Brian Marsella's iMAGiNARiUM comes to Masonic Hall

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BENNINGTON — Local musician Brian DeAngelo is passionate about bringing music to the Bennington Community, including this Saturday's performance of Brian Marsella's "iMAGiNARiUM: The Clocks Have Gone Mad," at Masonic Hall.

DeAngelo and Marsella share more than a first name, however, bonding through music at New York City's New School. Since then, Marsella has gone on to perform with high caliber musicians including James Taylor, Santana, and Yo Yo Ma.

"We connected through the music, and we would team up quite often to play around New York," said DeAngelo. "Whenever I would play with Brian it felt like I'd have a heart attack because it was so intense; he would really push me. That's how I knew there was something special about him, and I appreciated that connection."

While the two musicians took separate paths after their heyday at the New School, they have managed to remain close over the years. For DeAngelo, bringing a musician like Marsella to Bennington is part of a larger mission to infuse the shires community with unique music.

"I'm lucky to have these connections and friends, and I'm fortunate enough to bring people like this to our community," said DeAngelo. "For such a high caliber musician I'm able to keep the price relatively inexpensive. It's a steal."

The show will kick off at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 23, at Masonic Hall, with tickets available for $10 at the door ($5 for students, and $20 for families.) The performance, exploring quantum ideas of time and space, incorporates elements of jazz, classical, and ambient world music.

"I've always been very interested in quantum ideas, ideas of time and space," said Marsella. "There was the idea going around several years ago that 2012 was going to be the end, this was supposedly told in the Mayan calendar, so I wondered what that actually meant."

To explore these abstract concepts, Marsella chose a unique viewpoint.

"I took that idea and came up with a story where instead of me being a person, I was a clock. This clock was aware that in 2012 there was going to be no more time," said Marsella. "I would become obsolete. How would I deal with that? A lot of these songs relate to that in different ways."

Like the subject matter, DeAngelo hopes that Marsella's musical style will also provide a unique experience for the audience.

"The music is going to be probably unlike anything you've heard; it's unique and brand new," said DeAngelo. "He blends both contemporary and traditional jazz, with elements of classical music thrown in. There's some worldly colors as well."

Through untraditional subject and style, Marsella explores deeper themes of growth and utility.

"I've also been very influenced by the work of the mystic George Gurjdieff, which is about self-growth and becoming more aware and conscious," said Marsella. "He deals a lot with the mechanical nature of man."

That mechanical nature is made even more poignant in Marsella's allegory of a soon to be obsolete object, personified.

"I wanted to tell a story where this clock became aware that he had the power to get beyond the mechanical point," said Marsella. "He could transform and become relevant even in a world where time didn't exist."

Those themes give the audience members an opportunity to look more closely at themselves, according to DeAngelo.

"As a composer and musician, a community lover, and someone who cares about humanity, this is an experience for you to realize something about life through the arts," said DeAngelo. "That's the beauty of art; it's your experience and your perspective, something unique that can tap into something about you."

Reach Cherise Madigan at 802-490-6471.

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