Meet Saraswathi Jones

Saraswathi

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.

Artist Q&A:

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.

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Meet Dev Blair

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.

Artist Q&A

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

Artist Q&A

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!

Meet Jon Beckley

Photographer Jon Beckley took photos for:

All Together Now #7 on 9/30/2017
All Together Now #5 on 5/27/2017

Artist Q&A:

Q: What do you try to achieve with your photographs?

A: I try to capture the emotion and feel of a performance which can be really hard as it needs to be single moment that not only shows the feeling of the performance, but ideally it’s also a good photograph which could stand on its’ own just for anyone looking at it.

Q: What’s the hardest part of shooting a live event?

A: Getting to know the performers and having everything click for that perfect moment. I try to line up my compositions and then watch them for a little bit, even in the space of a song you can get an idea of what they’ll do during the chorus or another major moment. But this also can change a lot during the course of a set and things can come back quickly so knowing when to shoot becomes almost a reflex.

Q: What’s your earliest memory with a camera?

A: It’s not actually with a physical camera, I started on this path via 3D modeling and animation when I was 12 and through those programs I had to control the camera position, settings, and lighting for the scene so it actually gave me a lot of skills that I’d later use in my photography. It wasn’t until I was 19 that I got my first camera and started experimenting with it.

Q: What drew you to photography?

A: Initially it was to create texture maps for my 3D work, but I quickly found that I could capture a scene almost instantly with the camera VS spending large amounts of time building it from scratch. Soon after I brought it to a Dresden Dolls show and I was hooked, concert photography is what really propelled me early on. I also had the benefit of being in art school at the time so I was able to dive in head first into it and had the help of some great professors.

 

Meet Jaypix

Photographer Jaypix Belmer took photos for All Together Now on 4/29/2017.

Artist Quotes:

“I try to achieve something true and worth questioning in photography – this allows transition and builds self confidence – feeling is believing.”

“Having connections with people through photography allows me to acknowledge and express Visual Soul. Showing how authentic individuals are in their moment and entirety is how I pursue the image.”

Artist Q&A:

Q: Do you put yourself in a particular head space to shoot an event?
A: When at an event I go with the flow and energy of the room. Whatever the circumstance stance is, I adapt to it.

Q: What do you think people feel when a camera is pointed at them?
A: I think people feel noticed. But it depends on who’s pointing the camera.

Q: What’s the hardest part of shooting a live event?
A: Squeezing and finessing through the crowd at a packed event when you’re not on stage and you want a center shot.

Q: What kind of images from a live event are you the most proud of?
A: All of them. I’m proud to meet & acknowledge the people that I photograph.

Meet Field Day

Field Day

Field Day performs on All Together Now #7 on September 30, 2017 at the Midway Cafe.

Field Day has become an unlikely upstart on the Boston club scene, playing rock music with scrappy hooks, dreamy harmonies, and irrepressible spirit. The band formed proverbially, in a basement, and unexpectedly, when its members were well into middle age. The chemistry is potent with songwriters Joan Anderman and Dan Zedek, bassist Phil Magnifico, and drummer Jefferson Riordan.
Joan Anderman was a neophyte, having left her longtime post as rock critic at The Boston Globe and set out to become a songwriter. Her former Globe colleague Dan Zedek, veteran of numerous college bands, was sitting on a stash of songs written in his head while riding the train to work. Original drummer John Kehe offered his gear-filled basement for weekend song circles, and it was clear these songs and these songwriters belonged together. Hear them at www.fielddaymusic.com.

Artist Q&A

Q: What’s one thing you’ve learned over time?
A: Conviction is everything: even when circumstances or one’s own shortcomings feel daunting, you have find a way to connect.

Q: What do you hope audience members experience or take away from this show?
A: It’s such a joy for us to play, and we hope that people at our shows take away some of that spirit.

 

Meet Amy Cook and The Grownup Noise

The Grownup Noise & Amy Cook

Dancer Amy Cook and Musician Paul Hansen perform for All Together Now #7 on September 30, 2017 at the Midway Cafe.

Dancer, actor, and Boston Native Amy Cook has a long involvement with artistic collaborations, including her work with the Grownup Noise. Through the Williams College Dance Company and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts Theatre Program, she was cast in the second longest running outdoor drama in the US, Unto These Hills. This work fused Cherokee traditions with contemporary dance in a re-telling of the Trail of Tears, in collaboration with local Cherokee people.
Starting at the age of 3, Amy has studied and performed ballet, jazz, tap, modern, contemporary and African dance, including working directly with Séan Curran, Artistic Director of Séan Curran Company in New York, and Billy Siegenfeld, founder of the Jump Rhythm® Jazz Project in Chicago.  In 2012, Amy got involved with the Jeannette Neill Dance Studio (JNDS) in Boston, MA and performed in over ten Repertory Concerts. Over the past five years, Amy has also performed in the annual collaborative showcases 12 Dancers Dancing…A Christmas in Cambridge and Dance for World Community Festival. Most recently, Amy has worked with Luminarium Dance Company.

Since releasing their self-titled debut in 2007, Boston’s The Grownup Noise have evolved into a rousing and innovative pop-music outfit, bridging the gap between Americana music and Indie Rock. With a genuine respect for every style of music, this band and its songwriter, Paul Hansen, are song obsessed. They celebrated their first official SXSW showcase in 2012 and their music has been featured on MTV, NPR, documentary films, and other TV shows, including 90210. People often ask about the meaning of the name. The Grownup Noise is something to rebel against, like fear, complacency, the closing of your heart, the stress of bills etc.

http://www.thegrownupnoise.com

Artist Quotes:

“I believe the more exposure we have to art, the more authentic our reactions to it become. The visceral, shared experiences artists create provide us with an opportunity to look inward…’Why am I crying?’ ‘Why was that so shocking to me?’ Something shifts inside us. We no longer want to judge the experience, we want to try an understand it.”
-Amy Cook

“I am excited to be part of the All Together Now family for many reasons, but perhaps most is my feeling that the arts inherently open a person’s mind. Far more than say, direct dialogue or preaching. I’ve seen it happen up close in my own life. If someone engages in art or music, absorbs it and thinks about it, it will have a positive, progressive, enlightened impact on all of their thinking.”
-Paul Hansen