Electro-acoustic violist Martha Mooke doesn’t visit the Hamptons much. But on Friday, November 18, she made an exception.
That day, she traveled from her home in Nyack, New York to the East End for the “Hamptons Take 2 Documentary Film Festival.” Her reason for travelling so far to take in the festival: to see her Manhattan-based string quartet/quintet, Scorchio Quartet, featured in the film “Inside the Perfect Circle,” which was screened on Saturday night at Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor. Later that night, after watching the film, she found herself at the Stephen Talkhouse in Amagansett.
“I heard Klyph Black and his band playing, which was just amazing. Totally over the top,” Ms. Mooke, who will be joining Mr. Black and many other artists for the “On The Air @ Guild Hall” benefit concert on Friday, December 2, recalled during a telephone interview last week. “It hit me that I’d be playing at the same venue as these guys in just a couple weeks at Guild Hall, which was pretty crazy.”
“On The Air @ Guild Hall” will be a night of music in partnership with Crossroads Music in Amagansett and 88.3 WPPB FM. More than a dozen musicians—from jazz and classical groups to alternative and rock ’n’ roll bands—will take the stage, performing back to back for 3½ hours, according to Crossroads Music owner Michael Clark.
Grammy Award-winning recording engineer Cynthia Daniels will record and remix the performance, which she said she expects to air on her WPPB radio show, “Monk Music Radio,” by Christmas.
“This group of performers isn’t going to come together very often, if ever again,” Ms. Daniels said during a telephone interview last week. “I know it will be a great night for music. Hopefully, it will be a great night for Guild Hall and WPPB to benefit, literally, from the benefit.”
Two years ago, Crossroads Music was going to throw the same benefit for Guild Hall alone, Mr. Clark said, but a snowstorm that hit on the night of the performance derailed his plans. Unable to organize the concert in time for last year, he held off and brought WPPB on board, a move that he said was “a very natural joint venture.”
The concert is a mash-up of “On the Air At Crossroads,” a live monthly program hosted by Ms. Daniels, and “Crossroads Music Showcase,” which is regularly held at Guild Hall. Performers will include Scorchio Quartet, Daisy Jo-
pling, Mamalee Rose & Friends, Inda Eaton, The Third Estate, Rashid Lanie, BrainCake, Escola de Samba Boom and InCircles, to name a few. The house band will be comprised of the concert’s musical director Randolph Hudson III, Mick Hargreaves, Klyph Black, Tali “Icepack” Jackson, Joe Delia, James Benard and Anthony Liberatore.
“We tried to get a real different mix of music that would, frankly, put asses in seats,” Mr. Clark said. “That’s our whole goal here: to raise money for Guild Hall and WPPB. What’s going to do that? It’s not the same old thing that’s happening. We had to make it more exciting.”
Some of the bands will be introduced by local celebrity guests, including actor Mercedes Ruehl and film composer Carter Burwell, Mr. Clark said. Each singer will have 10 minutes to perform, except for Ms. Jopling and Ms. Mooke’s group, which will be given 20 minutes each because they’re coming in from Manhattan, he explained.
Scorchio Quartet will play three pieces—one called “Quantum” that Ms. Mooke originally composed with Mr. Hudson, a longtime friend, and then reworked for the quintet, and the other two, “Stash” and “The Divided Sky” by Trey Anastasio, who is the lead guitarist and vocalist from Phish.
“They’re epic,” Ms. Mooke said of the three songs. “Especially playing ‘Divided Sky,’ which is a classic Phish song. This version we might scale back a little bit. It’s easily 15 minutes long. Phish fans will know it.”
Though Ms. Mooke is known internationally for playing electric viola beside superstars such as David Bowie, Lou Reed and Barbra Streisand, among countless others, she will be playing an acoustic set with her group at Guild Hall.
“She’s a big-time performer,” Mr. Clark said of Ms. Mooke. “And guess what? You never know who’s going to show up. You really don’t. We live in that kind of town. Someone could show up with a guitar and say, ‘I’m playing.’ You never know.”
Mr. Clark said he’d like to turn the benefit concert into an annual event. While its success is dependent on the musicians’s availability, it rests even more heavily on the audience—more specifically, whether there is one.