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Arts and Entertainment

Classical Pick of the Week: Farmlab's "Amaze," a Jazz Opera

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What happens when you take a jazz influenced visual artist and team him up with a group that transforms unoccupied storefronts and spaces into temporary art galleries and give them a large empty, ground-floor lobby of a former bank building in Beverly Hills? You get another amazing experience under the umbrella of Farmlab, which is a think tank, art production studio, and cultural performance venue doing multi-disciplinary investigations of land use issues that are related to sustainability, livability, and health. These are the people who brought Not A Cornfield to Los Angeles.

Phantom Galleries transforms unoccupied storefronts and spaces into temporary art galleries and has been working with George Herms and Farmlab since July on the Beverly Hills bank space to create the piece called "AMAZE":

This experimental labyrinth is a zone of play, flexibility, and collaboration located in the heart of a renowned commerce district where passers-by are offered constant opportunities to consume, but far fewer to build and make. Utilizing a palette of salvaged materials (steel rods, telephone wire, kimonos, etc.), and inspired by the assemblage work and recycling ethos of George Herms – himself a recent Farmlab artist-in-residence – Farmlab team members have since mid-July been working to transform the large, ground-floor lobby area of this former bank building.

Next Saturday's jazz opera workshop is "Act One, Scene One: A Sculptor's Studio," a salute to john Coltrane. A spiral staircase will be elevated, and a large spherical buoy played. Jazz musicians joining Herms are Theo Saunders (piano), Adar Lawrence (tenor sax), Henry "The Skipper" Franklin (bass), Ramon Banda (drums), David Dalston (trombone). Bill Gray will be making the staircase levitate.
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August 25, 2007 @ 10 p.m.
269 N. Beverly Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(more info on the performance here)

Photo of Farmlab, but not this project, by momo the monster via Flickr