Painted Bride launches record label with ‘Skins & Songs’

Philip Hamilton's "Voices" is one half of the "Skins & Songs" collaborative ensemble. Credit:
Philip Hamilton’s Voices is one half of the “Skins & Songs” collaborative ensemble.
Credit: Painted Bride Art Center

Last year, the Painted Bride premiered “Skins & Songs,” a collaboration between Philly’s Spoken Hand Percussion Orchestra and New York-based a cappella group Philip Hamilton’s Voices. The unique evening of music was a multi-cultural fusion marrying percussion traditions with a vast array of vocal techniques. The collaboration was 10 months in the making, but the logistics of the 24-piece ensemble made additional performances a complex and daunting proposition.

But for those who missed it, “Skins & Songs” is now available as a CD, launching the Painted Bride’s new record label, Live @ the Bride. The label and its inaugural release will be the focus of a celebration Saturday night at the Bride, which will include a brief performance by the ensemble as well as food, drink, and opportunities to meet the artists.

“The idea for the label was to get the work that we do here at the Painted Bride out further into the world,” says Laurel Raczka, the Bride’s executive director. “It’s directly connected to our mission, which is about promoting and supporting the work of artists.” The current plan is to release one CD a year, including new recordings and performances from the arts center’s archive spanning 25 years of concerts.

Spoken Hand consists of four distinct percussion batteries: North Indian tabla, Brazilian samba, West African djembe and Afro-Cuban batá. Voices, in the meantime, runs the gamut of vocal styles from Tuvan throat singing to hip-hop, doo-wop to choral music, Portuguese fado to Balinese monkey chanting.

That range of influences may be unusual, but Spoken Hand co-founder (and Bride music curator) Lenny Seidman points out that the link between percussion and drumming is one of the most basic elements of music. And personally, he’s always been attracted to vocal music since childhood, when he would listen to his father sing cantorial music. “The most emotionally moving music for me historically has been choral music,” he says. “Beethoven’s Masses and Ode to Joy, Bach’s oratorios, Mahler’s Symphony of a Thousand, Okinawan folk music and my father’s synagogue choir. That music always resonated with me more than anything else.”

“Skins & Songs” began life when Seidman and Hamilton met while both were touring with Philly hip-hop dance choreographer Rennie Harris’ show “Facing Mekka” in 2003. “Philip and I were on the same wavelength with a lot of things,” Seidman says. “Aesthetics, looking at music with a similar component of spirituality. The tour lasted three and a half years, and we often talked about his dreams for Voices and mine for Spoken Hand. We fantasized that a collaboration would be a cool thing to do.”

Live @ the Bride launch party
Oct. 26, 7 p.m.
Painted Bride Art Center
230 Vine St.
$30-$50, 215-925-9914
www.paintedbride.org



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Man dies trapped in elevator shaft at Bronx…

A man in his twenties died after being trapped in an elevator shaft of a Bronx building early Monday, police said.

International

Sierra Leone Ebola patient, recovered from family, dies…

An Ebola patient whose family sparked a nationwide hunt when they forcefully removed her from a treatment center and took her to a traditional healer has died.

Local

VIDEO: Cop reassigned as NYPD investigates alleged head…

An officer alleged to have stomped on a Brooklyn man's head last week had his gun taken away and placed on modified duty.

National

New York Times calls for legalization of pot

The New York Times editorial board on Saturday endorsed a repeal of the federal ban on marijuana, becoming the largest paper in the nation to back the idea.

Music

Newport Folk Festival: Photo gallery of 35 moments…

As has been the tradition since Bob Dylan plugged in a bajillion years ago, the Newport Folk Festival embraces more musical genres than its name implies.

Music

MKTO: Behind the bromance

MKTO's Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller talk about the American Dream tour, Demi Lovato and getting turned down by girls.

Arts

James Earl Jones and Rose Byrne head to…

Two-time Tony winner James Earl Jones returns to the New York stage next month as an eccentric grandfather in a revival of the 1930s comedy…

Movies

Box office: Scarlett Johansson wins battle of brains…

Scarlett Johansson's "Lucy" handily dispatched with Dwayne Johnson's "Hercules" over the weekend.

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

MLB

Yankees GM Brian Cashman breaks down art of…

The action frequently accelerates as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, as it will on Thursday.

Auto racing

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Wellbeing

This Week In Health: Friends share similar DNA,…

Friends share similar DNA, study finds Location: U.S. Study subjects: Nearly 2,000 people Results: When it comes to our social networks, it seems that birds of…

Education

Are liberal arts colleges turning away from the…

Bryn Mawr College, a small women's college located just outside of Philadelphia, announced last week that it would be making standardized tests like the SAT…

Education

Recent grads discover school superintendent plagiarized parts of…

  Two recent high school graduates made a surprising discovery about the commencement speech their school superintendent delivered at their graduation: portions of it was copied…

Career

Feeling stuck? Get out of the entry-level job…

Television and movies may be littered with 20-something characters who seem directionless when it comes to their careers, but author Mary Traina says she finds…