Cellist Maya Beiser to Release Next Album, UNCOVERED, 8/26
"Cello goddess" (The New Yorker) Maya Beiser releases her next album Uncovered on August 26, 2014 on the Innova label, followed by aUS tour in September 2014 to cities including New York, Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and more (tour schedule to be announced in early July). Uncovered is an album of startling classic rock tunes, re-imagined and re-contextualized, in stunningly moving performances by Maya Beiser. A cover tune can be an homage to the original, but these "uncovers," in new arrangements by Evan Ziporyn, attempt to do more - to evoke the unprecedented power of the music of Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Nirvana, Janis Joplin, Howlin' Wolf, King Crimson, Muddy Waters, and AC/DC as musical masterpieces and as totems of our collective consciousness.
The album is almost entirely Maya's cello, multi-tracked, with drums and bass added on some tracks by Maya's musical friends Glenn Kotche (Wilco) andJherek Bischoff. Maya says, "My 'uncovers' are riffs on songs that are in a way both familiar and different. They are a journey into the inner layers, untouched surfaces, nameless colors, dazed images. And so, with one beautiful cello and carefully used technology, I approach every song like an open canvas - constructing each layer of sound, rhythm, harmony, color, and melody - building and experimenting until it feels right."
Raised in the Galilee Mountains in Israel, surrounded with the music and rituals of Jews, Muslims, and Christians, while studying classical cello repertoire, Maya has dedicated her work to reinventing solo cello performance in the mainstream classical arena.
She says, "The first time I heard Janis Joplin I felt shaken to the core. Somehow her unique, raw expression snuck its way into the inner shrine where, until then, only the likes of Bach and Schubert were allowed to enter. It felt so sacrilegious that I was giddy with guilt. Just imagine a young acolyte of any dogma, experiencing her first transgression. The cello, the earliest serious choice of my life, destined me for years to be an outsider in Janis Joplin's world. Her place in blues and rock and roll, and the blur of electric guitars, percussion, and bass - that world seemed barred for me, a classical cellist. Much like with the classical masterpieces, we tend to develop expectations about how a certain legendary rock piece should be performed. Attempts to vary considerably from the original are often perceived, almost unconsciously, as offensive. But whether one likes it or not, no one expects a multi-cello track to sound exactly like the original. That is my privilege as an outsider."
Throughout her adventurous and versatile career, Maya has redefined the concert experience, creating music that transcends genres with large sonic and visual canvases. New York magazine writes, "Beiser is not the sort of musician who zigzags around the planet playing catalog music for polite and sleepy audiences. She throws down a gauntlet in every program." A featured performer on the world's most prestigious stages, Maya has appeared as soloist at the Sydney Opera House, New York's Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall and BAM, London's Barbican, Royal Albert Hall, and South Bank Center, and the World Expo in Nagoya, Japan. She has collaborated with artists across a wide range of musical styles, including Brian Eno, Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Tan Dun, James Newton Howard, and Carter Burwell, among many others.
In 2011, Maya was invited to present at the exclusive TED conference. Her TEDtalk performance has been watched by close to one million people and translated to 32 languages. In summer 2013, she was a featured guest alongside such luminaries as Yoko Ono, Marina Abramovi?, Isabella Rossellini, and Shirin Neshat at ICASTICA 2013, an international festival celebrating women artists working in all artistic fields in Arezzo, Italy.
Maya's vast discography, released on Sony Classical, Nonesuch, Koch (now E1), Innova, and Cantaloupe labels, include five solo albums and many studio recordings and film music collaborations. Her 2010 album Provenance topped the classical and world music charts on both Amazon and iTunes. Maya's latest recording, Time Loops, was selected among NPR's top 10 recordings of 2012. Collaborating with renowned film composer James Newton Howard, Maya is the featured soloist on several film's soundtracks including M. Night Shyamalan's The Happening, Denzel Washington's The Great Debaters, Edward Zwick's Blood Diamond, Rupert Sanders' Snow White and the Huntsman, and M. Night Shyamalan's After Earth.
Maya has conceived, performed and produced her critically acclaimed multimedia concerts, including World To Come, which premiered as part of the inaugural season of Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall; Almost Human, a collaboration with visual artist Shirin Neshat; and Provenance, which forms the basis of her best selling album. Top New York critics have consistently chosen her Carnegie Hall concerts on their "Best Of The Year" lists. Maya's 2012 production, Elsewhere: A CelloOpera, premiered at Carolina Performing Arts followed by a sold-out run at the BAM Next Wave Festival. Elsewhere is an imaginative retelling of the Biblical legend of Lot's wife, created by Maya with director Robert Woodruff. Maya's latest projectAll Vows explores the dichotomy between the physical, external world we inhabit and the inner landscape of our secret selves. It premiered at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in March 2014 and features the music from Uncovered plus works by Michael Gordon and Michael Harrison, both with original film by Bill Morrison, as well as music by Glenn Kotche, David T. Little, and Mohammed Fairouz.
Maya Beiser is a graduate of Yale University. Her major teachers were Aldo Parisot, Uzi Weizel, Alexander Schneider, and Isaac Stern. Maya was the founding cellist of the new music ensemble, the Bang on a Can All-Stars. She is managed by Opus 3 Artists. Maya can be found on Twitter, tweeting as @cellogoddess, a moniker bestowed upon her by The New Yorker. www.mayabeiser.com.
Maya Beiser: Uncovered
Release Date: August 26, 2014 (Innova Records)
All tracks recorded by Maya Beiser, cello
All tracks arranged by Evan Ziporyn
1. Black Dog (Jones, Page, Plant/Led Zeppelin) [5:02]
2. Moanin' at Midnight (Howlin' Wolf) [3:04]
3. Little Wing (Jimi Hendrix) [3:29]
4. Summertime (Janis Joplin after George Gershwin) [4:54]
5. Epitaph (Fripp, Giles, Lake, McDonald, Sinfield/King Crimson) [8:37]
6. Wish You Were Here (Waters, Gilmour/Pink Floyd) [7:03]
7. Louisiana Blues (Muddy Waters) [2:55]
8. Lithium (Kurt Cobain/Nirvana) [4:17]
9. Back in Black (A. Young, M. Young, B. Johnson/AC/DC) [4:46]
10. Kashmir (Page, Plant/Led Zeppelin) [7:13]