Bits & Bytes: Dar Williams at Club Helsinki Hudson; ‘Deep AIR’ at Olana; Nadia Sirota at Williams; ‘The Hebrew Priestess;’ Berkshire School online course

The Berkshire School online course will explore the connections between math and music through video lectures and activities.

Club Helsinki Hudson to present Dar Williams

Hudson, N.Y. — New-folk singer-songwriter Dar Williams will help Club Helsinki Hudson celebrate its 20th anniversary with a concert on Saturday, February 27, at 9 p.m.

Since the mid-1990s, Williams has been a headliner on the new-folk festival scene, connecting with her fans via intimately observed songs on albums including “The Honesty Room,” “Mortal City,” and “End of the Summer.” In 2015 Williams released her ninth studio record, “Emerald,” featuring a typical mix of upbeat folk-pop songs; tender, personal ballads; and references to broader contemporary culture and what it means to be a songwriter.

In the past few years, Williams has involved herself in a wide range of projects including teaching a course titled at her alma mater Wesleyan University, working with children at summer camps, leading songwriting workshops, getting involved with the workings of her lower Hudson Valley community, and writing a book about the ways she’s seen towns prosper during her 20 years of touring.

For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or call the club at (518) 828-4800.


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‘Deep AIR’ interdisciplinary arts reading series at Olana

Seismosis39, credit Christopher Stackhouse
“Seismosis39” by Christopher Stackhouse.

Hudson, N.Y. – Olana State Historic Site’s second annual “Deep AIR” series will focus on the very broad theme of travel. First up in this four part series, Olana will present artists Christopher Stackhouse and Lori Anderson Moseman on Saturday, February 27, at 1 p.m. in the Wagon House Education Center. In their presentations Stackhouse will examine translations from word to image and Moseman will use visual poetry and QR codes to explore hieroglyphics.

Christopher Stackhouse is a writer, artist, curator, and teacher who situates his artistic practice and production within the conditions of contemporary American art and literature. Stackhouse’s published poems, essays, interviews, and reviews appear in dozens of literary journals and arts periodicals including Modern Painters, Art in America, and The Brooklyn Rail.

Lori Anderson Moseman has published dozens of poetry books, has Masters of Fine Arts degrees from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and doctorate in Writing, Teaching, and Criticism from University at Albany. She combines her academics with work as a forestry technician, a farm reporter, and an educator.

Tickets are $5 for Olana members and $10 for non-members. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact Olana’s Education Department at (818) 828-1872 x105 or


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Violist Nadia Sirota to perform at Williams College

Nadia Sirota. Photo: Samantha West.

Williamstown — Violist Nadia Sirota will give a recital and talk at Williams College on Thursday, February 25, at 5 p.m. in the Bernhard Music Center’s Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

Sirota’s solo recital will be interspersed with an interpretive and narrative talk on her collaborations with contemporary composers and the creation of her podcast “Meet the Composer.”

Sirota’s debut album “First Things First” was released in 2009 and named a record of the year by the New York Times. She released “Baroque,” her second album, in 2013. In addition to her solo work, Sirota is a member of yMusic, Alarm Will Sound, and the American Contemporary Music Ensemble, and has lent her sound to recording and concert projects by such artists as Grizzly Bear, Jónsi, and Arcade Fire. She received her undergraduate and master’s degrees from the Juilliard School, where she performed as co-founder of the AXIOM ensemble, initiated the Castleman/Amory/Huang studio’s New Music Project, and created the Juilliard Plays Juilliard program for student composers and performers. In the fall of 2007, Sirota joined the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music in its Masters Program in Contemporary Music Performance.

For building locations on the Williams campus, consult the online map or call the Office of Communications at (413) 597-4277.


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Jill Hammer to discuss ‘The Hebrew Priestess’

Jill Hammer
Rabbi Jill Hammer.

Pittsfield – Rimon Resource Center for Jewish Spirituality, Temple Anshe Amunim, and Congregation Beth Israel will present Rabbi Jill Hammer, who will discuss her new book “The Hebrew Priestess: Ancient and New Visions of Jewish Women’s Spiritual Leadership,” on Saturday, February 27, at 7 p.m. at Temple Anshe Amunim. The evening will begin with havdalah and will include Torah study.

Teacher, midrashist, poet and priestess Rabbi Hammer is Director of Spiritual Education for the Academy for Jewish Religion in Yonkers, N.Y., and the author of five books. Rabbi Hammer and Rabbi Taya Shere founded the Kohenet Hebrew Priestess Institute in 2005.

The talk is free and open to the public. Contact Temple Anshe Amunim for more information at (413) 442-5910.


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Berkshire School to offer public online music course

Sheffield — Berkshire School will offer its first massive open online course (MOOC) during the school’s Pro Vita week Monday, February 29 – Friday, March 4). Berkshire’s STEAM program director Dr. Lauren Riva and 2004 Berklee College of Music graduate Ben Riva will present “Mathematical Exploration of Music and Sound.”

The course will explore the connections between math and music through video lectures and activities. Participants will learn about acoustics and music theory through a mathematical lens, exploring scales, the Fourier series, beats, rhythm, and harmonics. The course will culminate with participants building their own instruments and playing a short but recognizable tune.

The course requires a one- to two-hour daily commitment and is open to all. Those interested in taking the course may register online through Wednesday, February 24.