Ann Moss: Currents

Ann Moss: Currents
Title: Currents
Label: CD Baby

CURRENTS is a dynamic new recording project featuring some of the extraordinary new and recent American vocal/chamber music I have championed over the past decade. Produced by the legendary Leslie Ann Jones at Skywalker Sound, and recorded with a dream team of collaborators from the chamber music, new music, and jazz communities, the repertoire on CURRENTS includes two works composed especially for me by American composers Liam Wade and Vartan Aghababian; an unpublished song cycle by the late John Thow; a haunting, lyric ballad for soprano and Flamenco guitar by Weslie Brown; and five new arrangements created especially for this recording of songs by one of the most beloved songwriters of all time, Joni Mitchell. Hausmann String Quartet Steven Bailey - Piano Karen Rosenak - Piano Jeremías García - Guitar Matt Berkeley - Acoustic Piano, Hammond B3, Fender Rhodes Dewayne Pate - Bass Joe Bagale - Drums Produced by Leslie Ann Jones Recorded by Leslie Ann Jones and Dann Michael Thompson Edited by Robert Gatley Mixed by Leslie Ann Jones Recorded and mixed at Skywalker Sound, a Lucasfilm, Ltd., company Marin County, CA Mastered by Michael Romanowski at Michael Romanowski Mastering, San Francisco, CA Executive Producers Jake Heggie, William and Bonnie Wade Photo Credit Debra A. Zeller ?&? 2013 All Rights Reserved. ---------------------------------------------- Poetry and Notes: PRACTICE YOUR FLAMENCO (2008) Music and lyrics by Weslie Brown The framework of Weslie's epic ballad "Practice Your Flamenco" had taken nearly ten years to come to fruition when she revealed it to me and Flamenco Guitarist Jeremías García in 2008. The lead sheet was unlike most scores I encounter -- a simple pop tune over chord changes -- and I was captivated by her gorgeous melody and haunting lyric. We transposed it a fifth higher than initially conceived, allowing me to explore a wider color palette and vocal range, and the three of us experimented with rhythmic textures and sketched out an intro and coda. If it is possible for a classical singer to have a hit single, then this is mine. As you sail out of my harbor All the winds will multiply I will climb into my tower And I'll wave our last goodbye. May your travels bring you pleasure And the freedom of the sea When you practice your Flamenco Always sing to me. You're bound to have another lover In the comfort of silk sheets If you wonder how to please her Just remember what pleased me As we danced inside my tower All your secrets seemed so sweet And you'd practice your Flamenco Singing just for me. Was there ever life without you? Did we meet out of the blue? And must I go on believing I'll be empty without you? ---------------------------------------------- SILVER APPLES (2008) Music by Liam Wade (b. 1978) Liam and I chose the moon-themed poems for his enchanting song cycle. Steven and I contributed musical ideas which Liam incorporated into his score. He left us a great deal of room for improvisation in these magically whimsical songs, allowing for a fresh perspective in every performance. Working in the studio with Leslie and Dann, the cycle evolved in totally unexpected ways revealing still new surprises. The Moon Poem by Robert Louis Stevenson The moon has a face like the clock in the hall; She shines on thieves on the garden wall, On streets and fields and harbour quays, And birdies asleep in the forks of the trees. The squalling cat and the squeaking mouse, The howling dog by the door of the house, The bat that lies in bed at noon, All love to be out by the light of the moon. But all of the things that belong to the day Cuddle to sleep to be out of her way; And flowers and children close their eyes Till up in the morning the sun shall arise. Eldorado III Poem by Edgar Allen Poe Gaily bedight, A gallant knight, In sunshine and in shadow, Had journeyed long, Singing a song, In search of Eldorado. But he grew old This knight so bold And o'er his heart a shadow Fell as he found No spot of ground That looked like Eldorado. And, as his strength Failed him at length, He met a pilgrim shadow 'Shadow,' said he, 'Where can it be This land of Eldorado?' 'Over the Mountains Of the Moon, Down the Valley of the Shadow, Ride, boldly ride,' The shade replied 'If you seek for Eldorado!' The Cat and The Moon Poem by William Butler Yeats The cat went here and there And the moon spun round like a top, And the nearest kin to the moon, The creeping cat, looked up. Black Minnaloushe stared at the moon, For, wander and wail as he would, The pure cold light in the sky Troubled his animal blood. Minnaloushe runs in the grass Lifting his delicate feet. Do you dance, Minnaloushe, do you dance? When two close kindred meet. What better than call a dance? Maybe the moon may learn, Tired of that courtly fashion, A new dance turn. Minnaloushe creeps through the grass From moonlit place to place, The sacred moon overhead Has taken a new phase. Does Minnaloushe know that his pupils Will pass from change to change, And that from round to crescent, From crescent to round they range? Minnaloushe creeps through the grass Alone, important and wise, And lifts to the changing moon His changing eyes. Carpe Luna Poem by Lisa DeSiro After practicing self-perfection -- my mind alone, my fingers, my arms, my body creating the only sound in the world for hours -- I left the room, scuffed down empty halls to a door, pushed myself out into sudden silence. And there was the moon, gleaming, round as a snowball, frozen amid shallow drifts of cloud. I reached up tall as the night sky, grabbed that moon and melted it with my bare hands. ------------------------------------------ FOR LOVE: THREE SONGS FOR SOPRANO AND PIANO (1980, rev. 2003) Music by John Thow (1949-2007) Poems by Robert Creeley Although we never met in real life, after performing John Thow's contemplative and delicately wrought cycle I feel a strong connection to him. My first introduction to his work came when I was asked to sing at his memorial service, and in reading through the manuscript which he was still revising at the time of his passing, the strange beauty of John's music and Creeley's poems immediately spoke to me on a visceral level. I feel especially fortunate for this unique opportunity to record and share an unknown song cycle of great beauty. Kore The Rain Water Music These poems appear in For Love: Poems 1950-1960 by Robert Creeley (New York: Scribners, 1962) ISBN 0-684-71738-7 ----------------------------- SEVEN SONGS (2003) Music by Vartan Aghababian (b. 1964) Poems by Wilfrid Wilson Gibson Vartan and I conceived the idea for Seven Songs in the early winter of 2002 as our country was entering into armed conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. With imagery ranging from soldiers in the trenches, to wives and mothers on the home front, to the plight of veterans returning to broken lives, this powerful work evokes compassion for those who have given their lives or lost loved ones in the past, and challenges us to question our modern military actions and motivations. The Return He went, and he was gay to go; And I smiled on him as he went. My son, 'twas well he couldn't know My darkest dread, nor what it meant - Just what it meant to smile and smile And let my son go cheerily - My son ... and wondering all the while What stranger would come back to me. The Going R.B. He's gone. I do not understand. I only know That as he turned to go And waved his hand, In his young eyes a sudden glory shone, And I was dazzled with a sunset glow, And he was gone. 23rd April 1915 Breakfast We ate our breakfast lying on our backs, Because the shells were screeching overhead. I bet a rasher to a loaf of bread That Hull United would beat Halifax When Jimmy Strainthorpe played full-back instead Of Billy Bradford. Ginger raised his head And cursed, and took the bet; and dropt back dead. We ate our breakfast lying on our backs, Because the shells were screeching overhead. All Being Well All being well, I'll come to you, Swe

1.1 Practice Your Flamenco
1.2 Silver Apples: The Moon
1.3 Silver Apples: Eldorado III
1.4 Silver Apples: The Cat and the Moon
1.5 Silver Apples: Carpe Luna
1.6 For Love: Kore
1.7 For Love: The Rain
1.8 For Love: Water Music
1.9 Seven Songs: The Return
1.10 Seven Songs: The Going
1.11 Seven Songs: Breakfast
1.12 Seven Songs: All Being Well
1.13 Seven Songs: Long Tom
1.14 Seven Songs: Back
1.15 Seven Songs: Lament
1.16 Joni Mitchell Suite: Conversation
1.17 Joni Mitchell Suite: The Arrangement
1.18 Joni Mitchell Suite: The Hissing of Summer Lawns
1.19 Joni Mitchell Suite: The Dry Cleaner from Des Moines
1.20 Joni Mitchell Suite: Cactus Tree

Ann Moss: Currents

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