Ben LaMar Gay's Album 'Open Arms to Open Us' Due November 19 on International Anthem / Nonesuch Records

Browse by:
Year
Browse by:
Publish date (field_publish_date)
Submitted by nonesuch on Wed, 09/22/2021 - 10:00
Article Type
Publish date
Excerpt

Composer, singer, and instrumental polymath Ben LaMar Gay's new album, Open Arms to Open Us, is due November 19 on International Anthem / Nonesuch Records. Living up to NPR's claim that "there is no one universe for Ben LaMar Gay, he just sonic booms from one sound to another," he interweaves jazz, blues, ballads, R&B, raga, new music, nursery rhyme, Tropicália, two-step, hip-hop, and beyond in his most colorful and communicable work yet, an expression of his signature omni-genre, "Pan-Americana" brew. You can watch the video for the track "Sometimes I Forget How Summer Looks on You," featuring OHMME, here.

Copy

Today, the last day of Summer 2021, composer, singer, and instrumental polymath Ben LaMar Gay announces the release of his new album, Open Arms to Open Us, November 19 on International Anthem / Nonesuch Records. The album is available to pre-order here. The first offering from the Southside Chicago native’s newest project is a pulsing melodic bellow featuring OHMME singers Sima Cunningham and Macie Stewart, titled "Sometimes I Forget How Summer Looks on You." According to Gay, the song is “inspired by the preparation one makes for another when it’s time for them to enter or exit an embrace, a memory or a life." You can watch the video for it here:

Highlighted in the New York Times’s Fall 2021 preview last week, Open Arms to Open Us is a dispatch from “postmodern folklorist” Gay’s current place in space, filled with imaginative arrangements and his “wise and confiding baritone.”

It was produced and recorded at International Anthem Studios in Chicago between March and June of 2021. Across sixteen tracks Gay fluently interweaves jazz, blues, ballads, R&B, raga, new music, nursery rhyme, tropicalia, two-step, hip-hop and beyond in a beaming expression of his signature omni-genre “Pan-Americana” brew. Alongside his own sizable toolkit of instruments (cornet, keyboards, synthesizers, flutes, percussions), Gay surrounds himself with steady bandmates (including Tommaso Moretti on drums, Matthew Davis on tuba, and Rob Frye on woodwinds), while also shining the spotlight on female artists from his cast of regular collaborators. Featured artists on the album include: OHMME singers Sima Cunningham and Macie Stewart, bassist/vocalist/arranger Ayanna Woods, multi-disciplinary Rwandan artist Dorothée Munyaneza, poet A.Martinez, cellist Tomeka Reid, and vocalists Onye Ozuzu, Gira Dahnee, and Angel Bat Dawid.

Reflecting on the meaning of the music in a prologue he wrote for Open Arms to Open Us, Gay says the album’s title is “a suggestion of a body movement that is used in many spiritual practices and is also a gesture that represents a type of understanding that leads to touch or a hug.” He also says, “Open Arms to Open Us deals with rhythm as an inheritance of information – sort of like DNA or RNA. Coping with the present-day bombardment of data and recycled ideologies from sources essentially fed by the creed ‘Destroy Them. Own the Earth,’ often leaves me with only one thing to look forward to: Rhythm.”

This latest project is the follow up to Gay’s 2018 critically-acclaimed, debut album Downtown Castles Can Never Block the Sun, which was a compilation of previously-unreleased material composed and produced by Gay over seven years. It was heralded by Pitchfork, NPR, and the Guardian, the last of which called it, “a record of endless depth and unpredictability.” But Gay’s work is not limited to album releases. He has composed for dance troupes (including the Ruth Page Civic Ballet) and architectural features (including a 2019 duet with the DuSable Bridge in downtown Chicago), and also has done extensive film score work (including the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival award-winning documentary The Good Fight). In 2019 he debuted ‘Hecky Naw! Angels!’ at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, using video art and choreography to explore the shapes and sounds of Chicago’s Black social dances.

featuredimage
Ben LaMar Gay: 'Open Arms to Open Us' [cover]
  • Wednesday, September 22, 2021
    Ben LaMar Gay's Album 'Open Arms to Open Us' Due November 19 on International Anthem / Nonesuch Records

    Today, the last day of Summer 2021, composer, singer, and instrumental polymath Ben LaMar Gay announces the release of his new album, Open Arms to Open Us, November 19 on International Anthem / Nonesuch Records. The album is available to pre-order here. The first offering from the Southside Chicago native’s newest project is a pulsing melodic bellow featuring OHMME singers Sima Cunningham and Macie Stewart, titled "Sometimes I Forget How Summer Looks on You." According to Gay, the song is “inspired by the preparation one makes for another when it’s time for them to enter or exit an embrace, a memory or a life." You can watch the video for it here:

    Highlighted in the New York Times’s Fall 2021 preview last week, Open Arms to Open Us is a dispatch from “postmodern folklorist” Gay’s current place in space, filled with imaginative arrangements and his “wise and confiding baritone.”

    It was produced and recorded at International Anthem Studios in Chicago between March and June of 2021. Across sixteen tracks Gay fluently interweaves jazz, blues, ballads, R&B, raga, new music, nursery rhyme, tropicalia, two-step, hip-hop and beyond in a beaming expression of his signature omni-genre “Pan-Americana” brew. Alongside his own sizable toolkit of instruments (cornet, keyboards, synthesizers, flutes, percussions), Gay surrounds himself with steady bandmates (including Tommaso Moretti on drums, Matthew Davis on tuba, and Rob Frye on woodwinds), while also shining the spotlight on female artists from his cast of regular collaborators. Featured artists on the album include: OHMME singers Sima Cunningham and Macie Stewart, bassist/vocalist/arranger Ayanna Woods, multi-disciplinary Rwandan artist Dorothée Munyaneza, poet A.Martinez, cellist Tomeka Reid, and vocalists Onye Ozuzu, Gira Dahnee, and Angel Bat Dawid.

    Reflecting on the meaning of the music in a prologue he wrote for Open Arms to Open Us, Gay says the album’s title is “a suggestion of a body movement that is used in many spiritual practices and is also a gesture that represents a type of understanding that leads to touch or a hug.” He also says, “Open Arms to Open Us deals with rhythm as an inheritance of information – sort of like DNA or RNA. Coping with the present-day bombardment of data and recycled ideologies from sources essentially fed by the creed ‘Destroy Them. Own the Earth,’ often leaves me with only one thing to look forward to: Rhythm.”

    This latest project is the follow up to Gay’s 2018 critically-acclaimed, debut album Downtown Castles Can Never Block the Sun, which was a compilation of previously-unreleased material composed and produced by Gay over seven years. It was heralded by Pitchfork, NPR, and the Guardian, the last of which called it, “a record of endless depth and unpredictability.” But Gay’s work is not limited to album releases. He has composed for dance troupes (including the Ruth Page Civic Ballet) and architectural features (including a 2019 duet with the DuSable Bridge in downtown Chicago), and also has done extensive film score work (including the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival award-winning documentary The Good Fight). In 2019 he debuted ‘Hecky Naw! Angels!’ at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, using video art and choreography to explore the shapes and sounds of Chicago’s Black social dances.

Enjoy This Post?

Get weekly updates right in your inbox.
terms

X By submitting my information, I agree to receive personalized updates and marketing messages about Nonesuch based on my information, interests, activities, website visits and device data and in accordance with the Privacy Policy. I understand that I can opt-out at any time by emailing privacypolicy@wmg.com.

Thank you!
x

Welcome to Nonesuch's mailing list!

Customize your notifications for tour dates near your hometown, birthday wishes, or special discounts in our online store!
terms

By submitting my information, I agree to receive personalized updates and marketing messages about Nonesuch based on my information, interests, activities, website visits and device data and in accordance with the Privacy Policy. I understand that I can opt-out at any time by emailing privacypolicy@wmg.com.

Related Posts

  • Friday, December 2, 2022
    Friday, December 2, 2022

    The first recording of Steve Reich’s Runner and Music for Ensemble and Orchestra, performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and conducted by Susanna Mälkki, released on CD and digitally on Nonesuch Records in September, is now available on vinyl. The New York Times calls Runner "a calmly luminous orchestral piece with the pulsating, propulsive rhythms that animate much of Mr. Reich’s music." The San Francisco Chronicle says that Music for Ensemble and Orchestra "is a beautiful and dramatically charged masterpiece, but its impact goes even further than that."

    Journal Topics: Album ReleaseArtist News
  • Friday, December 2, 2022
    Friday, December 2, 2022

    A digital deluxe version of acclaimed singer, songwriter and musician Molly Tuttle’s Grammy-nominated album with her band Golden Highway, Crooked Tree, is out today on Nonesuch. Alongside the original thirteen songs, the deluxe edition features new renditions of the Grateful Dead’s “Dire Wolf,” and the traditional folk song “Cold Rain and Snow,” also made famous by the Grateful Dead, as well as live versions of album tracks “Dooley’s Farm” (feat. special guest Jerry Douglas) and “Castilleja,” both recorded at Nashville’s historic Station Inn. To celebrate the deluxe release, Tuttle has shared a new video for album track “Nashville Mess Around," which can be seen here.

    Journal Topics: Album ReleaseArtist NewsVideo