Miriam Theatre Presents Natalie Merchant, 7/20
On Tuesday, July 20, 2010 at 8pm, Natalie Merchant will perform at the Merriam Theater of the University of the Arts. This appearance is part of her nationwide tour in support of her new album Leave Your Sleep. The tour will be Merchant's first major outing in seven years. Merchant and her eight-piece band will perform new material as well as favorites from throughout her career.
Leave Your Sleep, out now on Nonesuch Records, has received critical acclaim with Entertainment Weekly praising its "gorgeous arrangements of dreamy chamber folk," The Daily Beast calling it "soothing and electric," and the BBC citing its "sheer ravishing beauty." The dates follow a series of appearances, including "Good Morning America," "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" and NPR's "Morning Edition," as well as a performance at the annual TED Conference in February.
Natalie Merchant's first studio album since 2003's The House Carpenter's Daughter, Leave Your Sleep is the culmination of six years of research and collaboration and is, in Merchant's words "The most elaborate project I have ever completed or even imagined." A two-disc set, Leave Your Sleep is a collection of songs adapted from poems selected by Merchant including pieces by both well-known and obscure writers. Featured are works by British Victorians, early- and mid-20th century Americans, and contemporary writers, as well as anonymous nursery rhymes and lullabies. Among the authors included are Ogden Nash, E.E. Cummings, Robert Louis Stevenson, Christina Rossetti, Edward Lear, Gerard Manley Hopkins, and Robert Graves.
In addition to this new method of creating lyrics, Merchant also stretches out musically on Leave Your Sleep by collaborating with a broad spectrum of artists including the Wynton Marsalis Quartet, Medeski Martin & Wood, The Fairfield Four, The Chinese Music Ensemble of New York, the Ditty Bops, members of the New York Philharmonic, The Klezmatics, Lúnasa, and Hazmat Modine. The album was co-produced by Merchant with Andres Levin and engineered by Nick Wollage.
Merchant-who has sold millions of records worldwide over the course of her recording career-has remained busy in the time since her last studio album by curating compilations for both 10,000 Maniacs' Campfire Songs and her own Retrospective. Additionally, Merchant performed live to the accompaniment of Philip Glass, Dr. John, Pete Seeger, and Wynton Marsalis, and collaborated with British composer Gavin Bryars as part of The Royal Shakespeare Company's Complete Works series.