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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Western Gallery held its final concert of the quarter

Watercolor Sunshine performing for the first time at Western Gallery's last concert of the year on Wednesday, May 26. // Photo by Samantha Barber
Watercolor Sunshine performing for the first time at Western Gallery’s last concert of the year on Wednesday, May 25. // Photo by Samantha Barber

Melodic notes bounced against walls clad with student-art pieces at  the Western Gallery’s final concert of the year.

Artwork of musical, tangible and photographical mediums engulfed a crowd of roughly 50 spectators attending the gallery, featuring local bands Momo Grace, Watercolor Sunshine and singer-songwriter Maddy Smith.

Singer-songwriter Maddy Smith, junior, opened the show with melodious tunes, which echoed throughout. Smith finds inspiration for her music from a slew of relatable entities, saying she tries to capture not only her aspirations but those around her as well.

“I think about my life and my experiences and if I’m going through something difficult I’ll write about that. Or if someone else around me is thinking about something, whether it’s good or bad, I’m always putting myself in other people’s shoes.”

“Just the experience of growing up and being 20 is really awkward to me,” Smith said. “There’s so many things that change and you don’t know what your future is going to be like so that’s kind of a running theme throughout my music.”

Zach Kutkey, a recent graduate of Western and guitarist of Momo Grace, performed several covers and sang a few of his own material. Though the rest of the band could not attend the concert, Kutkey’s unfinished and semi improvised ballad of a boxer named Billy left attendees giggling, both at its genuity and rawness.

Momo Grace is named after lead singer Monica Parshotam, her middle name Grace. Kutkey said about Monica, “I was in acapella with her and got the word that she wanted a guitar player and I said ‘Alright, I’ll do it.”

Momo Grace underwent a quick process in becoming unified. Kutkey said the conversation went something like, “‘Zach, you want to be in a band?’ [and I said] ‘Yeah!’ and then the next day I’m in the studio.”

“The acoustics in there were amazing,” Kutkey said about the art gallery. “Automatically autotuned; you could sing the wrong note but it sounds like the right one.”

Final performers, Watercolor Sunshine, an all-freshman band, ended the concert in what was also their first performance. Lead singer Brennan Adams gets his lyrical inspiration from a different approach, channeling not his own life but that of fiction.

“I write short stories sometimes, and then I basically write songs from the perspectives of the characters.” “It always just felt really weird to me to try to write from my own experiences because that’s never really seemed interesting.”

Band member Colin Murphy said, “You hear a lot of people writing music based on their own music and their own sadness and stuff, like that has its value, but if you want to tell a story show something special.”

Caitlin Cohen, sophomore, was an attendee at the concert. “I’ve been to all three of the shows that have been here so far and they all are just so different each time, it’s like a new experience,” Cohen said.

Cohen is good friends with the students who were in charge of the independently-run concert series. Of the inspiration behind hosting the shows in the art gallery, Cohen said, “They told me they really like the idea of having both the music community and the art students together in one space, so you can experience two different forms of art by looking, seeing and hearing. They just kind of like that collaborative effort.”

“It was all really cool to see a variety of music and just have this community form together and be able to walk around and look at the art as well,” Cohen said.

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