Though I have passed by it many times on my walk to work, I had yet to enter The Old Church over on Clay St. until tonight. And I saw a very lovely concert there. The building itself is unlike anything I've ever seen and something called Carpenter Gothic. It looks like a medium sized gothic church but instead of being made of stone or brick, it is all wooden. On the inside, there's a huge organ, and nary a crucifix in sight.
Gladly instead, I got to see two great acts. First off, Ah Holly Fam'ly played and I am not sure how to describe them. Very soft and intense and old tymey-tymesy. It's like the indie rockers decided to completely give up being loud and staccato and resolved to make the most lush and pretty music they could manage. The newspaper calls it "avant folk." Okay. Laura Gibson came on second, backed by the Portland Cello Project, her band, and a choir of 14 people made up of local musicians including Sarah Dougher and Nick Jaina. It was very dramatic when the show started and the choir entered in a candlelight procession. The occasion for the evening was the release of Gibson's new record Beast of Seasons. Her music sure is pretty. She sometimes sounds like she is about to cry when she's singing and puts together very quiet and textured arrangements around that vibe. Tonight's performance was one of those it-will-only-happen-this-once sorts of things and I am very grateful that my friends told me about it. And I'm glad she held it in that cool church. Oh, and she even included a pot luck in the fellowship hall before the show.
Laura Gibson - Spirited