Four women and I dared to drive the switchback roads of Harlemville on a super-frigid evening last week to the astonishing barn at Mettabee Farm, deep in the woods, to see our friend Isaiah Brackman perform with “Wilber Forest”, a multi-instrumental folk band of young musicians—Ezra Glatt, Jeremiah Cronin, and Jonathan Byron Woodin—trained at Hawthorne Valley School. Playing guitars, cello, bass, banjo, ukulele, and percussion, they delivered a set of heartfelt songs, mostly of their own composition, but opening—poignantly—with an a capella rendering of the Beatles’ supremely complex “Because” from the Abbey Road album. In case you didn’t know: With Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” as an inspiration, “both arpeggiate triads and seventh chords in C# minor in the baritone range of a keyboard instrument at a slow tempo, move through the submediant to flat II and approach vii dim 7/IV via a common tone”, and they nailed it. The Scottish balladeer Connor Lorkin O’Reilly opened with an intricate solo set of deft lyrics and dreamy rhythms, sweetly voiced.
Photos by Enid Futterman