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Composer Blake Allen Releases New Album THE SHARDS OF AN HONOR CODE JUNKIE


An American opera oratorio meets storybook album, the shards of an honor code junkie is an autobiographical story of a homosexual Mormon.

Composer Blake Allen Releases New Album THE SHARDS OF AN HONOR CODE JUNKIE

Blake Allen, known for his innovative bridging of contemporary music and theater through composition, performance, and storytelling, announces the release of his world premiere recording of the shards of an honor code junkie, distributed by No Reverse Records, September 17, 2021.

An American opera oratorio meets storybook album, the shards of an honor code junkie is an autobiographical story of a homosexual Mormon that embarks on a journey of self-love while challenging Brigham Young's staunch eight Honor Code Rules, unhinging demons of drugs, sex, and suicide in a victorious coming-of-age story.

Topping the classical pre-order charts for the third straight week in a row and debuting today at number two, the shards of an honor code junkie merges together script and score in a thirty-track tour de force that outlines the Honor Code Rules, and the consequences of abuse, retaliation, mental anguish, and removal from the school if they are determined broken by peers or administration. With Broadway's most celebrated voices, Allen invites listeners into his experiences as a Mormon student at the prestigious university and being raised in an extremely religious household under a parent's watchful eye. Navigating the shame of sexuality, drug use, depression, and the loss of a close friend to suicide following their own shame, the work champions progress, acceptance, kindness, and love-tenants that are part of the Mormon faith but missing from the fabric of BYU's student culture. The release comes amidst recent controversy within the institution after rescinding an amendment to the code that seemingly accepted "homosexual behavior" but later clarified that same-sex romantic behavior is still "not compatible" with the rules of Brigham Young University.

"I wrote this show in the name of advocacy, therapy, and connectivity," explains Allen. "While mostly everything in this story actually happened, members of the LDS faith or not can relate to the similar struggles of relearning about who you are. It is a message that love, and friendship can be a powerful tool to claw your way out of the shackles of despair, and is honest look at the LGBTQ community, at suicide, and the idea that we are all, in our own way, lost children of God. May my story resonate with those who have felt cast aside for being true to who they are and give them hope and strength to stand tall and proud in the face of oppression."

A work that was originally conceived during Allen's residence at the Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada, with an AEA reading in 2015 and a 2017 staged concert in New York City, the produced record features Tony Award nominee Alison Fraser (The Secret Garden, Romance/Romance), Michael Lowney (La Cage Aux Folles), Teal Wicks (The Cher Show, Finding Neverland, Wicked), Kristy Cates (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Finding Neverland, Wicked), J Harrison Ghee (Mrs. Doubtfire, Kinky Boots), Hannah Cruz (Hamilton 1st National Tour), singer and actress Tori Scott, and opera soprano Cree Carrico, supported by ensemble voices Drama Desk Award winner Kuhoo Verma (Plan B, Octet, Big Stick), Isaac Phaman Reynolds, Josh Daniel (Book of Mormon), Ron Tal, and RuPaul's Drag Race season 12 contestant Brita Filter.

Blake Allen is an award-winning, chart-topping composer and musician known for his innovative bridging of contemporary music and theatre. Heavily influenced by the hymns of his Mormon upbringing and the vast, cultural landscapes of growing up in El Paso, Allen's music is "full of yearning and exuberance and affection" with "strings to make you swoon" (NY Times). Allen made his composer debut at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2016, and also premiered his violin sonata "L'abîme" there in 2017 before his debut album, SONATAS, in 2020 (#1 classical charts).

Besides composing music that blurs genre, Allen is also a performer and music director, most notably for orchestrating and music directing the record-smashing 2019 Revival of the Sherman Brother's OVER HERE!, curating the sold-out "An Evening With... Series" for three seasons, and supervising several albums of NYC local, nightlife fame. Having written for and performed in film, Broadway, and at historic venues such as Carnegie Hall, David Geffen Hall, The Beacon, Symphony Space, Strathmore Center, and across the USA, Canada, Mexico, Europe, and the seven Seas, Allen's shows include the shards of an honor code junkie (Off-Broadway, 2017; 2014 Banff Artist in Resiency), Living the Dreamboat (Astoria Performing Arts Center, 2020), Folk Wandering (Off-Broadway, 2018), Kelly [1955] (NYTF 2019), Boston|Nebraska (2020 Kimmel Harding Nelson Center Residency), and HOCKET.

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