Local artists Sam Castner, sculptor, and Jo-Hannah Reynolds, singer/songwriter, bring “Birds and Song: A Collaboration of Metal & Music” to the stage of the Smith Opera House for Geneva Night Out.
The joint concert and sculpture exhibition features new works by Reynolds inspired by Finger Lakes birds performed by her on piano and vocals, with Geoffrey Smith, bass, Phil Lake, drums, and Bill Tiberio, saxophone. Reynolds and Castner have worked together over the past two summers to bring her combo's live music to the Anthony Road Wine Co.'s "Third Thursday" concerts to the winery in Torrey.
The new collaboration for "Birds and Song" was born partly of their friendship since childhood, partly from their creative spirits and love of nature in the Finger Lakes, and partly by a happy accident. Castner was at the Smith to quote on repairs to a fire escape in March, and was struck by the space on stage. He thought, “What a venue for a show!” and the idea took shape in the three minutes it took to reach the manager’s office.
Castner has crafted Finger Lakes Birds in his métier of metal sculpture, and will also show the delicate paper models he begins with. He is also presenting elements of his new major commission for a massive entry gate at Fox Run Vineyards on Seneca Lake, destined to become a landmark equal to that of his tree and raptor sculpted for Red Tail Ridge Winery nearby. There will be 12 major pieces on display, from a few inches to over 16 feet tall. He will also have his smaller works, such as his shadow-casting candle sculptures, available for sale.
In an unplanned, “serendipitous connection,” Reynolds has written 12 new musical pieces, all inspired by birds, their songs, forms, and flight; some metaphorical and some literal with instruments following each other like birds taking wing. Reynolds says she is as inspired by visual art as much as Castner is inspired by music in his studio. Whenever able, she visits the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, and one piece, called “Broken Tree,” came directly from Castner’s work. Reynolds’ CDs will be available for purchase at the concert.
Castner has also donated one of his heron sculptures for “Lights, Camera, Auction!” Nov. 7. This art auction fundraiser for the Smith includes paintings, sculpture, photography and fine furniture. Details available at www.thesmith.org/event-calendar/lights-camera-auction/