Archive

Posts Tagged ‘penelope’

REVIEW: Sarah Kirkland-Snider’s PENELOPE featuring Shara Worden & FearNoMusic @ Alberta Rose (Portland, OR – 2/2/13)

4th Feb 13 (Mon) Leave a comment

Sarah Kirkland-Snider (L) & Shara Worden (R)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.  PENELOPEPenelope 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.

Setlist: ~70 mins

  • The Stranger with the Face of a Man I Loved
  • This Is What You’re Like
  • The Honeyed Fruit
  • The Lotus Eaters [music video]
  • Nausicaa
  • Circe and the Hanged Man
  • I Died of Waiting
  • Home
  • Dead Friend
  • Calypso
  • 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:

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.

~Dan – np: Tomahawk – Oddfellows
Tomahawk - Oddfellows

Advertisements

My Brightest Diamond ‘All Things Will Unwind’ (Oct 18, 2011)

12th Jul 11 (Tue) Leave a comment

So, if I could have a blog solely dedicated to the music of Shara Worden/My Brightest Diamond, I would.  I ‘found’ her via her opening slot for Sufjan Stevens’ Avalanche tour (Indianapolis 2006?).  Her voice amazed me, and she has quickly become one of my favorite vocalists.  She has operatic voice training, a clever wit, charming lyrics, and an indie-rock DIY mentality.

Her third studio album under the My Brightest Diamond moniker* has been announced… All Things Will Unwind will be released October 18, 2011.

For those unfamiliar, MBD creates some fantastic orchestral indie pop.  She’s offering a FREE download of a song from the forthcoming album…

Free mp3 Download:
Reaching Through to the Other Side

All Things Will Unwind track list
01 We Added It Up
(Studio 360 live video)
02 Reaching Through to the Other Side
(MusicNow 2011 video)
03 In the Beginning
04 Escape Routes
05 Be Brave
06 She Does Not Brave the War
07 Ding Dang
08 There’s a Rat
09 High Low Middle
10 Everything Is in Line
11 I Have Never Loved Someone

*– She has a few MBD precursors under the band name “AwRy” (harder to find), plus a few remix EPs, several cover tunes on compilations, and several fantastic side-projects like Sarah Kirkland Snider’s Penelope, the spoken word Letters From Distant Cities, and the upcoming Kickstarter for her backing band yMusic’s debut album – Beautiful Mechanical.  All worth checking out as well.

~Dan – np: Eddie VedderUkulele Songs

Shara Worden & yMusic @ Ecstatic Music Festival 2011 (concert webcast)

18th Mar 11 (Fri) Leave a comment

WQXR/WNYC just posted 2+ hours of live streaming music from Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond) and yMusic’s performance at the Ecstatic Music Festival at New York’s Merkin Concert Hall.

This show features Shara Worden wearing both her composer and performer hats. yMusic premieres a work written for them by Shara and the classical/indie vocalist joins the instrumentalists on stage in selections from Sarah Kirkland Snider’s recent 2010 release, Penelope, one of my favorite albums of 2010 – which features Shara’s stunning vocals.

The webcast link

This performance by Shara Worden and yMusic is the third of four New Sounds Live broadcasts on Q2 from Merkin’s Hall’s Ecstatic Music Festival. Check out the other two webcasts – the 2011 People’s Commissioning Fund concert and Newspeak and Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society. The final broadcast on March 28 features So Percussion and Bobby Previte.

~Dan – np: Pedro the LionThe Only Reason I Feel Secure Is That I Am Validated By My Peers

My Brightest Diamond – 2011 news

19th Jan 11 (Wed) 1 comment

My Brightest Diamond / Shara Worden has some new collaborations in the hopper…

  • “I’m On Fire” is a duet that Shara recorded with Chris James of the band Stateless for their new album, Matilda, due out on February 21, 2011 in Europe on Ninja Tune.
  • Colin Stetson’s forthcoming album, New History Warfare Vol.2: Judges, will be released February 22, 2011 on Constellation Records.  Shara is featured on 2 tracks: “Lord I Just Can’t Keep From Crying Sometimes” and “Fear of the Unknown and the Blazing Sun” (which also features Laurie Anderson)
  • Murat Eyuboglu has produced a multimedia release entitled Letters to Distant Cities, which features poetry recitation and a song by Shara. New Amsterdam Records will be releasing it March 29, 2011.

She’s also has a few dates coming up, too…

My Brightest Diamond 2011 TOUR

  • 01/27/11 New York City The Allen Room *
  • 01/28/11 Milford, CT Daniel Street ~
  • 01/30/11 Ithaca, NY Castaway’s %
  • 01/31/11 Rochester, NY Bug Jar %
  • 02/01/11 Cleveland, OH Beachland Tavern %
  • 02/03/11 Holland, MI Knickerbocker ~
  • 02/04/11 Chicago Lincoln Hall ~
  • 02/05/11 Madison, WI Der Rathskeller ~
  • 05/04/11 – 05/05/11 Minneapolis, MN Southern Theater +

* Shara, Drums, bass & yMusic
~ Rock Trio formation
% Shara performing solo
+ Shara & yMusic (co-bill with Sarah Kirkland Snider’s Penelope)

I’m soooo tempted to hit the Minneapolis dates… closest they’re getting to me.  I guess I’ll wait / hope they fill in a PacNW date or two in between February & May…

~Dan – np: No-ManHousewives Hooked on Heroin EP

SKS & MBD’s “Lotus Eaters” video from ‘Penelope’

3rd Nov 10 (Wed) Leave a comment

I got Penelope in the mail yesterday… wow, I love it.  It’s the piece of art that Sarah Kirkland Snider wrote with the voice Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond) in mind.  The video for “The Lotus Eaters” just got released.  It’s a haunting, lovely song that I think is a cornerstone of the album.  You know, the album that’s only been in my hands for 12 hours.  I can’t get enough of it. :)

The Lotus Eaters


video by Murat Eyuboglu + David Sarno

Shara was 7 months pregnant when it was being filmed.  Penelope is out now.  It’s a beautiful, beautiful, gorgeous, gorgeous record.  Shara’s operatic-meets-indie-rock voice rule the day.  Go get it from Amazon or from New Amsterdam Records directly.

~Dan – np: Sarah Kirkland Snider & Shara WordenPenelope

Shara Worden & Sarah Kirkland Snider – Penelope

12th Oct 10 (Tue) 4 comments

On October 18th, at (le) Poisson Rouge in NYC, Shara Worden (aka My Brightest Diamond) will be performing the music of Sarah Kirkland Snider backed by yMusic, a six piece chamber ensemble with violinist Rob Moose at the helm (who has played on MBD’s albums).

The album, entitled Penelope (which comes out on October 26th) is a 60-minute song cycle composed by Snider for Worden and the orchestral group, Signal, based on texts by playwright Ellen McLaughlin, derived from the music theater piece of the same name she and Snider wrote together in 2007-2008.

Here is a free taste: “This is What You’re Like” mp3

Penelope is up for pre-order on the Amazons

The songs loosely tell a story: A woman’s husband appears at her door after an absence of 20 years, suffering from brain damage. A veteran of a modern war, he doesn’t know who he is and she doesn’t know who he’s become. While they wait together for his return to himself, she reads him Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey, and in the journey of that book, she finds a way into her former husband’s memory and the terror and trauma of war.

Oh, and sorta related to My Brightest Diamond… her labelhead, Sufjan Stevens‘ new album The Age of Adz comes out today, and it’s on special deal over at the Amazons.  $3.99 for the download version (for a limited time).

But it’s also out on CD & vinyl, and you know those are better for your diet anyway. :)

~Dan – np: Holy FuckLatin

no free mp3 download or flac torrent ever. if you like music, support it by buying it

Sarah Kirkland Snider, My Brightest Diamond & Signal – Penelope

4th Apr 10 (Sun) Leave a comment

Sarah Kirkland Snider‘s debut album Penelope (New Amsterdam Records, September 2010) is a 60-minute song cycle for female voice, chamber orchestra, and electronics, composed by Sarah Kirkland Snider, featuring vocalist Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond and highly acclaimed chamber orchestra Signal, conducted by Brad Lubman, with sound design by Michael Hammond.

A deft blend of Snider’s classical training and strong interest in indie rock, pop and folk musics, Penelope is a genre-defying work that moves organically from moments of wistful strings-and-harp reflection to dusky post-rock textures with distorted drums and guitars, helmed by a strong sense of melody and a craftsman’s approach to songwriting. Derived from a multimedia-theater piece co-created by Snider and acclaimed playwright Ellen McLaughlin, the work centers on a woman whose long-missing former husband turns up at her door, traumatized by two decades spent in an unnamed war. To restore his memory, the woman reads aloud from Homer’s “Odyssey.” The result is a poignant, haunting story in song.

The New York Times praised the work for having “an elegiac quality that deftly evoked sensations of abandonment, agitation, grief and reconciliation…ably [demonstrating] the poised elegance of Ms. Snider’s writing.”

Penelope has appeared in various guises over the past two years: it originated as a music for a theater piece and then debuted as a song cycle with Signal last May. When Shara came aboard the project, Sarah revised and expanded the songs yet again, tailoring them to Shara’s unique talents and arranging them for Sarah’s dream cast of characters: a 25-person orchestra of strings, harp, percussion, drums, electric guitar and bass, and electronics (with sound design by Michael Hammond). The cycle grew from 40 to 60 minutes. The album comes out this fall!

For more info, and a link to a free download of the first “single,” visit the brand-spankin’-new Penelope website.

~Dan – np: Tegan and SaraSainthood thainthood

%d bloggers like this: