Happy Valley Guitar Orchestra CD Release Concert

Saturday, May 21, 8pm- 9:30pm
The Shea Theater, 71 Avenue A
7 pm pre-show mingle with the orchestra in the Shea’s lobby bar.
Tickets: $15 general and $12 students/kids. At the door from 6:30 pm or in advance at Brown Paper Tickets
REPUBLICAN article by George Lenker 5/5/16.

The Northampton Center for the Arts is thrilled to present composer, performer, and guitar innovator Peter Blanchette directing the critically acclaimed Happy Valley Guitar Orchestra (HVGO) in its debut at the Shea and in celebration of its long-awaited second CD. “Unknown Album” features recent repertoire from Beethoven’s iconic 7th Symphony Allegretto movement, popular mid-west rockers Wilco, minimalist composer Philip Glass, South American composer Gustavo Santoalalla, and a new piece from Leo Kottke.

Blanchette on HVGO’s new CD: “I named it Unknown Album because this is music that’s never been heard before. Beethoven’s 7th certainly wasn’t conceived for electric guitars. 16th century French dances didn’t have back-beats, and Wilco’s One Wing wasn’t originally arranged with as counterpoint as a Beethoven Symphony. HVGO’s process — where I arrange music for all these guitars and the musicians lend their particular guitar sound to the piece — is always an exploration of great music. It’s a search for sounds unknown to the music as it was, and repertoire previously unknown to the guitar. And, what unifies our style, our sound, is the joy we have experience translating these masterpieces to the language of the guitar.”

HVGO is an avant-garde music ensemble, founded by Peter Blanchette in 2009 and comprised of more than a 15-20 acoustic and electric guitarists from widely varied traditions. HVGO is a resident company of the Northampton Center for the Arts, and is supported by the D’Addario Foundation, Massachusetts Cultural Council, and the Frank Lucchesi Trust.

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