Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) March 18, 2008
Emotionally compelling, multi-faceted entertainments like Cirque Du Soleil and Blue Man Group have created a worldwide desire for greater and more fascinating musical spectacles, but nothing in the past prepares audiences for the intense magic, beauty and kinetic energy they feel the first time they open their senses to the global phenomenon known as MASS.
Imagine engaging your eyes and ears not only in an otherworldly, multi-sensory blend of sculpture, music, dance and visual arts but also having the sensation of literally being inside an instrument that reaches from a piano-sized chamber onstage to the back of the theatre, the top of a high rise building or across a canyon!
That far-reaching approach is the concept behind MASS' latest recording Planet String, the ensemble's third after Golden Sun and Nexus and their first in over three years. Offering a culmination of recent tours, Planet String -- which was produced by MASS Founder and Artistic Director Bill Close and recorded live at Studio Blue Studios in Culver City, CA -- keeps the energy and integrity of the live show intact and features on disc, for the first time, MASS' wide array of original instruments.
Along with dancer musician Andrea Brook, Close himself plays the harps, percussion and the Aquatar, a three necked axe featuring bass, guitar and sitar; Cameron Morgan also plays Aquatar in addition to cutting edge conventional guitars. Rich Sherwood keeps things moving with his dynamic drum work. The symphonic sounds are enhanced by virtuoso violinist, Anna Stafford.
Making its debut on the Planet String recording project as well as the upcoming Planet String show is Close's latest innovation, the Violin Jacket--a coat that is covered with eight electric violin components for a fascinating synthesis of fashionable costuming and musical instrument. The Planet String Show, set to debut this spring, is the latest incarnation of the MASS stage show, whose other presentations are MASS Elements and Critical MASS. MASS Elements is a classical oriented program that focuses on the instruments themselves, while Critical MASS is a rock stage show based on physics, i.e. the place where physical matter is transformed into energy.
The most famous of MASS' fascinating creations is the Earth Harp, a large scale, architectural stringed instrument that can be set up in a multitude of environments, directly incorporating the surrounding architecture. The size and sounds of the Earth Harp have captivated audiences both indoors at U.S. locales like The Kennedy Center and the L.A. Natural History Museum and outdoors at venues like the Space Needle in Seattle or the Prudential Building in Boston, where the strings extended 700 feet from the plaza to the top of the building. The Earth Harp holds the record for the Longest Stringed Instrument in the world with strings that have run over 1,000 feet in length.
In 2007, MASS expanded its influence to Asia, transfixing audiences in Hong Kong (where they did a month residency and "strung" a new terminal at the Hong Kong Airport), The Phillippines and Vietnam, where they "strung a temple" -- a colloquial way of expressing the notion of creating large scale musical installations. Among their 70 other performances last year was MASS' first ever appearance at one of Europe's most famous historic sites, the Colosseum in Rome.