NOW AVAILABLE: Ted Hearne's density-driven oratorio "The Source"


Ted Hearne's The Source

the new density-driven, modern day oratorio which explores the life and story of Chelsea Manning, the US Army Private who infamously leaked hundreds of thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks


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"...the sound of a once-promising composer in the act of becoming a major one."
-- The Nation

"[A] beautiful, sad, altogether crucial reflection of our time."
-- New York Times

"[A] rich musical masterpiece."
-- Opera News

New Amsterdam Records is excited to announce the release of Ted Hearne's highly anticipated album, The Source. A modern day oratorio exploring the life and story of U.S. Army Private Chelsea Manning, The Source has been proclaimed as "the sound of a once-promising composer in the act of becoming a major one" by The Nation, and was also included in WNYC New Sounds' Works for Voice and Electronics broadcast. Additionally, the live premiere of the work was praised by the New York Times as "[A] beautiful, sad, altogether crucial reflection of our time" and as "[A] rich musical masterpiece" by Opera News. Furthermore, in anticipation for the record Hearne has released a new video highlighting and demonstrating the use of auto-tune in the work, available to view and embed here. 

A modern day oratorio (written for 7 instrumentalists and 5 singers including Hearne himself), The Source explores the life and story of U.S. Army Private Chelsea Manning, and the content and implications of the hundreds of thousands of classified military documents she infamously leaked to WikiLeaks. Like Hearne's previous release for New Amsterdam, the widely hailed Katrina BalladsThe Source draws on a litany of primary source texts (stitched together by librettist Mark Doten) - including Twitter feeds, cable news interviews, chat transcripts and declassified military reports.

The piece premiered as a multimedia production (directed by Daniel Fish) at the BAM Next Wave Festival in 2014, and received rave reviews in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and Opera News, among others.

"The music, like the text, draws from diverse sources," Hearne says of the piece. "Auto-tuned recitatives, neo-soul ballads, icy string trios and moments of cracked-out musical theater are peppered with (and sometimes structured around) samples that bridge sonic worlds." Referential shards ranging from Big Boi's interpolation of Soul II Soul to Clay Aiken's revisitation of The Threepenny Opera cut through and against texts from military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan to create new ways of experiencing the polyphony of our globally interconnected world.

Read more of Ted's thoughts on the album here.

The Source track list:

2. Oh The Shark
3. [Trust Logs]
4. s/as boy/as a boy
5. [A young boy released several pigeons]
6. Julian in a Nutshell
8. Interlude: Don't want to be a part
9. Complex Keys
10. [Smoke when bird nears]
11. [The marine that engaged]
12. [We called for illumination at 1630]
13. I encrypt as much as I can