Photos from All Together Now #8 at the Thalia Theatre with artists Oompa (rap), Dev Blaire (poetry and movement), Saraswathi Jones (post-colonial pop), Muhammad Seven and Amanda Graff (songwriting and acrobatics), Jacqueline Ortega (jewelry/armor design). Photos by Reid Simpson of Here and There Photography.
November 4, 2017
Meet Jacqueline Ortega
Jacqueline Ortega brings her work to All Together Now #8 on November 4, 2017 at Inner Sanctum.
Boston based jewelry designer, Jacqueline Ortega, specializes in one-of-a-kind pieces, custom designs and Heavy Metal Apparel. As a true believer in the freedom of self-expression, Ortega Jewelry Designs, founded in 2011, is inspired by the concept that jewelry is an extension of one’s personality. The Universe inspires Ortega’s work and for custom designs, she captures the person’s personality in the piece itself. You can find beaded jewelry, embellished chains and edgy body jewelry using gemstones, sterling silver, pearls, crystals, feathers, wire, various metals, fabrics, and salvaged materials in her collections. Ortega’s Heavy Metal Apparel line is inspired by medieval and modern fashion. It is conceptual body armor made from scales and chainmaille, creating a new era of strong, wearable jewelry pieces and expressive artistic fashion…A clash of the ages!
Meet Muhammad Seven & Amanda Graff
Muhammed Seven & Amanda Graff perform for All Together Now #8 on November 4, 2017 at Inner Sanctum.
“Dont’ Try This At Home” is an original performance from married-to-each-other artists Amanda Graff and Muhammad Seven (aka Nima Samimi). It weaves together Amanda’s fluid and emotive circus performances with M7’s blue-collar folk lyricism, into a piece about their 20 years as a couple (from age 20 to age 40). Frivolous games, true stories, songs of heartache and beautiful acts of the circus arts will carry you through the laughter and the tears of what it’s like to really know a person. We’re inviting you into our story. Join us. https://www.patreon.com/muhammadseven
Oompa performs for All Together Now #8 on November 4, 2017 at Inner Sanctum.
Oompa is a nationally-acclaimed, Boston-born, poet, rapper, and educator, who is forever representing the queer, black, orphaned, hood kids and them. Oompa is the winner of the 2017 Women of the World Poetry Slam, and a finalist at the 2017 National Poetry Slam. She has been featured in Huffington Post, Allston Pudding, Mass Apparel, and KillerBoomBox among others. Oompa’s debut album, Nov. 3, was named one of Dig Boston’s Top 30 Local Albums of 2016, one of Allston Pudding’s Favorite albums of 2016, and her sound has compared to that of Lauryn Hill, J.Cole, and Talib Kweli. Oompa has performed alongside acts such as Latrell James, STL Gold, and Tef Poe, and is currently working on her fall tour, The Black Hole Tour. Currently based in Boston, MA, Oompa is an organizer, mentor, and coach, as well as a member of media brand and collective Hipstory, and co-slam master of the House Slam.
Meet Saraswathi Jones
Saraswathi Jones performs for All Together Now #8 at Inner Sanctum on November 4, 2017.
Saraswathi Jones is a Boston musician and purveyor of postcolonial pop. Her work draws from the well of South Asian history, culture, and aesthetics and reflects on life in immigrant America. She released the solo EP Lingua Franca in 2013, and fronts Boston band Awaaz Do, who released their debut EP Kite Fight in 2016 and received an Iguana Music Fund grant in 2017 to record their next album. Ms. Jones helped found Hindie Rock Fest, a local music festival featuring South Asian American artists from a broad array of genres, and currently serves as board president of Girls Rock Campaign Boston, a feminist nonprofit empowering girls through musical performance and education. saraswathijones.com.
Q: What are your thoughts on collaboration between artists of different genres?
A: Cross-genre collaboration feels vital to me. The broader one’s palette of influences, the more depth and richness there is in one’s own work.
Q: How does art transform people or environments?
A: Seeing art in a museum (or hearing music in a music club) can be like seeing an animal in a zoo: interesting and even moving, but missing something vital. There is deeper truth and opportunity for engagement when creative work appears in spaces where people live, work and play. It feels more revolutionary, too.
Meet Dev Blair
Dev Blair performs for All Together Now #8 on November 4, 2017 at Inner Sanctum.
Dev Blair (she/her/hers or they/them/theirs) is a current 3rd year at Boston University. Raised in both Atlanta and Orlando, they work as an interdisciplinary artist, acting, singing, writing for stage and screen, occasionally model and write poetry, and additionally work as an activist. They are a co-founder of Boston University’s #PoorAtAPrivateUniversity low income student support group and use their work to encourage people to be better allies via expanding their awareness of oppressive systems and providing them with action and resources to engage with to in order actively help dismantle these systems.
Q: What drives you to create?
A: My continued desire to understand the magic of our world.
Q: What’s something that has emerged in your work recently?
A: More and more lately, I’ve been creating work that tells my own story. I think it’s important to use my art to speak to the truth of my experience.
Q: How do you think art transforms people or environments?
A: In many ways, we live in a culture of restraint – I think art creates space where people are allowed to feel the full range of the human experience.
Meet Reid Simpson
Photographer Reid Simpson took photos for:
All Together Now #8 on 11/4/2017 to be posted soon!
All Together Now #3 on 8/27/2016
All Together Now #2 on 6/25/2016
Q: What drew you to photography?
A: My dad took a lot of pictures with slide film, recording family activities. I followed the example as a teen, mainly for Boy Scout events, not unlike what I do at concerts these days. In college, I started expressing more “artsy” views with textures and light effects with a 35mm Olympus OM-2n and a 50mm f1.8 lens.
Q: What do you try to achieve with your photographs?
A: For concert and event shoots, I want to catch the passion and craft of the performers. Expressions, movement, fingers, eyes, flexed sinew, flying hair… whatever evokes a memory of the moment.
Q: What do you think people feel when a camera is pointed at them?
A: By avoiding intrusion on the artist/perceiver connection, I’m trying to avoid forcing the performers to react to the camera. At a previous ATN, I quizzed Jaypix Belmer about subject engagement; I learned that it’s as easy as making the person comfortable with a smile, with the camera down, before starting to shoot. I’m still working on that.
Q: What will you be thinking about going into this All Together Now performance?
A: I’ve shot informally at other ATN events (and hundreds of shows), so I’m comfortable with the general staged performance environment. Music and spoken activities are instinctive for me now, but I’m expecting to be challenged technically and artistically by Amanda Graff and Muhammad Seven. Stretching my skills, camera and personal, is a big reason why I’ve participated in the ATN!