When you make unique music on dozens of obscure, nearly ancient instruments, new ways to package old-school sounds can be hard to find. For Música Antigua de Albuquerque, particularly founding members Art and Colleen Sheinberg, the newest inspiration came in the form of a game-night staple. In 1978, the Sheinbergs and four friends formed the group. Those four friends are different now, but they still play 15th-century European music on about 40 medieval instruments. Even musically inclined folks may be baffled by the list of instruments: cornemuse, crumhorn, gemshorn, ranket, sackbut—you get the picture.
"Trivial Pursuits" is Música Antigua's answer to folks who know nothing about medieval trivia—or perhaps people who are experts and want to rub elbows with other smarties. The songs are grouped into the original categories from the trivia game: Geography, Entertainment, History, Arts & Literature, Science & Nature, and Sports & Leisure. Each selection begins with a question, and the answers are within the music.
So, why don't we see many ranket quartets anymore? "They've fallen out of popularity because they're difficult to play," Art says of the instruments, adding that many have become obsolete along with technological advances. "They have more limits than modern-day instruments. … They're more quirky." For example, the crumhorn: "It's a capped double-reed instrument, like an oboe or bassoon, but … the reed is inside the instrument, so you don't have the control that you do with the exposed double reed. The sound quality is very buzzy and it has a limited range, and no dynamic control." So, yeah—easy to understand why a musician would take an oboe over a crumhorn. Thankfully, though, there are folks like Música Antigua to keep the latter alive, and to teach us what kind of wood is used in wattle-and-daub housing, too. (Charlotte Jusinski)
Música Antigua de Albuquerque: Trivial Pursuits
4:30 pm Sunday Sept. 24. $10-$20.
Christ Lutheran Church,
1701 Arroyo Chamiso,
Yeah, yeah, we get it—they don’t make albums like they used to. But for those willing to look (or, y’know, be of a certain age, though that sometimes happens even unwillingly), fantastic examples of music, along with exciting, enticing cover art, abound. Enter the Renesan Institute and lecturer Bruce Johnson, who dissects and discusses album art from 1930s jazz this Thursday at St. John’s United Methodist Church. Johnson aims to examine the parallels and differences between East and West Coast jazz records and ways of life, delving into the importance the art had on selling records, the music itself and the concept of media one could actually hold in their hands. Not just for jazz fans, Johnson’s talk ought to prove enlightening for all. (Alex De Vore)
Visualizing Jazz: The Art on the Cover and the Music Inside:
1 pm Thursday Sept. 21. $10.
St John's Methodist Church,
1200 Old Pecos Trail,
Steampunk is the wonderfully inventive intersection of Victorian-era accouterments and art with timeless tech (think steam-powered dirigibles) tailor-made for fans of things like Renaissance fairs, live-action role-playing (LARPing) and goggles—lots and lots of goggles. And top hats. Enter Steampunk Spectacular 6, a glorious day that celebrates the art, creativity and style of steampunk. This year’s theme is
Wizard of Oz
, which we know sounds kinda weird, but we’re betting it’ll be fun. Yes, you can bring your kids and yes, there are prizes, food options and, awesomely enough, a later-on vaudeville cabaret show for older folk only. (ADV)
While you’re pacing about, impatiently awaiting the 27th annual Wine & Chile Fiesta, might we recommend a little tasting/cinematic outing to tease your palate? If amenable, get thee to this Sunday’s Santa Fe Wine & Chile Film Fiesta at Violet Crown Cinema, a combination curated wine and food reception and choice to screen either 2008’s
(Alan Rickman’s in that one) or 2009’s
(it’s about French vintners in the 19th century who search for the perfect vintage). Both are must-sees for oenophiles and, frankly, if you can think of a better way to kill time while waiting for next week’s big event, we’re all ears. (ADV)
Santa Fe Wine & Chile Film Fiesta:
5 pm Sunday Sept. 24. $30.
Violet Crown Cinema,
1606 Alcaldesa St.,