The Christine Fréchard Gallery in Squirrel Hill -- and its lively French namesake -- recently posted signs advertising "learn Spanish through dance" and "learn German through music." Proprietor of Europ'ART in Lawrenceville until 2002, Fréchard recently opened the pristine Forbes Avenue gallery displaying abstract work, and attempts to combine art with music and linguistics, offering language lessons with a unique artistic component.
To that end, she has Guinean dancer/drummer Kadiatou Conté teaching French through African rhythms; French hornist David Lintz instructing in German via Teutonic composers; and Venezuelan José Layo Puentes playing el cuatro (a Latin American mini-guitar with four nylon strings) while imparting Spanish. "The artists who give the classes are great musicians," Fréchard says.
Another African musician, Yamoussa Camara (who played with pop star Mory Kanté) started a Tuesday class for African drumming. She's also hosting small-scale performances in the gallery; at 8 p.m. Sat., Nov. 7, Camara presents Pittsburgh-based world-fusion group Soma Mestizo. For info on the gallery and classes, contact Fréchard at 724-766-0104 or email@example.com.
Corey Layman, bassist for Pittsburgh indie-rockers Karl Hendricks Trio, has embarked on writing a song per week for a year, and posting the results on a music blog called Project 52. The project, at www.developermusic.com/blog, was inspired by his newfound ability to do multi-tracking and electronic music using iPhone apps like DopplerPad, Reaper and Multitrack. But his main impetus was "that I wanted to have something to show for writing a whole bunch of music over the years that's never been recorded."
So far, Layman, also of Developer and Hovland, is up to Week 9, and the results fit mostly into the lo-fi indie genre, with nods to Guided By Voices and Eric's Trip. The blog has a following among local musicians and nationally among music-tech geeks using similar apps. Layman has conversed with the people who wrote the recording software and offered ideas for updates.
Just prior to embarking on a string of out-of-town dates next week, the Karl Hendricks Trio unleash the loud guitars at 9 p.m. Thu., Nov. 5, at Howlers Coyote Café in Bloomfield, with the Kyle Sowashes and Alexei Plotnicov. For more information, call 412-682-0320.