Jun 23, 2009

Church Chat

It's been a while since I plugged the rather extraordinary Greenpoint Reformed Church, where I play and lead a choir most Sunday morns. But this past weekend merits a special mention: We had as our guest the remarkable countertenor (Reginald) M Lamar, who performed the offertory, sitting at the piano and stretching one remarkable chorus of "Sometimes I feel like a motherless child" over a timeless few minutes in his inimitable, powerful yet intimate soprano, striking a few notes that were beyond blue. It was awe-inspiring, as was his postlude, a gospel song I didn't recognize which memorably joined lynching and crucifixion imagery. I don't think I'll ever look at our church's modest cross the same way again.

Chatting with Reginald after the service, I told him I'd seen him in Justin Bond's Lustre at PS 122 (reviewed the show, actually), and he told me about his next effort: a limited run at Long Island City's Chocolate Factory of his solo show The Black Death, billed as a song cycle "exploring the bonds of pornography, colonialism, and capitalism," tracing "landscapes of longing caused by extreme dehumanization." It's at 8 p.m., July 16-18, offered as part of the Ferocious Spectacular series at the Chocolate Factory. As no less a personage than Diamanda Galas has said of Lamar: “This bitch can sing."

Amen to that.

(More about Lamar, resident of nearby Bushwick, here.)

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