The Quiet Hounds, an Atlanta band inspired by history that will perform Oct. 4 on the Swan House grounds at the Atlanta History Center, is a mystery wrapped inside an enigma.
And the musicians, who often don masks that obscure their identities, very much like it that way.
“Swans and Embers,” the Swan House performance, will be a program in three movements, with a Roaring ’20s theme that commemorates the era in which one of Atlanta’s most treasured historic homes was completed.
The audience literally will move with the movements: Act 1 will unfold at the courtyard closest to the house, act 2 on the lawn just below the descending fountains, and act 3 on the mainstage on the lower lawn.
The Quiet Hounds emerged less than a year ago, playing a November concert at another historic site, Goat Farm Arts Center. “Ode to Lost Souls” paid tribute to Civil War prisoners at Andersonville. More than 800 attended, and 1,000-plus watched the stream live online.
For all that, the Hounds are still fairly obscure, apparently by design.
Its members have played on albums for Cee Lo Green, Gnarls Barkley and Washed Out. But they choose to remain anonymous, wearing leather masks in their photos, so as “to allow for the music to be judged solely by what is being heard and not by what, or who, is being seen,” according to a backgrounder.
Lisa Love, the former Georgia Music Hall of Fame director who now works as director of music marketing and development for the Georgia Department of Economic Development, happened upon a rare Quiet Hounds gig at AthFest in Athens in June that “mesmerized” her.
Her quest for more information led her to the group’s arty website (www.quiethounds.com), which adds to, rather than resolves, the mythos surrounding the band.
For instance: “Where are you guys from?” posed one site guest.
The response: “The womb of the alien mother” (punctuated with a smiley face).
Still, Love was so impressed with the band’s “unique way of telling stories of Georgia’s history,” that her office is helping publicize the Swan House concert.
This graceful 1928 mansion was designed by celebrated Atlanta architect Philip Trammel Shutze, who adapted Italian and English classical styles for the residence of Edward and Emily Inman, heirs to a cotton brokerage fortune.
Included in the Quiet Hounds’ mission statement is “… to foster a philosophy where epic performance in unlikely environments and unrivaled experiences that are free from the grid come together to emphasize the role of music and art in society.”
Interested in previewing the work of these rock chameleons? Take a look at this video of “I Get Up” from the Goat Farm show.
Admission for “Swans and Embers,” 7:30-11 p.m. Oct. 4, is $30 advance, $40 door. 130 W. Paces Ferry Road N.W., Atlanta. Details: http://qh.xorbia.com/swans-embers.
World War II hero to speak
The William Breman Jewish Heritage and Holocaust Museum is billing appearances by Guy Stern this week in Atlanta as an “opportunity to have a conversation with history,” which is not an overstatement.
Now in his 90s, Stern was among Jews who fled Nazi Germany for America at the start of World War II, then were trained in intelligence and psychological warfare at Camp Ritchie in Maryland and served in Europe. Stern, who interrogated POWs in France and Germany, received a Bronze Star.
His story is one of those told in the documentary “The Ritchie Boys,” which will be screened by the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival at Lefont Sandy Springs at 2 (tickets available) and 8 p.m. (sold out) Oct. 1, with Stern participating in Q&As. Tickets: $8.
Stern also will share stories at 10:30 a.m. Oct. 2 at the Breman. Museum admission applies, but the Breman is offering free entry for those with a ticket stub from one of the Lefont Sandy Springs showings (5920 Roswell Road, Suite C-103; 404-255-0140, www.ajff.org).
Breman admission: $12; ages 62 and up, $8; students, $6. 1440 Spring St. N.W., Atlanta. 678-222-3700, www.thebreman.org.
MODA’s toasts Italian exhibit with talks, lessons
The Museum of Design Atlanta has interesting events lined up in conjunction with “Barrique: Wine, Design and Social Change,” its exhibit (through Oct. 13) about a wine barrel recycling project in Italy in which residents of a treatment center for drug addiction and social exclusion learn professional skills including wood working. The events include:
- “Design Conversation — Designing Rome’s Trevi Fountain,” a lecture by Katherine Rinne, author of “The Waters of Rome: Aqueducts, Fountains, and the Birth of the Baroque City,” 6 p.m. Oct. 1. $10.
- “Hands on Design: The Parma Menu,” a cooking school lesson (and a meal) in the style of one of Italy’s gastronomic centers, at Tuscany at Your Table, 6 p.m. Oct. 2. $45.
- “Festa Italiana,” Italian fare, cocktails and music, 7 p.m. Oct. 5. $50.
- “Design Conversation — Aspiring to Slowness: The Slow Food Movement in Italy and Beyond,” a talk by Julie Schaffer of Slow Food USA, 6 p.m. Oct. 10. $10.
- “Hands on Design: Wine Journal Book Binding,” a workshop led by Atlanta Printmakers Studio, noon Oct. 12. $25. (Reservation required.)
1315 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta. 404-979-6455, www.museumofdesign.org.
Higgins photo exhibit to open
After Gordon Parks Jr., Chester Higgins Jr., may be one the best known photographers to have documented the African-American and the African experiences in the late 20th century.
As a staff photographer for The New York Times, as well as an independent photographer, Higgins built a remarkable body of portraits and photo essays, marked by a sense of dignity in even the most humble of subjects.
“Chester Higgins: Unseen Spirit” will open with a 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 4 reception at the Arnika Dawkins Photographic Fine Art Gallery. Artist talk and book signing begins at 7:15 p.m.
Through Nov. 29. 4600 Cascade Road, Atlanta 404-333-0312, www.adawkinsgallery.com. ROSALIND BENTLEY