REVIEW: Sarah Kirkland-Snider’s PENELOPE featuring Shara Worden & FearNoMusic @ Alberta Rose (Portland, OR – 2/2/13)
Ever the Shara Worden / My Brightest Diamond fanboy, I got PENELOPE – the collaboration with composer Sarah Kirkland-Snider – back when it came out in 2010.
I loved the record then… dark, light, moving, haunting, gorgeous emotions not only from Shara’s voice but also from the musical compositions. Penelope is a song cycle / concept album, inspired by a journey and coming home a la Homer’s Odyssey. Read more about it here.
Never did I think I’d have a chance to see it performed live. I mean, I’ve seen My Brightest Diamond plenty of times, but I always thought of Penelope as a one-off – solely an album collaboration. A very good album collaboration, but an album collaboration nonetheless.
I only found out about the one-night only show with Portland’s FearNoMusic chamber ensemble about two weeks ago, but I bought I ticket without consulting my calendar. Luckily nothing was on my calendar… but honestly, if something had been, I would have had to change my plans anyway.
The show was as gorgeous as the record,if not more. Quite moving and amazing to hear in the room: the strings, the horns, the woodwinds, the powerful voice. There is a lot of pain in the words, but also a hope in starting over… blown over by the wind, turned over by the tide. At least that’s what I take out of it. It left me with hope.
- The Stranger with the Face of a Man I Loved
- This Is What You’re Like
- The Honeyed Fruit
- The Lotus Eaters [music video]
- Circe and the Hanged Man
- I Died of Waiting
- Dead Friend
- And Then You Shall Be Lost Indeed
- Open Hands
- Baby Teeth, Bones, and Bullets
- As He Looks Out to Sea
- Encore: Be Brave
Shara Worden’s stunning vocal delivery was joined by FearNoMusic conducted by Katherine FitzGibbon with Inés Voglar, violin; Joël Belgique, viola; Nancy Ives, cello; Alicia Paulsen, flute; Mark Dubac, clarinet; Leander Star, French horn; Jeffrey Work, trumpet; Dan Balmer, guitar; and Sergio Carreño, drum set and percussion.
Shara kicked off her heels (literally) for the encore MBD song. I’m glad that Shara played at least one tune from her own catalog… but honestly, it wasn’t needed. Penelope worked on so many great levels in a live setting.
There are a few more Penelope dates scheduled… Minnesota, Indiana, and New York so far. Check out Sarah Kirkland-Snider’s events page.
The Appropriate Linkage:
- Sarah Kirkland Snider’s Website / Twitter
- My Brightest Diamond’s Website
- FearNoMusic’s Website / Twitter / Facebook
- MBD’s record label: Asthmatic Kitty
- MBD music video compendium (non-exhaustive, but pretty chock full)
- My Brightest Diamond’s Social Media Links (see below)
- My Other Related Reviews & Links~
- Alberta Rose Theatre’s Site / Facebook / Twitter
And, I promise, I’ll get my gosh-darn “Best Of 2012” list posted soon… I’m horrible this time. The next show for me is Ben Folds Five @ Roseland (Portland) on 2/5.