June 14, 2021

PEM historic house performance series begins with album premiere by Damon & Naomi

by joeyphoenix

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From The Peabody Essex Museum

Free event with suggested donation of $20 to PEM’s annual fund | Register HERE

The Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) announces a new performance series from the museum’s historic house collection called PEM Presents. It kicks off Wednesday, June 23, with a free, virtual concert in historic Plummer Hall. Organized by GenPEM and hosted by Trevor Smith, Associate Director – Multisensory Experience and Curator of the Present Tense, this premiere features dream pop / indie folk duo, Damon & Naomi, with songs from their new album, A Sky Record. 

Damon Krukowski and Naomi Yang started playing music together as the rhythm section, co-songwriters, and occasional singers in Galaxie 500. When that band ended, they continued as a duo, first recording for Shimmy Disc and then on a series of albums for Sub Pop Records. In 2005 they formed their own label (20/20/20) and have since released four further Damon & Naomi albums — The Earth Is BlueWithin These Walls, False Beats and True Hearts, and Fortune — alongside reissues of their own and the Galaxie 500 back catalogue.

The duo were working on A Sky Record when the COVID-19 lockdown began and the album is shaped by their pandemic experience and how they coped and responded to the global crisis. This is an intimate pre-recorded performance of their music, with sections of the musicians talking about their work.

“We are so excited to share music in the unique setting of Plummer Hall, to be able to celebrate creative expression and the collective feeling of healing that this summer brings,” says Trevor Smith, Associate Director – Multisensory Experience and Curator of the Present Tense. “Combining music, architecture and a sense of community, all in one evening, is our greatest intention with PEM Presents.” 

In addition to their work as musicians, Damon and Naomi are the publishers of Exact Change, a small press dedicated to avant-garde literature and artists’ writings. Individually, Naomi is a visual artist who has directed music and fashion videos, and is currently working on a documentary essay about neighborhood activism through the lens of a historic Boston boxing gym. Damon’s book Ways of Hearing with MIT Press examines our shift in listening habits with the switch from analog to digital. He hosted a podcast series of the same name with Radiotopia and helped form a musician’s union during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The next PEM Presents performance will feature STL GLD on July 21, 2021 at 6 pm.

About the Venue

Plummer Hall, located at 132 Essex Street in Salem, was designed by Enoch Fuller in 1856. The Italianate-style building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and part of PEM’s historic house collection. Spanning three centuries and representing a diversity of architectural styles, the structures are routinely activated through tours, concerts and special programming.

About The Peabody Essex Museum

Over the last 20 years, the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) has distinguished itself as one of the fastest-growing art museums in North America. Founded in 1799, it is also the country’s oldest continuously operating museum. At its heart is a mission to enrich and transform people’s lives by broadening their perspectives, attitudes, and knowledge of themselves and the wider world. PEM celebrates outstanding artistic and cultural creativity through exhibitions, programming, and community and virtual events that emphasize cross-cultural connections, integrate past and present, and underscore the vital importance of creative expression. The museum’s collection is among the finest of its kind, with superlative works from around the globe and across time — including American art and architecture, fashion and design, photography, and African, Asian, contemporary, maritime, Native American, and Oceanic art, as well as one of the nation’s most important museum-based collections of rare books and manuscripts. PEM’s campus offers a varied and unique visitor experience with hands-on creativity zones, interactive opportunities and performance spaces. Twenty-two noted historic structures grace PEM’s campus, including Yin Yu Tang, a 200-year-old Chinese house that is the only such example of Chinese domestic architecture on display in the United States. HOURS: Open Thursday–Sundays and holiday Mondays, 10 am–5 pm. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. ADMISSION: Adults $20; seniors $18; students $12. Additional admission to Yin Yu Tang: $6 (plus museum admission). Members, youth 16 and under, and residents of Salem enjoy free general admission and free admission to Yin Yu Tang. INFO: Call 866-745-1876 or visit pem.org

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