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Program for Conspiracy of Venus

Friday, November 4, 2022 at 8 pm

download a copy of this program here.

Conspiracy of Venus

Joyce Todd McBride, Director

Program

PJ Harvey
A Place Called Home

PJ Harvey
Kamikaze

Joyce Todd McBride, poem by Bertolt Brecht
The Buddha’s Parable of the Burning House

Chris Cornell
Black Hole Sun

Björk
Hunter

Björk
Possibly Maybe

Joni Mitchell
Black Crow

Joni Mitchell
Case of You

David Bowie
Life on Mars

Iris DeMent
Sweet is the Melody

Leonard Cohen
Suzanne

Leonard Cohen
A Thousand Kisses Deep

About the musicians

Conspiracy of Venus is a San Francisco-based vocal ensemble established in 2007. We have performed all over the Bay Area and in New York City. CoV (yes, that is our short name, for the last 16 years!) has gained a reputation for its varied and exciting repertoire, featuring arrangements by director/performer Joyce Todd McBride. Described as a “luxuriant mesh of plush and intricate harmony” and “intoxicating” (San Jose Mercury News), the group has charted unusual territory for a (mostly) a cappella ensemble, singing inventive and complex arrangements of songs by Tom Waits, Joni Mitchell, Stevie Wonder, and many others, as well as original works by McBride. A 2016 album, Muse Ecology, recorded at the legendary Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, along with tours to New York City in 2016 and 2018 and performances at almost all the Bay Area’s finest venues (and on the street!) are some of the highlights of the group’s history.

For this performance, Conspiracy of Venus will be premiering new work created during the pandemic, including arrangements of music by PJ Harvey and Iris DeMent, plus selections from our “back catalog.” Conspiracy of Venus last performed in public at Old First Concerts in February 2020, and the singers are very happy to be returning to one of their favorite venues for their first concert since the pandemic began.

Ensemble member Amy Shelf shared some reflections as we prepared for this concert in recent weeks, referencing our annual retreat at the American River: “I found myself thinking about what I want to share with the audience. Yes, the music and the performance, of course, but also the feeling—the feeling we have of singing together, how good it feels in the body to make music and to make music with others, the profound power of listening, and bringing even just a touch of how amazing it felt to be by the river, singing Suzanne.”

Conspiracy of Venus

Valerie Fachman, Jamie Friedman, Natalie Hopner, Paula-Jo Husack, Kathleen Kniesel, Sylvia Kratins, Cathy Matgen, Joyce Todd McBride, Bridget O’Keefe, Dawn Olson, Amy Shelf, Deborah Steinberg, Asta Venclovaite, Jessie Woletz

Acknowledgements

Adam Simpson, (graphic design) Lolly Lewis, Dashon Burton, Clay Smith, Conspiracy of Beards, Old First Concerts, all the singers of CoV past and present, and our wonderful community of supporters/audience members. We could not do it without you!

Old First Concerts has volunteer opportunities available!

Our concerts rely on the generosity of volunteers to assist with simple tasks like:

ushering

distributing programs

box office

set-up and clean-up

Scheduling is flexible — you choose when to work! We especially need helping hands for our Friday and Saturday night performances.

An excellent opportunity for students, seniors, or anyone who possesses a love for music!

If you’d like to consider volunteering with Old First Concerts, please contact curtishuth@oldfirstconcerts.org for more information.

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