largest) centers for making, displaying, and enjoying today’s most important art, music, dance, theater, film, and video. MASS MoCA will nearly double its gallery space in spring 2017, with artist partnerships that include Laurie Anderson, the Louise Bourgeois Trust, Jenny Holzer, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, and James Turrell.
Gallery admission is $18 for adults, $16 for veterans and seniors, $12 for students, $8 for children 6 to 16, and free for children 5 and under through May 21, 2017. Members are admitted free year-round. The Hall Art Foundation’s Anselm Kiefer exhibition is open seasonally, spring–fall. For additional information, call 413.662.2111 x1 or visit massmoca.org.
11am to 5pm, closed Tuesdays