Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Unexpected Concerts with the Warhol

The museum’s “Sound Series” creates a setting for intriguing, intimate performances.

Photo by Sean Carroll

A few times each month, the Andy Warhol Museum transforms into a concert space, as carefully curated musicians are invited to perform in their inhouse theater or silver-lined entrance space. These shows make up the bulk of the Warhol’s Sound Series, which is designed to give independent music a larger platform.

The series began in 2004, taking inspiration from Warhol’s work with The Velvet Underground. It grew out of the museum’s long-running Good Fridays series, which continues to experiment with different themes and forms, including movie screenings, poetry events and music.

Performances for March include a wide range of artists. The duo Turning Jewels into Water will perform at The Warhol on March 16, bringing a fusion of dance-friendly improv; percussionist Ravish Momin is a Carnegie Mellon alum. On March 23, “A Night of Deep Listening” will take place at one of the series’ satellite locations, the Carnegie Music Hall of Oakland; the show will feature Joe McPhee, Claire Chase and Peter Evans, all heavyweights of experimental jazz.

Ben Harrison, Curator of Performing Arts at the Andy Warhol Museum, says the series was also inspired by similarly intimate projects, like NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts.

“The volume of artists that play [Tiny Desk Concerts] is super impressive, the way they produce that, the way the artists are presented,” he says. “It’s so low production but so well executed ... There’s no smoke and mirrors to hide behind.”

Harrison is the main organizer of the Sound Series, and one of its founders. He says the Sound Series is specifically branded for independent artists that intersect genres. Indie rock is a staple, but elements of folk pop, world music and experimental jazz are also essential.

“I think it's important to have a platform for that kind of music. A lot of folks wouldn’t necessarily play in Pittsburgh [otherwise],” says Harrison.

Outside of The Warhol’s walls, the Sound Series also occupies territory in Oakland via the Carnegie Lecture Hall and Carnegie Music Hall. These venues are reserved for artists that require a bigger stage: Julien Baker, the Magnetic Fields and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds have appeared in recent years.

The concept reflects the idea of a mobile art piece and shows that the series can live outside the museum. Moving to Oakland also aids the Warhol in marketing to college students, who Harrison says make up 40 percent of the Sound Series audience.

The Sound Series has seen slow and steady growth since its start, now presenting around 20 performances a year. On occasion, the Series will welcome back former artists and continue to foster that relationship. Jazz cabaret performer Nellie McKay has performed at The Andy Warhol Museum on multiple occasions.

Looking towards summer, soul and blues singer Valerie June will be at Carnegie Lecture Hall on May 2. Belle and Sebastian return to the Sound Series July 18 for a performance at Carnegie Music Hall; the Warhol gave the band their local debut in 2013.

As far as future performances go, Harrison is always looking at Warhol’s old circle — The Psychedelic Furs, Blondie — but knows that would have to be a unique situation.

“They’re always on my radar.”


Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit Module Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

For Three Days, Sesame Street Will be in Pittsburgh

Kids can join Big Bird, Elmo and more Muppets as Sesame Workshop plans three days of events during a stop in Pittsburgh in June.

Penguins’ Lament: ‘To an Extent We Beat Ourselves’

The answer to a self-inflicted postseason sweep must begin with getting the players and their coach back on the same page regarding what’s required for survival in the playoffs.

Picklesburgh to Double in Size for Its Fifth Year

Nation’s top speciality food festival to spill out onto Ft. Duquesne Boulevard.

A Look at The Latest Restaurant Openings in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh says hello to Alta Via, Leo. A Public House, a new Milk Shake Factory location and more.

Is Your Pittsburgh Street on This Year's Road Repaving List?

The City of Pittsburgh has announced its street paving plan for 2019. You’re one click away from finding out if your street or route to work is on the list.

Downtown Pittsburgh Remains a Classic Rock Haven

PM intern Amanda Myers recounts the radio-rock adventures that life as a Downtown student has made possible.

The 400-Word Review: Master Z: Ip Man Legacy

The latest chapter in the Hong Kong martial-arts franchise gets a Pittsburgh release.

The 400-Word Review: The Curse of La Llorona

The latest chapter in the Conjuring franchise concerns a sinister spirit from folklore.

Details Shine in Metallic Hip-Hop Wedding

A graffiti-decorated cake, a sequined jacket for the groom and a violinist playing hip-hop covers wowed guests at this Strip District wedding.

New Restaurants Coming to Smallman Galley and Federal Galley

Look for New Mexican cuisine, customizable chicken and more as half of the Pittsburgh Galley Group concepts change in the next few months.

Design Goes to the Dogs with BARKitecture

Featuring innovative indoor animal shelters designed by local architects and artists going up for auction, the event at PerLora raises money for Animal Friends.

The 400-Word Review: Hellboy

The cult comic character gets a reboot in this R-rated action flick.

5 Best Spots to Hang Out with Your Dog

For those who can’t stand the idea of leaving their dogs home alone on a beautiful day, these dog-friendly stores, restaurants and bars in the Pittsburgh area welcome humans and canines alike.

The 400-Word Review: The Silence

Netflix's new horror film has a plot unfortunately similar to a giant hit. Can it succeed in spite of that bit of bad luck?

Popular Fried Chicken and Beer Hall Landing in Pittsburgh

The Cincinnati-based restaurant has signed a lease for a 6,000-square-foot space Downtown.