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items tagged with Lars Rehnberg

Finding an Easy Oddity: Ragaman, “And Other Anagrams”
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2012-03-22 12:31:30

Ragaman

My first listens to And Other Anagrams, the full-length debut of the Quad Cities trio Ragaman, brought to mind something Andrew Bird said to me in a 2007 interview: “I don’t know what a bass line is supposed to do.” The context was finding collaborators who didn’t play “stock footage,” who fight pop formulas in the creation of pop music.

Bird and Ragaman share an endearing softness and a natural aversion to subjugating intelligence, and both seem constitutionally incapable of conventional approaches, from instrumentation to style to structure. Ragaman employs the sitar as the lead on “Everyone You Know,” for example, and it’s the perfect essential detail: Taking the traditional rock role of the electric guitar, the instrument is comfortable yet foreign, and its chattiness anchors the song. The break of “Ankle Bells” features what sound like kazoos and trumpets – although I suspect some of that is mouth-mimicry.

Singer/songwriter/guitarist Lars Rehnberg, bassist/engineer Gordon Pickering, and percussionist Leif Rehnberg make up Ragaman – an anagram of “anagram,” a joke referenced in the album’s title. Their style is a pop stew with distinct flavors – jazz, funk, and world music intermingle and take turns dominating. But it’s unified enough by its ambition, its breezy texture, and the vocals and playing of Lars Rehnberg – a former co-worker at the River Cities’ Reader.


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This Is the Planet of Sound: RME Program Gives Aspiring Producers Hands-on Experience
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2009-09-09 20:35:10

Instructor Lars Rehnberg at The Sound Lab

As students sit around computers, microphones, and mixing tables, they ignore the technology and listen intently to Newton's laws of motion, learn an equation to find the frequency of a room, and see what a wavelength looks like. In audio engineering 101, on the second floor of the River Music Experience (RME) on the last Saturday in August, half a dozen beginners are being taught the fundamentals of acoustics.

Jesse Topping, 17, is one of these students. He grew up in a musical household; his mom played the cello since she was little, and Jesse plays piano, bass, and guitar. He has a computer recording program but is taking this class to better understand how to use it.

"I love the expression, the limitless possibilities of what you can do with sound as art," Topping said.

The class is a part of The Sound Lab, now in its fourth semester. The program offers three courses for aspiring music producers as well as for musicians who want to learn more about the recording industry.


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Get Off the Horse and Pick Up a Shovel: Jay Berkow Finds the Reality in Circa ’21’s "Oklahoma!"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2007-05-30 08:33:30

Jay Berkow As the director of music theatre performance at Western Michigan University, Jay Berkow is well aware of the historical significance of Oklahoma!, which he is currently directing for the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse.

"It is kind of the grandfather, or the progenitor, of the contemporary musical-theatre piece," Berkow says, referencing the work's fame as one of the first "book musicals" in American theatre, wherein songs are fully integrated into the drama, and the lyrics and score are as essential to character understanding as dialogue.


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