by John Schacht
LOST IN THE TREES
Unique opportunities often lend themselves as reason for a road trip. For many bands who make the decision to chamber group their songs, the results too often turn out to be unnecessary, uninteresting or just plain awful. But if ever it made sense for an act to bring in a chamber orchestra of 12 strings, harp, piano and percussion, it would be Ari Picker's Lost In the Trees. Though the Berklee graduate premiered his first opus with the North Carolina Symphony, Lost In the Trees' two LPs are folk-rock records that transcend that genre via Picker's classically inflected arrangements. This year's majestic A Church That Fits Our Needs, on which Picker comes to terms with his mother's difficult life and eventual suicide, places the singer's delicate tenor atop layers of complex strings and horn parts. The songs translated well enough through a six-piece at Lost In the Trees' Visulite show earlier this year, but one listen to either LITT recording and this fully orchestrated gig at Reynolds Industries Theater on the Duke campus in Durham sounds like a singular event worth the investment in time, gas and tickets. Speaking of which: $26-$36. Dec. 7, 8 p.m. Reynolds Industries Theater, 125 Science Dr., Durham. 919-660-3356.