The Immersive Igloo
After the rousing success of his run at last year's Rochester Fringe Festival, musician Tom Montagliano returns to his old stomping grounds again with "The Immersive Igloo," an adventure in spatial sound. Montagliano positions multiple speakers around the cozy confines of his luminescent, inflatable igloo. The soundscapes that inundate the listener's ears are ethereal, but the movement of the sound among the various speakers make the experience all the more tangible, perhaps even cathartic. Restorative and meditative, this event is great for lovers of ambient music and planetarium star domes alike. (Wednesday, September 12, and Thursday, September 13, 9 p.m.; Friday, September 14, and Saturday, September 15, 9:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.; Sunday, September 16, through Thursday, September 20, 8:30 p.m.; Friday, September 21, and Saturday, September 22, 10:30 p.m. Spiegelgarden. $18. Appropriate for ages 13 and older.)
"This Year's Models"
If there's one name synonymous with the Rochester comedy scene, it's Woody Battaglia. The stand-up comedian, radio host, and podcaster has been a longtime host of multiple comedy open mics locally, and he's putting together an epic, 8-day run of stand-up showcases under the title "This Year's Models." Each performance will feature Battaglia hosting a different set of comics plying their trade. The lineups include such artists as Malcolm Whitfield, Kara Maillie, Chris Thompson, Andrea Springer, Saunt Yübear, Penny Sterling, and others. You won't find a clearer picture of the state of local comedy. (Thursday, September 13, through Sunday, September 16, and Wednesday, September 19, through Saturday, September 22, 7:30 p.m. School of the Arts: Club SOTA. $10. Appropriate for ages 18 and older.)
Eastman Percussion Ensemble: "Steve Reich's 'Drumming' "
Few living composers have done more for rhythmic innovation than Steve Reich. The 81-year old musician has influenced entire generations of composers with his intricate, interwoven textures, and the overlapping of rhythmic motives known as "phasing." With deceptively complex approaches to seemingly repetitive music, Reich — along with fellow composer Philip Glass — became a quintessential creator of what we now call Minimalism. Reich's works are not mere compositions, but singular and hypnotic events. Here, the Eastman Percussion Ensemble, led by Reich collaborator Russell Hartenberger, will perform an hour-long rendition of the composer's seminal 1971 work "Drumming," scored for voices, piccolos, and of course, percussion. This performance is not be missed by contemporary classical music fans, nor percussion aficionados. (Saturday, September, 22, 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Eastman School of Music: Sproull Atrium at Miller Center. $10. All ages.)
Though longtime Rochester musicians Kamara Robideau and Matt Battle now reside in Los Angeles, they're still making waves in the local scene. The lockstep rhythm section —perhaps best known for their work in Aminal and Oh Manitou — has teamed up with singer-songwriter Cammy Enaharo to form the trio Gold Koa. A sultry, glossy pop project that's also simmering with substance, the music features a top-notch production aesthetic and danceable grooves. This appearance at the festival will mark the band's first-ever live performance. (Friday, September 21, 8:10 p.m. Gibbs Street Main Stage, Free. Appropriate for all ages.)
The Velvet Noose
It's not hyperbolic to say that a show by The Velvet Noose is unlike anything you've experienced before. The performance art duo specializes in a distinctive stew of sound collage, poetry, and contemporary dance. It's a primal, pagan ritual, resurrected from a forgotten age for our modern times. Returning after an extended West Coast stint, Harold Taddy and Alyson Trombulak express the yearnings of the soul, but they aim right for the gut. In a festival that offers many performances with decidedly mainstream appeal, The Velvet Noose is unapologetically avant-garde. (Friday, September 21, 10 p.m. MuCCC. $3. Appropriate for ages 13 and older.)
The Rochester Fringe Festival is an ideal place to encounter multidisciplinary art that challenges you to see the creative world differently. With "The Painter," Rochester artist Corinne Fallone has made a visual art-dance hybrid that lets the audience in on her process. Fallone will live-paint a large-scale work spanning 25 feet in length while dancers directed by the artist articulate her perspective through movement. (Saturday, September 22, 5 p.m. School of the Arts: Allen Main Stage Theatre. $15. Appropriate for ages 13 and older.)
Concocted at the sound laboratory that is the Eastman School of Music, The Saplings' big band mashes up oddball indie songwriting with soul, jazz, funk, and pop. Come for the rousing horn section, stay for the gorgeous vocal harmonies. It's almost too much raw talent to take in one sitting. With youthful energy and charisma for days, The Saplings are about to become your new favorite band. (Saturday, September 22, 8:10 p.m. Gibbs Street Main Stage. Free. Appropriate for all ages.)