Azariah: Whom Jehovah Helps

 

Azariah: Whom Jehovah Helps

March 4, 2006 2:00 PM - 2:00 AM

Shape Note Singing Gets "Revival" At Old Songs Art Center Jesse Pearlman Karlsberg, a graduate student in the Arts Department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, will present his thesis show "Azariah: Whom Jehovah Helps", a participatory shape note singing program on March 4th at 2:00 PM at Old Songs Community Art Center, 37 South Main Street, Voorheesville, NY (Directions: www.oldsongs.org/37southmain.html). For more information, call 518-276-4829. Part storytelling circle and part shape note singing, "Azariah: Whom Jehovah Helps" is a spirited journey through 19th-century rural New York. On March 4 at the Old Songs Community Art Center in Voorheesville, NY, the tale of Azariah will be told through participatory singing. Participants will learn to read shape note music as the story unfolds, using a tunebook created for this event. Set in the "burnt-over district" in late 1844 (so-called because there was no more "fuel left to burn," meaning "people left to convert"), the story follows a young man named Azariah, a member of the Millerite sect, that believed Jesus would return to earth by October 22, 1844. After the prophecy failed, during the "Great Disappointment" that followed, Azariah begins to have visions in which he encounters mysterious prophets, who speak to him through song. We receive the Azariah story as a collection of texts and songs written in the shape note style popular in New York State in the early 1800s; presently experiencing a revival in the Northeast. Named for its unique notation system, where notes have different shapes depending on their place in the musical scale, shape note music is full-volume, full-throated, enthusiastic singing. "Azariah: Whom Jehovah Helps" harnesses the traditional form of a shape note singing as a vehicle for storytelling that is both vigorous and provocative. Jesse Pearlman Karlsberg is a sound artist and shape note singer whose work explores the intersections of personal narrative, communication networks, and history as embedded in place. His work encompasses installation, music for live performance, tunebooks, web design, audio tours, and works for radio. His current work investigates the history and practice of American shape note music and the social and religious movements of nineteenth-century upstate New York. jpk.silversand.org/ and shapenote.silversand.org/ "Azariah: Whom Jehovah Helps" is free of charge and open to the public. No singing experience is necessary, and listeners are welcome. Tunebooks will be provided. Please join us after the singing for a potluck supper from 5:00-7:00 PM (bring dishes that can be served cold, please), and for the monthly Albany Area Sacred Harp Singing from 7:30-10:00 at the Cavalry United Methodist Church in Latham, NY. www.fasola.org/
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