New Amsterdam Records is excited to share "The Witch" from composer Sarah Kirkland Snider's Unremembered - an hour-long, thirteen-part song cycle for seven voices, chamber orchestra, and electronics, inspired by poems and illustrations by writer and visual artist Nathaniel Bellows. "The Witch" premiered via NPR Music, who noted that "...'The Witch' refracts reality just as memory does. From the first stabs of strings and militant drums, 'The Witch' throws you in the middle of a hunt - a frightened child flees an ominous specter. The icy voice of Shara Worden portrays the child... Snider's forceful orchestra, led by sharp stomps from the cellos, chases Worden, sometimes enveloping her completely." Watch the trailer for Unremembered (by Murat Eyuboglu and David Sarno) here, and pre-order the album here.
The album release party for Unremembered has been rescheduled for September 3, 7pm at the DiMenna Center's Cary Hall. The event will feature the premiere of intimate new arrangements of four songs from the album performed by Shara Worden, DM Stith, Timo Andres (piano), Beth Myers (viola), Nuiko Wadden (harp) and Taylor Levine (guitar), plus an opening set by DM Stith (with Aaron Roche). The performance will be accompanied by multimedia projections of Nathaniel Bellows' haunting visual art that inspired the cycle. There will also be a Q&A conversation with Snider, Bellows, Worden, and Stith about the collaboration.
Four years in the making, the studio recording of Unremembered, featuring vocalists Padma Newsome (Clogs), DM Stith, and Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond), and the Unremembered Orchestra (members of ACME, Alarm Will Sound, ICE, The Knights, So Percussion) and conducted by Edwin Outwater (Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, San Francisco Symphony) will be released September 4, 2015 on CD, 2xLP, and limited-edition white vinyl 2xLP.
A meditation on memory, innocence, and the haunted grandeur of the natural world, Unremembered recalls strange and beautiful happenings experienced during a childhood in rural Massachusetts: a houseguest takes sudden leave in the middle of the night; a boy makes a shocking discovery on a riverbank; a girl disappears in woods behind a ranging farm; ghosts appear with messages for the living. Through Bellows's moving words and images and Snider's vivid, fraught, astonishing score, the cycle explores the ways in which beguiling events in early life can resonate in--and prepare us for--the subtler horrors that lie beyond the realm of childhood.
Unremembered is the highly-anticipated follow-up album to Snider's widely-acclaimed 2010 song cycle Penelope, which was named the "year's most affecting creation" by Time Out New York (Top Classical Album of 2010) and praised in countless other publications, including Pitchfork ("No matter what perspective you bring to this album, it bears profound rewards"), the New York Times ("rapturous"), the LA Times ("haunting...piercing melancholy"), and NPR, who named Penelope one of "The 5 Best Genre-Defying Albums of 2010." Employing a broader instrumental and temperamental palette than she used for Penelope, Unremembered again demonstrates Snider's mastery of both lyric and narrative line and the arsenal of tools she uses to layer, contrast, weave, and construct her ideas. It is work that explores restraint and tumult, the argument of the heart and the mind, vast atmospheric expansiveness, and the myriad territories of intimacy.
Produced by Lawson White and Sarah Kirkland Snider, Unremembered was mixed by GRAMMY Award-winning mixer Andrew Scheps and mastered by GRAMMY Award-winning mastering engineer Chris Bellman. Sound design was created by Michael Hammond (No Lands), Lawson White, and Sarah Kirkland Snider. Both LP and CD formats include hand-drawn illustrations by Nathaniel Bellows and original artwork by DM Stith.
Unremembered track list:
2. The Estate
3. The Barn
4. The Guest
5. The Slaughterhouse
6. The Girl
7. The Swan
8. The Witch
9. The River
10. The Speakers
11. The Orchard
12. The Song
13. The Past
Unremembered upcoming performances:
9/3 - DiMenna Center's Cary Hall - New York, NY