As far as watching entertaining performances in itty bitty performance spaces, you can look to NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts on YouTube. However, if you are looking for something a little closer to your Lawrence home starring someone you may have seen on campus or heard of before, then the Tiny Box Office concert series is an even better option. Nestled into the box office next to Stansbury Theatre in the Music and Drama Center of the Conservatory, this series highlights musicians on campus who have a desire to play in front of a crowd. On Sunday, Mar.1, senior Bridget Bartal kicked off the 2020 series performing as her stage name, A Magenta Pall. Bartal settled into the box office with her guitar and a microphone, along with the doughnuts she brought for the crowd, to perform pieces from several of her recent EP’s, “Doll House” and “Pinkish/Blushing.”
The performance and audience space were set in a way such that students frequenting the Conservatory would meander by and could stop for a song or two before moving on their way to whatever practicing or homework they had to get to next. Surrounding the open door to the box office, a crowd of Bartal’s friends, family, fans and other interested persons occupied all the available chairs and even the floor, nodding their heads along to Bartal’s catchy lyrics. Inside the box office itself, she wore a colorful knit vest over a graphic t-shirt, which matched the overall indie-rock mood that both her online persona, @amagentapall on Instagram, and her music give off.
Bartal is an engaging performer, both fun to listen to for her performance and for her banter about her songs. After performing her song “63 Years” off her recent EP “Pinkish/Blushing,” she shared the story of overhearing an older man speaking about his wife and their 63 years of music together. Bartal exasperatedly commented on how cute it was that two people could be together for so long and still not feel like it was enough time. She also revealed that her second EP, “Pinkish/Blushing” helped her to get out of the mindset that she had to do everything all by herself, and that allowing others to collaborate helped her to round out her overall sound when it came to things like playing the drums. She shouted out senior Georgia Greenberg, another attendant in the crowd, as a contributor to the project.
In the middle of a riff between verses on a song, senior Molly Reese leaned over, amazed, to mouth dramatically how impressed she was by the performance. As she went along, Bartal hummed out that she was going to skip a couple songs that she had originally put on her setlist, and then played a few others that are yet to be released on the EP on which she is currently working. All of Bartal’s projects, including her latest single “Lips,” can be found on most music streaming platforms under the name A Magneta Pall. Bartal also hopes to play at least one more performance here at Lawrence before the end of the year, so look out for that as well. The Tiny Box Office series, this year headed by junior Grace Halloran, will continue to announce performances via their Facebook page throughout Spring Term.