(NORTH ADAMS, Mass.) – Pioneer Valley-based indie-folk group Parsonsfield returns to MASS MoCA in North Adams on Saturday, January 28, at 8pm, to play their original live score to the iconic Richard Flaherty documentary “Nanook of the North.”
Parsonsfield is a western Massachusetts homegrown band that is rising in international acclaim. During their six years together, the five musicians have developed an ear for elegantly exciting entanglements of jazz, bluegrass, and folk. “They harmonize; they play saws, mandolins, and pump organs; they back their songs with crickets and squeaking screen doors; they are boisterously youthful yet deftly sentimental,” says the New York Times.
The film “Nanook of the North” explores a year in the life of an Inuit family on the subarctic eastern seashore of Canada’s Hudson Bay. Filmed from the inside out and employing filmmaking practices that include cinéma vérité, stagings, and simulations, the 1922 documentary cemented its place in cinematic history by sparking conversations about the potential of the medium, challenging the genre of documentary before it even existed. The event promises to be an innovative fusion of one hundred years of film and music history.
This event is part of FreshScores, a FreshGrass Festival program that commissions original film scores by contemporary artists. Past performances have included Grammy Award-winner Alison Brown: A Child of the Ghetto; Aoife O’Donovan: As It Is in Life; Stephane Wrembel: A Trip to the Moon; and Mamie Minch: The Flying House.
In 2016, Parsonsfield took the Hunter Center stage mid-festival and entranced the gathered audience with its unexpectedly power-packed performance. Dozens of FreshGrass festivalgoers noted it as their favorite performance in a weekend that delivers close to 100 staged musical moments across the museum campus.
Lickety Split, MASS MoCA’s café, serves up crisp salads, hearty soups, and pub fare. A full bar serves Bright Ideas Brewing beers and Berkshire Mountain Distillery spirits. Tickets are $12 for students, $18 advance, $24 day of, and $30 preferred. Tickets for all events are available through the MASS MoCA box office located on Marshall Street in North Adams, open 11am to 5pm every day except Tuesdays. Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 during box office hours or purchased online at MASS MoCA.