The writer Greil Marcus has referred in recent years to the "old, weird America" that is summoned in the traditional music of the Appalachian Mountains, especially as catalogued in Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music. The folk tradition has the capacity to bypass some of the constraints of modernity and postmodernity and to give us access to cultures and ways of seeing the world that are alien to the way we live now.
The Wingdale Community Singers is a group of musicians who all wear many hats. David Grubbs, in addition to being a prolific solo artist, teaches music at Brooklyn College. Nina Katchadourian is a highly regarded conceptual artist and a curator at the Drawing Center in New York City. Rick Moody is a novelist, essayist, and short story writer, and Hannah Marcus records in a great variety of idioms as a solo artist. The group investigate older folk music forms, looking for ways to borrow from these forms and to adapt them to the tempos and themes of urban life. The presentation will consist of some original songs, some traditional folk songs, and opportunities for discussion on folk music and songwriting.
David Grubbs has released nine full-length solo albums and appeared on more than 100 commercially-released recordings. In 2000, his album The Spectrum Between was named Album of the Year in the London Sunday Times. Grubbs is Assistant Professor of Radio and Sound Art in the Conservatory of Music at Brooklyn College, CUNY. He has been called one of two "Best Teachers for an Indie-Rocker to Admire" in the Village Voice and "le plus Francais des Américains" in Libération.
Nina Katchadourian has had a longstanding musical practice, but she is actually a visual artist by profession, working in a wide variety of media including including photography, sculpture, video and sound. She is represented by Sara Meltzer gallery in New York and Catharine Clark gallery in San Francisco. Her work has been exhibited domestically and internationally at places such as PS1/MoMA, the Serpentine Gallery, Artists Space, SculptureCenter, the Turku Art Museum, and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. In June 2006 the Tang Museum in Saratoga Springs exhibited a 10-year survey of her work and published an accompanying monograph entitled "All Forms of Attraction." Katchadourian also works part time as a curator at The Drawing Center in New York.
Hannah Marcus is a songwriter and composer. Her last project, Desert Farmers, was recorded in Montreal with members of the legendary art-rock ensembles Godspeed You Black Emperor and A Silver Mount Zion Memorial Orchestra, and landed in top ten lists in Time Out New York and on NPR. Her previous release, Black Hole Heaven, was called the most "beguiling, lovely and confounding" CD of the year in All Music Guide. She has composed for film, including the music for Refrigerator Mothers, a documentary on the mothers of autistic children, and is currently collaborating with filmmaker Laura Hanna on a set of songs based on lectures by the physicist Richard Feynman. She spent her early years as an accompanist for dance companies, including Joe Goode, Margaret Jenkins and Merce Cunningham.
Rick Moody is the author of four novels, including The Ice Storm and The Diviners, three collections of stories, and a memoir, The Black Veil. His work has appeared in The Guardian, The New York Times, Esquire, The Atlantic, Harper's, and many other publications. As a musician, his releases include Rick Moody and One Ring Zero, The Wingdale Community Singers, and the upcoming second album from the band, Spirit Duplicator. He is at work on a new novel.