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Get ready for an emotionally powerful, artistic voyage awash with warm harmonies, intricate
rhythms and spellbinding vocal improvisation. On June 14th the 1794 Meetinghouse presents
THE SEPIA SEA, a duo with GUY MENDILOW and AUBREY JOHNSON in a special intimate
performance. The concert will take place at 7:30PM at the 1794 MEETINGHOUSE located at 26
SOUTH MAIN ST., in NEW SALEM, MA. Tickets are just $15. Children 12 and under are admitted
free of charge. and available at
In a concert that crackles with rich musical storytelling Israeli composer Guy Mendilow (twice
voted Boston’s Best World Music Act – Boston Phoenix) and vocalist Aubrey Johnson (voice
faculty, Berklee College of Music) re-imagine centuries-old Sephardi songs, starting in ancient
Spain and winding through Sarajevo, Salonica and Jerusalem. Epic tales of sailors and love lost to
the seas, fantastic dreams and the intrigue of kings and queens come to life in vivid arrangements
that shift from quiet and haunting to fast-paced and refreshingly spontaneous. It’s a recasting that
takes the music out of the realm of art songs and back to its roots as songs of the streets and of
fiestas; a music alive with adventure and humor and grit.
“It's a folk music of hope and affirmation, sophisticated in its delivery
but easily accessible to listeners anywhere.” —Chicago Tribune
When the Sephardi Jews were expelled from Spain in 1492, they eventually settled in
communities from Northern Africa and the Middle East to the Mediterranean and the Balkans. In
each adopted home, their language, food, customs and songs retained their identity and also began
soaking in local flavors of the new cultures. Musically, this resulted in a rich, deep and fascinating
blending of rhythms, modes, melodies and, of course, legends.
On June 14th, Guy Mendilow and Aubrey Johnson break away from their award-winning sextet,
the Guy Mendilow Ensemble, to offer a special duo presentation geared especially for the
intimacy of the 1794 Meetinghouse. The goal of this project is to bring new audiences to this old
music, regardless of listeners’ backgrounds. "These songs and stories sweep you away in their
power, whatever your own heritage” Mendilow says. “Time has already vetted this music. Only
the best songs and tales endure for hundreds of years."
"There’s an even greater responsibility when we work with music that is so old and rich," he adds.
"We must be careful to remain true to the tradition, preserve the song’s essential identity, even as
we use a modern musical tool box to bring these songs to life in a way that will capture the
imaginations and hearts of listeners today."
Don’t miss this opportunity to experience this world-class music on June 14th at the 1794
Tickets to the 1794 Meetinghouse performances are available in advance from the Meetinghouse's
secure web site at or at the door the day of the show. Doors open 30
minutes before showtime.
Advance tickets to all shows can also be purchased at Bruce's Browser, 1497 Main Street in Athol,
MA; and at New Salem General Store, 410 Daniel Shays Hwy. (Rt. 202) New Salem, MA. Tickets
are not available by phone, but for more information call (978) 544-5200 or visit
Click here for high res photos, brief concert descriptions and ready-to-go materials.
This concert is Sponsored by Athol Savings Bank.
WJDF 97.3 FM is the official 2012 Season Sponsor of 1794 Meetinghouse