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  • Rhiannon Giddens

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  • May 10, 2021

    Rhiannon Giddens is a guest on Kyle Meredith With..., an interview series hosted by WFPK’s Kyle Meredith for Consequence. "One of the all time greats," Meredith says of his guest. They discuss her new album with Francesco Turrisi, They're Calling Me Home, which Meredith calls "powerful and beautiful." You can watch their conversation here.

  • May 6, 2021

    Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi have released a new video for their rendition of the traditional American folk song “O Death,” from their new album, They're Calling Me Home. The video features illustrated vignettes of a story about death painted by Maeve Clancy, an Irish crankie roll artist. Giddens explains, “Crankies are a pre-electricity technology that pair a visual narrative, usually painted on a long piece of paper or cloth, 'cranked' by hand to the timing of the song.” You can watch it here.

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About Rhiannon Giddens

  • Rhiannon Giddens’ new album, They're Calling Me Home, recorded with Italian multi-instrumentalist Francesco Turrisi, was released April 9 on Nonesuch Records; vinyl is due June 11. Giddens and Turrisi, who both live in Ireland when they aren’t on tour, have been there since March 2020 due to the pandemic. The two expats found themselves drawn to the music of their native and adoptive countries of America, Italy, and Ireland during lockdown. Exploring the emotions brought up by the moment, Giddens and Turrisi decamped to Hellfire, a small studio on a working farm outside of Dublin, to record these songs over six days. The result is They're Calling Me Home, a twelve-track album that speaks of the longing for the comfort of home as well as the metaphorical "call home" of death, which has been a tragic reality for so many during the COVID-19 crisis.

    They're Calling Me Home features several traditional songs that Giddens hasn't played for years, including some of the first old-time pieces she ever learned: "I Shall Not Be Moved," "Black As Crow (Dearest Dear)" and "Waterbound." The album also includes a new song Giddens wrote, “Avalon,” as well as an Italian lullaby, “Nenna Nenna," that Turrisi used to sing to his infant daughter that took on new resonance during the lockdown.

    Giddens says of Alice Gerrard, the folk music pioneer, who wrote "Calling Me Home," the video which for can be seen above: "Some people just know how to tap into a tradition and an emotion so deep that it sounds like a song that has always been around—Alice Gerrard is one of those rarities; 'Calling Me Home' struck me forcefully and deeply the first time I heard it, and every time since. This song just wanted to be sung and so I listened."

    They’re Calling Me Home also includes two well known songs about death: "Amazing Grace" and "O Death."

    The minstrel banjo, accordion and frame drums that have become characteristic of the pair’s sound are well represented on the album, but it’s the viola and cello banjo combination that captures unexpected emotion and intensity. Joining them at key moments are Congolese guitarist Niwel Tsumbu and Irish traditional musician Emer Mayock on flute, whistle, and pipes. Engineer Ben Rawlins was key to the shape and sound of the record while Giddens and Turrisi produced and Kim Rosen mastered.

    They’re Calling Me Home is the follow-up to Giddens' 2019 album with Turrisi, there is no Other, of which Pitchfork said, "There are few artists so fearless and so ravenous in their exploration." Giddens earned a Grammy Award nomination (her sixth) for the album, which is at once a condemnation of "othering" and a celebration of the spread of ideas, connectivity, and shared experience.

    In the past two years alone Rhiannon Giddens has been profiled in the New Yorker, featured on multiple magazine covers, and appeared in Ken Burns' Country Music on PBS and Samuel L. Jackson's Epix series Enslaved, among other appearances. She received the inaugural Legacy of Americana Award at the Americana Awards & Honors, composed her first opera (with a forthcoming debut at Spoleto Festival USA), shared remote performances for the Late Show with Stephen Colbert and NPR's Tiny Desk (Home) Concert, and was named Artistic Director of the Silk Road Ensemble.

Rhiannon Giddens

Tour

Thu, Sep 16
Ojai, CA
Thu, Sep 16
Ojai, CA
Fri, Jan 21
Greensboro, NC
Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts
Fri, Jan 21
Greensboro, NC
Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts
Sun, Jan 23
Greensboro, NC
Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts
Sun, Jan 23
Greensboro, NC
Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts
shashank.kumar's picture
on July 31, 2014 - 2:07pm
Sort Name: 
Giddens Rhiannon
Affiliated Artists: 
Carolina Chocolate Drops
Biography (Excerpt): 

Rhiannon Giddens' album They’re Calling Me Home was recorded with Italian multi-instrumentalist Francesco Turrisi during the COVID-19 lockdown in Ireland. The two expats found themselves drawn to and comforted by the music of their native and adoptive countries of America, Italy, and Ireland, which they recorded at a spare studio on a working farm outside of Dublin. The result is a twelve-song album that speaks to the longing for the comfort of home as well as the metaphorical call "home" of death.

Biography: 

Rhiannon Giddens’ new album, They're Calling Me Home, recorded with Italian multi-instrumentalist Francesco Turrisi, was released April 9 on Nonesuch Records; vinyl is due June 11. Giddens and Turrisi, who both live in Ireland when they aren’t on tour, have been there since March 2020 due to the pandemic. The two expats found themselves drawn to the music of their native and adoptive countries of America, Italy, and Ireland during lockdown. Exploring the emotions brought up by the moment, Giddens and Turrisi decamped to Hellfire, a small studio on a working farm outside of Dublin, to record these songs over six days. The result is They're Calling Me Home, a twelve-track album that speaks of the longing for the comfort of home as well as the metaphorical "call home" of death, which has been a tragic reality for so many during the COVID-19 crisis.

They're Calling Me Home features several traditional songs that Giddens hasn't played for years, including some of the first old-time pieces she ever learned: "I Shall Not Be Moved," "Black As Crow (Dearest Dear)" and "Waterbound." The album also includes a new song Giddens wrote, “Avalon,” as well as an Italian lullaby, “Nenna Nenna," that Turrisi used to sing to his infant daughter that took on new resonance during the lockdown.

Giddens says of Alice Gerrard, the folk music pioneer, who wrote "Calling Me Home," the video which for can be seen above: "Some people just know how to tap into a tradition and an emotion so deep that it sounds like a song that has always been around—Alice Gerrard is one of those rarities; 'Calling Me Home' struck me forcefully and deeply the first time I heard it, and every time since. This song just wanted to be sung and so I listened."

They’re Calling Me Home also includes two well known songs about death: "Amazing Grace" and "O Death."

The minstrel banjo, accordion and frame drums that have become characteristic of the pair’s sound are well represented on the album, but it’s the viola and cello banjo combination that captures unexpected emotion and intensity. Joining them at key moments are Congolese guitarist Niwel Tsumbu and Irish traditional musician Emer Mayock on flute, whistle, and pipes. Engineer Ben Rawlins was key to the shape and sound of the record while Giddens and Turrisi produced and Kim Rosen mastered.

They’re Calling Me Home is the follow-up to Giddens' 2019 album with Turrisi, there is no Other, of which Pitchfork said, "There are few artists so fearless and so ravenous in their exploration." Giddens earned a Grammy Award nomination (her sixth) for the album, which is at once a condemnation of "othering" and a celebration of the spread of ideas, connectivity, and shared experience.

In the past two years alone Rhiannon Giddens has been profiled in the New Yorker, featured on multiple magazine covers, and appeared in Ken Burns' Country Music on PBS and Samuel L. Jackson's Epix series Enslaved, among other appearances. She received the inaugural Legacy of Americana Award at the Americana Awards & Honors, composed her first opera (with a forthcoming debut at Spoleto Festival USA), shared remote performances for the Late Show with Stephen Colbert and NPR's Tiny Desk (Home) Concert, and was named Artistic Director of the Silk Road Ensemble.

Weight: 
10
Active Artist: 
No
Facebook URL: 
https://www.facebook.com/RhiannonGiddensMusic
Twitter URL: 
https://twitter.com/rhiannongiddens
Instagram URL: 
http://instagram.com/rhiannongiddens
Artist Header Image: 
Artist Card Image: 
Artist Spotlight Image: 
Youtube URL: 
https://www.youtube.com/user/rhiannongiddens

Tour

Thu, Sep 16
Ojai, CA
Thu, Sep 16
Ojai, CA
Fri, Jan 21
Greensboro, NC
Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts
Fri, Jan 21
Greensboro, NC
Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts
Sun, Jan 23
Greensboro, NC
Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts
Sun, Jan 23
Greensboro, NC
Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts
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