Nonesuch Releases Jacob Cooper’s Label Debut, "Silver Threads," Featuring Soprano Mellissa Hughes, April 29
Nonesuch releases composer Jacob Cooper’s label debut, Silver Threads, on April 29, 2014. The album comprises a six-song cycle performed by soprano Mellissa Hughes. Cooper wrote the title track for Hughes in 2011, setting a haiku attributed to Japanese poet Matsuo Bashō for voice and electronic track. To expand it into a full cycle (for voice and track), he enlisted five other poets to write text inspired by the haiku. Nonesuch Store preorders include an instant download of the title track. Hughes performs selections from Silver Threads in NYC as part of her March 20 Lincoln Center American Songbook concert.
Nonesuch releases composer Jacob Cooper’s label debut, Silver Threads, on April 29, 2014. The album comprises a six-song cycle performed by soprano Mellissa Hughes. Cooper wrote the first song, “Silver Threads,” for Hughes in the winter of 2011, setting a haiku attributed to the famous Japanese poet Matsuo Bashō for voice and electronic track. To expand it into a full cycle (all for voice and track), he enlisted five other poets to write text that was inspired by the haiku: Greg Alan Brownderville, Tarfia Faizullah, Kristin Kelly, Dora Malech, and Zach Savich. The album is available for pre-order in the Nonesuch Store now with an instant download of the title track, which you can hear below. Hughes performs selections from Silver Threads in New York City as part of her March 20 Lincoln Center American Songbook concert.
In explaining his use of electronic track on these songs, Cooper says that 19th-century “German lied was associated with the piano because it’d just had a huge surge of popularity, and there was one in every middle-class home—it was essentially a folk instrument at that time.” He continues, “I feel like, in a way, the laptop is so prevalent now that it’s a sort of contemporary folk instrument. The sounds it can create, which we hear all the time on the radio and elsewhere, are the folk sounds of today. So it seemed like the natural accompaniment for a song cycle.”
Jacob Cooper’s compositions and multimedia works have gained recognition in both North America and Europe, with performances by the JACK Quartet, the Calder Quartet, Ensemble ACJW, the NOW Ensemble, and the Minnesota Orchestra. His work has recently appeared at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, the MATA Festival, the Wordless Music concert series, and Bargemusic. Upcoming projects include commissions for eighth blackbird, the Albany Symphony, and The Living Earth Show.
Lauded as “richly talented” by the New York Times, Cooper has earned awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, ASCAP, and the American Music Center, and was the winner of the 2011 Carlsbad Music Festival competition. He has attended the Bang on a Can Summer Institute and the Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute, and he has held residences at the Ucross Foundation, the Banff Centre, the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center, and the Atlantic Center for the Arts. Cooper is also a member of the composers collective Sleeping Giant with labelmate Timo Andres and others. Cooper works in visual media as well, and his video Commencer une autre mort was shortlisted for the 2010 YouTube/Guggenheim Biennial of Creative Video. Also dedicated to teaching and scholarship, Cooper has served on the faculty at Amherst College and recently completed the requirements for his doctorate in composition at the Yale School of Music.
Mellissa Hughes, hailed by the New York Times as “a versatile, charismatic soprano endowed with brilliant technique and superlative stage instincts…indispensable to New York’s new-music ecosystem,” enjoys a busy international career in both contemporary and early music. A dedicated interpreter of living composers, Hughes has worked closely with Julia Wolfe, Michael Gordon, David Lang, Steve Reich, and Neil Rolnick, and has premiered works by David T. Little, Missy Mazzoli, Ted Hearne, Caleb Burhans, Christopher Cerrone, and Frederick Rzewski, among others. In the classical concert hall she has performed Mozart’s Vespers and Requiem under the baton of Sir Neville Marriner, Handel’s Dixit Dominus with Sir David Willcocks, and the role of Dido under the direction of Andrew Lawrence King. Equally at home in front of a rock band, Hughes has received widespread acclaim in her role as lead vocalist of Newspeak, an amplified alt-classical band, and for her work with Missy Mazzoli’s Victoire.
Wednesday, April 26, 2017Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Nonesuch releases The Natalie Merchant Collection—a deluxe ten-CD box set compiled by Merchant—on June 23, 2017. It's ten discs, including all eight of her solo studio albums from the past three decades; Butterfly, a new studio set featuring new songs and reinterpreted selections from her catalog, arranged for string quartet; and Rarities, a collection of rare and previously unreleased tracks. The package includes a 100-page lyric book and pictorial history of her solo career. Pre-orders include an instant download of the new recording of "Frozen Charlotte" from the Butterfly disc and an exclusive, limited-edition print autographed by Merchant.
Friday, April 21, 2017Friday, April 21, 2017
Bach Trios, an album of Bach works recorded by cellist Yo-Yo Ma, mandolinist Chris Thile, and bassist Edgar Meyer, is now available in a two-LP vinyl edition, following its recent release on CD and digitally. The Times (UK) calls it "irresistible." The Observer says the musicians are "in perfect harmony." Herald Scotland exclaims: "A new classic ...Truly, virtuosity is its own reward." The trio begins a nine-city US tour at Boston's Symphony Hall tonight.