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  • Friday, August 24, 2018
    Gabriel Kahane's New Album, "Book of Travelers," Out Now on Nonesuch

    Composer, pianist, and singer Gabriel Kahane's Nonesuch Records debut album, Book of Travelers, is out now on CD and digitally; vinyl out September 7. The album comprises a ten-song musical travelogue Kahane wrote after the journey he embarked upon the day after the 2016 Presidential election: a looping, 8,980-mile railway journey through the United States. He left behind his cell phone and other internet-connected devices, spending the next two weeks with dozens of strangers whose stories are woven into the cycle. "[An] articulate, musically far-reaching travelogue," says Uncut. "Exquisitely crafted songs … full of affection for their inhabitants … Musically fascinating and hauntingly empathetic."

    To pick up a copy of Book of Travelers, head to your local music store, iTunes, Bandcamp, Amazon, and the Nonesuch Store, where CD orders and vinyl pre-orders include a download of the complete album at checkout. Book of Travelers is also available to stream at Apple Music and Spotify. You can watch five videos of songs from the album here:

    The music is drawn from a longer work that has been performed at Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), among other venues, as 8980: Book of Travelers, a production conceived in collaboration with director Daniel Fish and designer Jim Findlay (set and video design) with lighting by Mark Barton. In celebration of Book of Travelers, Kahane tours internationally this fall and winter, starting at Bourbon & Branch in Philadelphia on September 7; dates and ticket links are below and at nonesuch.com/on-tour.

    "It is the rare piece of art that aims... not merely to suggest that political art is personal art but to interlock those categories inextricably," writes Pitchfork contributor Grayson Haver Currin. "Like his frequent collaborator Sufjan Stevens, Kahane has the rare ability to turn arcane information into winning tunes ... That he's able to do this with nothing more than a few keyboards, subtle effects, and his sensitive voice makes Kahane's melodies and performances here all the more remarkable; there are no gilded strings or cascading choirs to sweep you along, just stories translated into exquisite little songs."

    Kahane wrote in the New York Times of his trip, which he planned before the election, and was going to take regardless of the outcome: "Where much of the digital world finds us sorting ourselves neatly into cultural and ideological silos, the train, in my experience, does precisely the opposite. It also acts, by some numinous, unseen force, as a kind of industrial-strength social lubricant. To be sure, I encountered people whose politics I found abhorrent, dangerous, and destructive, but in just about every instance, there was something about the person's relationship to family, and loyalty to family, that I found deeply moving. That ability to connect across an ideological divide seemed predicated on the fact that we were quite literally breaking bread together. Perhaps it also had something to do with the pace at which we traveled."

    Singer-songwriter and composer Gabriel Kahane has recorded critically-acclaimed albums including The Ambassador (called "one of the year's best" by Rolling Stone); The Fiction Issue, an album of his chamber music with string quartet Brooklyn Rider; and Where Are the Arms. The staged version of The Ambassador, directed by Tony-winner John Tiffany, was presented by BAM, CAP UCLA, and Carolina Performing Arts.

    As a composer of concert works, Kahane has been commissioned by Carnegie Hall, Los Angeles Philharmonic, American Composers Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and the Oregon Symphony, for whom he wrote emergency shelter intake form, a nearly hour long oratorio confronting the resurgence of deep poverty in America through the lens of housing insecurity and homelessness. An avid theater artist, Kahane’s musical February House, with playwright Seth Bockley, premiered at the Public Theater in 2012 and was recorded by the StorySound label. A two-time MacDowell Colony fellow, Kahane has performed and/or recorded with artists ranging from Sufjan Stevens, Andrew Bird, Blake Mills, Chris Thile, and Brad Mehldau, to Jeremy Denk, yMusic, and John Adams. He is a graduate of Brown University and resides in Brooklyn.

    GABRIEL KAHANE ON TOUR

    Sep 7 Bourbon & Branch Philadelphia, PA
    Sep 8 Jammin' Java Music Club & Cafe Vienna, VA
    Sep 9 Creative Alliance Baltimore, MD
    Sep 11 O Patro Vys Montreal, QC
    Sep 12 Higher Ground Showcase Lounge South Burlington, VT
    Sep 13 Auburn Public Theater Auburn, NY
    Sep 15 The Press Room Portsmouth, NH
    Sep 16 City Winery Boston, MA
    Sep 20 Murmrr Theatre Brooklyn, NY
         
    Oct 10 The Loft La Jolla, CA
    Oct 26&27 The Kennedy Center* Washington, DC
         
    Nov 2 Cactus Cafe Austin, TX
    Nov 3 The Cliburn Fort Worth, TX
    Nov 14 The Parkway Theater Minneapolis, MN
    Nov 16 Constellation Chicago, IL
    Nov 17 The Back Room @ Colectivo Milwaukee, WI
    Nov 18 The Ark Ann Arbor, MI
    Nov 28 Station Inn Nashville, TN
    Nov 29 Eddie's Attic Decatur, GA
    Nov 30 Cat's Cradle Carrboro, NC
    Dec 1 Isis Music Hall Asheville, NC
    Dec 2 The Evening Muse Charlotte, NC
    Dec 4 Hi-Fi Indianapolis, IN
    Dec 5 Club Café Pittsburgh, PA
    Dec 7 Burchfield Penny Art Center Buffalo, NY
    Dec 8 Burdock Music Hall Toronto, ON
         
    Jan 22 MIM Music Theater Phoenix, AZ
    Jan 24 Bootleg Theater Los Angeles, CA
    Jan 26 Herbst Theatre San Francisco, CA
    Jan 30 The Old Church Portland, OR
    Jan 31 Triple Door Seattle, WA
         
    Feb 14 Alexander Hall, Princeton University** Princeton, NJ
         
    Apr 1&2 Théâtre de la Ville** Paris, FRANCE
    Apr 5&6 Théâtre de la Croix-Rousse** Lyon, FRANCE
         

    * w/Andrew Bird & National Symphony
    ** 8980: Book of Travelers

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Gabriel Kahane's New Album, "Book of Travelers," Out Now on Nonesuch

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on August 24, 2018 - 8:30am
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Friday, August 24, 2018 - 08:30
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Composer, pianist, and singer Gabriel Kahane's Nonesuch Records debut album, Book of Travelers, is out now. It comprises his musical travelogue about the looping railway journey across the US he embarked upon the day after the 2016 election. He left behind his cell phone and other internet-connected devices, spending the next two weeks with dozens of strangers whose stories are woven into the cycle. "[An] articulate, musically far-reaching travelogue," says Uncut. "Exquisitely crafted songs … Musically fascinating and hauntingly empathetic." Kahane begins a tour on September 7, when the album is out on vinyl.

Copy: 

Composer, pianist, and singer Gabriel Kahane's Nonesuch Records debut album, Book of Travelers, is out now on CD and digitally; vinyl out September 7. The album comprises a ten-song musical travelogue Kahane wrote after the journey he embarked upon the day after the 2016 Presidential election: a looping, 8,980-mile railway journey through the United States. He left behind his cell phone and other internet-connected devices, spending the next two weeks with dozens of strangers whose stories are woven into the cycle. "[An] articulate, musically far-reaching travelogue," says Uncut. "Exquisitely crafted songs … full of affection for their inhabitants … Musically fascinating and hauntingly empathetic."

To pick up a copy of Book of Travelers, head to your local music store, iTunes, Bandcamp, Amazon, and the Nonesuch Store, where CD orders and vinyl pre-orders include a download of the complete album at checkout. Book of Travelers is also available to stream at Apple Music and Spotify. You can watch five videos of songs from the album here:

The music is drawn from a longer work that has been performed at Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), among other venues, as 8980: Book of Travelers, a production conceived in collaboration with director Daniel Fish and designer Jim Findlay (set and video design) with lighting by Mark Barton. In celebration of Book of Travelers, Kahane tours internationally this fall and winter, starting at Bourbon & Branch in Philadelphia on September 7; dates and ticket links are below and at nonesuch.com/on-tour.

"It is the rare piece of art that aims... not merely to suggest that political art is personal art but to interlock those categories inextricably," writes Pitchfork contributor Grayson Haver Currin. "Like his frequent collaborator Sufjan Stevens, Kahane has the rare ability to turn arcane information into winning tunes ... That he's able to do this with nothing more than a few keyboards, subtle effects, and his sensitive voice makes Kahane's melodies and performances here all the more remarkable; there are no gilded strings or cascading choirs to sweep you along, just stories translated into exquisite little songs."

Kahane wrote in the New York Times of his trip, which he planned before the election, and was going to take regardless of the outcome: "Where much of the digital world finds us sorting ourselves neatly into cultural and ideological silos, the train, in my experience, does precisely the opposite. It also acts, by some numinous, unseen force, as a kind of industrial-strength social lubricant. To be sure, I encountered people whose politics I found abhorrent, dangerous, and destructive, but in just about every instance, there was something about the person's relationship to family, and loyalty to family, that I found deeply moving. That ability to connect across an ideological divide seemed predicated on the fact that we were quite literally breaking bread together. Perhaps it also had something to do with the pace at which we traveled."

Singer-songwriter and composer Gabriel Kahane has recorded critically-acclaimed albums including The Ambassador (called "one of the year's best" by Rolling Stone); The Fiction Issue, an album of his chamber music with string quartet Brooklyn Rider; and Where Are the Arms. The staged version of The Ambassador, directed by Tony-winner John Tiffany, was presented by BAM, CAP UCLA, and Carolina Performing Arts.

As a composer of concert works, Kahane has been commissioned by Carnegie Hall, Los Angeles Philharmonic, American Composers Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and the Oregon Symphony, for whom he wrote emergency shelter intake form, a nearly hour long oratorio confronting the resurgence of deep poverty in America through the lens of housing insecurity and homelessness. An avid theater artist, Kahane’s musical February House, with playwright Seth Bockley, premiered at the Public Theater in 2012 and was recorded by the StorySound label. A two-time MacDowell Colony fellow, Kahane has performed and/or recorded with artists ranging from Sufjan Stevens, Andrew Bird, Blake Mills, Chris Thile, and Brad Mehldau, to Jeremy Denk, yMusic, and John Adams. He is a graduate of Brown University and resides in Brooklyn.

GABRIEL KAHANE ON TOUR

Sep 7 Bourbon & Branch Philadelphia, PA
Sep 8 Jammin' Java Music Club & Cafe Vienna, VA
Sep 9 Creative Alliance Baltimore, MD
Sep 11 O Patro Vys Montreal, QC
Sep 12 Higher Ground Showcase Lounge South Burlington, VT
Sep 13 Auburn Public Theater Auburn, NY
Sep 15 The Press Room Portsmouth, NH
Sep 16 City Winery Boston, MA
Sep 20 Murmrr Theatre Brooklyn, NY
     
Oct 10 The Loft La Jolla, CA
Oct 26&27 The Kennedy Center* Washington, DC
     
Nov 2 Cactus Cafe Austin, TX
Nov 3 The Cliburn Fort Worth, TX
Nov 14 The Parkway Theater Minneapolis, MN
Nov 16 Constellation Chicago, IL
Nov 17 The Back Room @ Colectivo Milwaukee, WI
Nov 18 The Ark Ann Arbor, MI
Nov 28 Station Inn Nashville, TN
Nov 29 Eddie's Attic Decatur, GA
Nov 30 Cat's Cradle Carrboro, NC
Dec 1 Isis Music Hall Asheville, NC
Dec 2 The Evening Muse Charlotte, NC
Dec 4 Hi-Fi Indianapolis, IN
Dec 5 Club Café Pittsburgh, PA
Dec 7 Burchfield Penny Art Center Buffalo, NY
Dec 8 Burdock Music Hall Toronto, ON
     
Jan 22 MIM Music Theater Phoenix, AZ
Jan 24 Bootleg Theater Los Angeles, CA
Jan 26 Herbst Theatre San Francisco, CA
Jan 30 The Old Church Portland, OR
Jan 31 Triple Door Seattle, WA
     
Feb 14 Alexander Hall, Princeton University** Princeton, NJ
     
Apr 1&2 Théâtre de la Ville** Paris, FRANCE
Apr 5&6 Théâtre de la Croix-Rousse** Lyon, FRANCE
     

* w/Andrew Bird & National Symphony
** 8980: Book of Travelers

featuredimage: 
Gabriel Kahane: "Book of Travelers" [cover]

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