Cleek Shrey and Company at Garth Newel part 2


In the first part of this short series Cleek Shrey told Allegheny Mountain Radio about the musicians coming with him to Garth Newel on this Friday, the fourth of November. Nick Garris makes his noise with his feet, and for anyone unfamiliar with percussive dance, Cleek explained.

“Percussive dance is just a very general term to refer to any dancing that makes sound. And so tap dancing would be a percussive dance form, Irish Step dancing would be a percussive dance form, clogging. The type of dancing that Nick does is very much related to clogging and Irish Dancing.


“In general, what he does is dancing to fiddle tunes. And so we’re going to be playing a mixture of American Old time fiddle tunes, Irish and Scottish, and also some French Canadian music, which are all related repetoires. And the fiddle tunes all have a lot in common, and so do the dance styles.”

**In addition to dancer Nick Garris, Cleek Shrey described his accompanying cellist Natalie Hass, and guitarist and singer, Jan Falquet.

“I actually made music with this exact group this summer. We, we all taught at a camp in Indiana, and I just love the sound and the groove and the feeling between us.”

** This performance, for all of its roots in traditional music, is likely to have some modern aspects to it as well.   Brooklyn, New York, which is Cleek’s current home is a welcoming, creative place for a wide range of artists. That community, and some advanced studies contribute to his parallel passion, which is experimental, improvisational music.

Through those experiences he’s met even more musicians with a similar passion.

“Free improvisers, indie rock musicians. For the last two years, I went to Weslyean University and did a Masters in experimental music. I would say, sort of my other home is in a kind of, um, musical experimentation. “


**Another strong component of Weslyean’s music program, in addition to the composition that Cleek studied was a new word for me.

“Ethnomusicology is the anthropology of music. So, ethnomusicologists do spend time looking at the music of a culture, but they’re equally interested in the social fabric, the political reality, and the kind of what makes up the culture and community that create a given type of music.”


For more information about this one-of-a-kind concert on Friday night, Cleek Shrey and Company, musicians and a dancer who are also scholars, please call Garth Newel Music Center at 540-839-5018, or visit Garth





Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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