From the Inner Hebrides to the Outer Cape
The Outer Cape and the Isle of Skye off the northwest coast of Scotland are separated by three thousand miles of mostly open ocean. For Truro artist Amy Ford, however, they are much closer together than that.
“The two locations feel so similar, both physically and spiritually,” says Ford in a statement accompanying her current exhibition at the Truro Public Library (7 Standish Way). “The rugged, windswept terrain has utterly and completely captured me. And so have the wonderful people I have met along the way.”
The show includes works that Ford made during the nine weeks that she spent in Scotland last fall, as well as ones she completed over the fall and winter in Truro and Provincetown when she returned home. Some, like Full Moon and Madame X, Seated, feature figurative elements that almost disappear into fields of riotously colored abstraction. In others, like Four Seasons in a Day and Know Your Route, Ford uses the same abstraction to capture likenesses of her subjects in portrait bust-shaped mixed-media pieces.
“This exhibit celebrates these two glorious places,” says Ford, “and gratefully honors new friends.”
There will be an artist reception at the library on Saturday, May 13 at 3 p.m., and the exhibition is on view through May 31. See trurolibrary.org for information. —John D’Addario
Ensemble Amphion Baroque at Wellfleet Preservation Hall
Ensemble Amphion Baroque specializes in chamber music of the Baroque period and recreates the spirit of the 400-year-old style by playing period instruments and employing historically informed musical techniques. They will perform at Wellfleet Preservation Hall (335 Main St.) on Saturday, May 13, at 5 p.m. The program will include music from Italy, England, Germany, and France in a chronological journey through the 17th and 18th centuries.
The ensemble includes Frances Fitch on harpsichord; Allen Hamrick on baroque bassoon and recorder; Jesse Lepkoff on baroque flute and recorder; and Owen Watkins on baroque oboe and recorder. Watkins is also an instrument maker and will play an oboe he made that is a copy of an 18th-century instrument.
Lepkoff says Baroque music is “music of the heart,” as opposed to the “more cerebral” Renaissance music that came before it. “Baroque music deals with real emotions like gaiety, melancholy, and regret,” he says. “It’s also music that reflects the beauty of nature.”
Tickets are $30. See wellfleetpreservationhall.org for information. —Dorothea Samaha
Hanneke Cassel Brings ‘Infinite Brightness’ to the Cape
The songs on fiddler Hanneke Cassel’s new album, Infinite Brightness, combine traditional Scottish music with Americana grooves — and were all written by Cassel herself. She will perform at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod (307 Old Main St., South Yarmouth) on Saturday, May 13, at 7:30 p.m.
Cassel grew up in Oregon and began playing classical violin when she was eight years old. She became interested in Texas-style fiddling a few years later. “Then that morphed into Scottish fiddle music,” she says. “And that’s what I still do now.” She moved to Boston, where she currently lives, to attend Berklee College of Music in 1996.
The songs on the album, which was released last month, were written over the past five years and feature musical collaborations with other artists, including cellist Tristan Clarridge; five-string fiddler Jenna Moynihan; and guitarists Keith Murphy and Yann Falquet. The album’s title is from Thomas à Kempis’s late medieval devotional book The Imitation of Christ: “Peace will come on a day which is known to the Lord, and then there shall be no day or night as at present but perpetual light, infinite brightness, lasting peace, and safe repose.”
“The line references the end of life, and what happens,” says Cassel. “With how much we all have lost in the past three years, that phrase stood out to me.” The first track on the album, “Evacuation Day,” was written at the start of the pandemic and expresses the drama of March 2020. Other songs on the album came about through a system in which people could commission work from Cassel if they donated to Many Hopes, an organization that advocates for and supports children in crisis around the world. There are also songs dedicated to Cassel’s friends who have died.
Cassel will be joined by musicians Keith Murphy and George Jackson at the Cultural Center concert, which will include both selections from Infinite Brightness and some of Cassel’s older work. Tickets are $25 at cultural-center.org. —Eve Samaha
Shawn Colvin at Town Hall
Among the more interesting highlights of Shawn Colvin’s career are guest appearances on The Simpsons (she voiced widower Ned Flanders’s love interest in two episodes of the animated series in 2000-2001). But she’s best known for her signature brand of deeply felt and beautifully expressed music that combines American folk traditions with country, blues, gospel, and rock and roll.
The three-time Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter will perform at Provincetown Town Hall (260 Commercial St.) on Saturday, May 13, 7 p.m., as part of the Payomet Road Show series.
Colvin’s debut album, Steady On, won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk album in 1990 and was rereleased in a special acoustic version on its 30th anniversary. Another two Grammys were awarded for her 1998 single “Sunny Came Home,” which won both Song and Record of the Year. More recently, Colvin released two albums of live recordings made during pandemic lockdowns (including a collection of covers of her favorite songs from movies) and The Starlighter, a musical adaptation of a children’s book published in 1965 containing illustrations from Maurice Sendak and Alec Wilder. All of the albums are available for streaming via Colvin’s Bandcamp website.
Tickets are $38 to $60, with discounts for Payomet members. See payomet.org for information.