On Friday night, a group of musicians shared their art in a less than traditional way.
Between sips of beer, the audience at The Next Door at the Acoustic Coffee House were immersed in a night of scary but true stories in a show called “The Dada Witch Project,” which was performed by a local group of musicians called Dada Cabaret.
The Dada Cabaret is made up of four musicians, Alan Stevens (tenor), Heather Killmeyer (oboe), Andrew Ford (piano and narrator) and Stephanie Frye (tuba). Stevens, Killmeyer and Frye are all professors in the ETSU Department of Music.
Dada was a movement that began as sort of an anti-art in the early 20th century in reaction to the horrors of World War I. Artists began to take traditional art forms and express themselves in way that was new and experimental.
The space filled up half an hour before the show began and the music students that were handing out programs before the show had to search for stray chairs to accommodate extra audience members.
The show saw a crowd of over 80 people, and at least 10 spent the entire show standing in the back or sitting on tables.
The audience knew they were in for a treat when a chuckle rose from the crowd not a minute into the concert while the keyboardist cracked a smile while playing Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D minor,” the eerie organ music used in old scary movies.
This Halloween-themed show showcased a variety of music from classic orchestral pieces to a song from “A Nightmare Before Christmas” and “My Tennessee Mountain Home” by Dolly Parton.
The narrative of the show, written by keyboardist and narrator Andrew Ford, was extensively researched and based entirely on true stories around the tumultuous history of the Bamberg and North American Rayon Corporation facilities in Carter County.
According to Frye, Dada Cabaret is her creative outlet to really express herself without any structure. Though the Dada Witch Project was rather tame, most of the time, it’s pretty off-the-wall.
“Usually the shows are a lot more absurd and not suitable for audiences under 18,” laughed Frye.
For information on future shows, the group can be found under “Dada Cabaret” on Facebook.