Music by Sarah Kirkland Snider and More Set for SPCO's Liquid Music Series, 2/26-27
Shara Worden: As impressive as her list of recent collaborators, Shara Worden's voice and arresting live performances have left audiences thunderstruck from the Sydney Opera House to Lincoln Center to the House of Blues. She's performed under the experimental-pop moniker My Brightest Diamond for the last seven years, and counts Bryce Dessner (The National), Justin Vernon (Bon Iver), David Byrne, Laurie Anderson and each of The Decemberists among Friends and fans. They are just a few of the many who've fallen in love with Worden's mystical voice and mythic storytelling.
Growing up outside of Detroit in a family of musical evangelists, Worden studied multiple instruments (her father is an acclaimed accordionist and mother an organist). She became equally passionate about classical and Motown, later pursuing a degree in Opera at the University of North Texas where she wrote and recorded original material for the first time. After moving to New York by way of Moscow, Worden recorded three albums before joining the ranks of Sufjan Stevens' Illinoisemakers. She then expanded her musical Education further by studying composition under Padma Newsome (Clogs, The National), and turned out several scores for off-Broadway productions.
Worden's artistry seems to transcend music itself. On stage she evokes as much Martha Graham as Edith Piaf, and can be found collaborating with visual artists (Matthew Ritchie) and filmmakers (Matthew Barney, Murat Eyuboglu) alike. Where worlds are colliding, there is a Shara; a zeitgeist for a growing movement of experimental musicians eager to bend the borders of artistry and genre.
Having recently moved to urban Detroit, planted a garden and given birth to a son, Worden's latest offering, All Things Will Unwind, draws inspiration from the motor city itself. More folk inspired than much of her recent work the new album addresses the juxtaposition of life and death, class and race, pantries and politics-as heard through the mesmerizing lullaby of a new mother.
yMusic: Hailed by NPR's Fred Child as "one of the groups that has really helped to shape the future of classical music," yMusic is a group of young performers actively engaged and equally comfortable in the overlapping classical and pop music worlds. The "six hip virtuosi" (Time Out NY) play a unique combination of instruments; the chamber ensemble is comprised of a traditional string trio as well as flute, clarinet and trumpet. This exciting composite of sounds has sparked a burgeoning repertoire of commissions from some of today's most important artists. Annie Clark (St. Vincent), Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond) and Ryan Lott (Son Lux), a select group of indie rock luminaries, have crafted instrumental works specifically for the ensemble. On its debut album, Beautiful Mechanical, yMusic pairs these compositions with pieces by Judd Greenstein, Sarah Kirkland Snider, and Gabriel Kahane. Beautiful Mechanical was recently named Time Out New York's #1 Classical Record of 2011.
In addition to its work as a chamber ensemble, yMusic serves as a ready-made collaborative unit for artists interested in expanding their sonic palette on recordings and in performance. In March of 2010, the ensemble served as the instrumental cornerstone for Gabriel Kahane's Lincoln Center debut at American Songbook. The following month, the group served as artist-in-residence at the MusicNow Festival in Cincinnati. In addition to performing its own set, it joined St. Vincent and Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) for collaborative performances in the historic Memorial Hall. In both instances, yMusic was invited back the following year to accompany Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond) and debut a commissioned work by Richard Reed Parry (Arcade Fire). Members of yMusic also perform in The Long Count, a multimedia song-cycle written by The National's Aaron and Bryce Dessner and visual artist, Matthew Ritchie. Co-commissioned by the Krannert Center and the Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Long Count features guests vocalists Kim and Kelley Deal, Shara Worden and Matt Berninger and was performed during the 2009 Next Wave Festival with subsequent performances at the 2011 Holland Festival and in 2012 at The Barbican Centre, London.
yMusic was created in 2008 and its members have toured and recorded with top artists across genre lines such as Bon Iver, Bjork, Peter Gabriel, Antony and the Johnsons, Ryuichi Sakamoto, The National, Rufus Wainwright, Grizzly Bear, Meredith Monk, Yo-Yo Ma, The New York Philharmonic, David Byrne and Sufjan Stevens. The ensemble is featured on Son Lux's We Are Rising and My Brightest Diamond's All Things Will Unwind.
Liquid Music is a new concert series presented by The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra that seeks to expand the world of classical music through innovative new projects, boundary-defying artists, and unique presentation formats. Liquid Music performances invite adventurous audiences of all ages to discover the new and the fascinating among the kaleidoscopic landscape of classical music today. The inaugural season (2012-13) features regional and world premieres by Laurie Anderson, Reid Anderson (The Bad Plus), Ben Frost, Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond), yMusic, Valgeir Sigurðsson, Ian Ding, Ashley Bathgate (Bang on a Can All-Stars), Ted Hearne, Zola Jesus, Stephen Prutsman, Jace Clayton (DJ/rupture), Ensemble 61, and more.