As a composer, Richard Belcastro's music has been called "an eclectic blend of melodic and rhythmic elements of Jazz and Rock and Roll with a uniquely contemporary vocabulary." (The NY Concert Review). As a sitarist, Belcastro pursues unorthodox means of utilizing the instrument in a variety of musical contexts for which the sitar is not typically considered to be suited. This inquisitive trait permeates the work of both composer and sitarist.
WHAT'S THE PIECE CALLED AGAIN ?
NEPETALACTONE (nep-ət-ə-ˈlak-ˌtōn): the active chemical compound in catnip.
CATNIP: a plant of the mint family containing aromatic oils that drive cats crazy.
It's clear that composer Richard Belcastro has a fascination with cats on catnip. This is the second piece he's written under the influence. That psychotic, inner state of absolute abandon in cats is contagiously entertaining, and Nepetalactone (2015), written for the full 8-piece NakedEye Ensemble, will keep you on the edge of your seat with those waking dreams.
We met Ricky in April 2012 when we first performed Smoke 'N' Wid – his other homage to cats on catnip – for amplified electro-acoustic quartet (cello, electric guitar, piano, drum set). Since then, he has become a regular collaborator on various projects and a dear friend. Nepetalactone is the fourth piece by him we'll be showcasing. After two and a half years of working together, 12 shows and too many drinks, Ricky has come to know the group pretty well, and it's beginning to show. We are honored and extremely excited to premiere his new made-to-measure work for NakedEye. Think Spinal Tap !