AT AN EVENING SOIREE, YOU EXPECT to see guests with cocktail and hors d'oeuvres in hand. But, not shopping lists. Unless that party is "Lotta Art," the annual fundraiser for School 33 Art Center. At this shindig, forewarned is forearmed, so to speak. The walls of the center's main studios were covered with 150 works of art, all donated by local artists. And all given away to guests in a lottery that began promptly at 7:30 p.m. "Lotta Art" veterans, like Craig Sacks, knew that when your name was called, you'd better be ready to quickly yell out the number assigned to your favorite piece.

"It's fantastic and exciting. ... I think it's a really neat way to get a new piece of art," said Sacks, the proprietor of National Capital Title & Escrow.

Meanwhile, friend -- and party newbie -- Agilysys, Inc. quality assurance analyst Lance Bragin was busy prioritizing his favorites.

"This is a lot to see; a lot, I'm predicting, to lose track of," said Bragin.

"There's a little bit of suspense involved with waiting for your name to be called," explained Randi Vega, director of cultural affairs for the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts.

"Will you be called early, or will you be called late? Will you get what you want? Will you have to settle for something else? But, everybody goes home with something."


ADAM PLACK, 44, IS A COMPOSER / musician who grew up in Australia in a family of musicians, and trained classically on the violin, guitar and piano. Plack moved to New York City in 1991, where he started his own record label, Rasa Music, under which he wrote and produced nine albums. Plack has since written music for several films and TV shows, and is currently scoring his first major film, Indigo and the Unicorn Prophecy. Plack lives in Roland Park, with his wife, The Wire actress Sonja Sohn, and their daughter, Sophia.

Where did this love of music begin?

My dad's record collection. He had music from all around the world; Eastern European, jazz and blues, classical, African. We had a piano in the house. So I would sit at it and, by ear, imitate [what I heard].

How did you get into composing for film?

I was kind of traveling around Australia, like Caine from Kung Fu, with a didgeridoo over my shoulder, and no kung fu skills at all. So, it was kind of dangerous. When I was in Sydney, a director heard me [playing] on the street. He took me to New York to score a film shot in the Andes and Venezuela. ... And I just stayed.

What do you say when someone asks you what kind of music you do?

Oh, I hate that question, because I don't do normal music. I basically put travel and culture together with multi-instrumentalism.

ONLINE Read more of the conversation with Adam Plack at / drink

ONLINE Sloane Brown takes you to the party with a calendar of coming events and video reports at / scene

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