If you love art showings, book readings, and live music, then Bar Matchless was the place for you on Sunday, April 1st!
The artistic menagerie came courtesy of Readin’ N Rhythm, a new concert series that blends music, literature, and art into one eclectic experience.
Readin’ N Rhythm was founded by Greenpoint artists Becky and Dave Fine-Firesheets. “My husband and I formed the series a little over a year ago with the idea of supporting local artists and encouraging collaboration across mediums,” Becky stated. “We’re both musicians and writers so it seemed very natural for us, yet we were surprised to find how separated all of these artists are.”
Readin’ N Rhythm bridges this gap by combining the best of each medium. “Corporations will try to delineate artists and keep them segmented […] but why can’t great literature and music be in the same place? It’s all good stuff,” said Dave, explaining the theory behind RnR.
RnR’s audience was as diverse as the entertainment, representing people of all ages and interests. Art connoisseurs in the audience viewed oil paintings created by local painter Galen Pittman. Music lovers tuned into the house band, The Brooklyn Players Reading Society, Greenpoint rock singer Billy Gray, and Brooklyn band Berth Control. Humor fans laughed at the comedy of autoharpist Cory McAbee. And bibliophiles enjoyed readings by poet P.K. Harmon and novelist Barbara Froman.
More importantly, people who originally came for the music have stayed for the readings—or vice versa—thus discovering a new world of expression. Attendees had perhaps never seen an act which combines the autoharp and comedy (Corby McAbee), or music that integrates readings from text (The Brooklyn Players Reading Society).
The event had none of the dry passivity that characterizes book readings, nor did it have the dull monotony of some concerts. In addition to the excitement of mingling media, the event served as a book drive for the local volunteer organization ReadThis. Event-goers could donate their unwanted children’s books to the group, which supports needy schools.
“We’ve hosted three shows since [we started] and have been really happy with the performers and the turnout,” Becky said. “We held the last RnR at Pete’s Candy Store—we really love the neighborhood!” The success has inspired the couple to plan future shows at Matchless in the following months!
As Sunday’s event proved, RnR successfully breaks down the boundaries between artists. It doesn’t matter whether they’re holding a pen, paintbrush, or guitar—all artists have the same goal: sharing their creativity with others.
As RnR state on their website, “We’re essentially all doing the same thing, trying to express ourselves […] Even though we’re doing this in separate languages, the motivations and experiences end up being quite similar.”
Readin’ N Rhythm is sponsored by The Literary Review and Serving House Books.