Rock out with Second Inversion this weekend at our next On Stage with Classical KING FM concert: a rock ‘n’ roll reprise of the Seattle Rock Orchestra Quintet performing with the mesmerizing Tamara Power-Drutis!
Back by popular demand after a rousing concert last season, the band is back to transform popular song into art song, performing a program that reimagines both classic and modern songs as intimate and emotional chamber works born for the recital hall.
So how about a preview? Watch our exclusive videos below of the band performing works last year by Radiohead, Beck, and Jeremy Enigk:
Radiohead (arr. Scott Teske): Nude
Beck (arr. Bischoff/Teske): Do We? We Do.
Jeremy Enigk (arr. Scott Teske): Ballroom
Plus, listen to the rest of last year’s setlist on-demand below:
Second Inversion presents the Seattle Rock Orchestra Quintet with Tamara Power-Drutis this Saturday, April 15 at 7:30pm at Resonance at SOMA Towers in Bellevue.Click herefor tickets.
The name “W. Shakespeare” reads in bold print on the title page of The Passionate Pilgrim, a poem cycle published right as Shakespeare was beginning to achieve widespread fame in 1599. But there’s a pretty good reason why most people haven’t heard of the anthology: Shakespeare didn’t actually write it.
Or at least, he didn’t write much of it. The 20-poem anthology was compiled and published by a scheming editor named William Jaggard, who got hold of two of Shakespeare’s poems and combined them with 18 other poems by various hands—passing them off as Shakespeare’s to sell more copies.
Suffice it to say, the jig didn’t last long: several of the poems were attributed to other poets during his lifetime, and the anthology was quickly revealed as a desperate marketing ploy.
But now, over four centuries later, that orphaned “Shakespearean” poem cycle finds a new home in a collaborative chamber pop album of the same name by Oracle Hysterical and New Vintage Baroque.
Let’s meet the characters, shall we?
Oracle Hysterical is comprised of four extraordinarily well-read composer-performers: Majel Connery (vocals), Elliot Cole (guitars, vocals, harmonium), and twin brothers Doug Balliett (double bass, viola da gamba) and Brad Balliett (bassoon). “Half band, half book club,” the ensemble combines classical and art-rock musical idioms with exceptional literary breadth, recreating great works of literature through the medium of song.
For this particular project, Oracle Hysterical joins forces with New Vintage Baroque, an adventurous, Julliard-trained period ensemble dedicated to the creation of 21st century repertoire for historical instruments.
Photo by Katrin Albert.
The album unfolds as a song cycle that toes the line between indie rock and Baroque chamber pop, hitting all the major Shakespearean themes of youth, beauty, love, and death along the way.
Tone painting abounds in this collection of modern-day madrigals, which feature Majel Connery and Elliot Cole’s indie vocals floating atop poised, balanced, and beautifully textured Baroque accompaniments. Yet the pieces expand upon the traditional roles of these period instruments, experimenting with low-pitched drones, unexpected instrument pairings, stereo sound, and intricately layered musical textures.
The 14 pieces range from classical chansons to singer-songwriter musical stylings, lilting lullabies to charming folk duets. Witty hooks and buoyant rhythms bring the poetry of Shakespeare’s lesser-known (or in this case, completely unknown) contemporaries clear into the 21st century, drawing connections through the timeless literary themes that have gripped writers for centuries.
But aside from the actual text setting, texture is of paramount concern in these musical arrangements, the counterpoint carefully shaped and articulated with precision, grace, and old world finesse. The result is a song cycle that echoes with the elegant charm of a Baroque dance suite and resonates with historical depth and drama.
It may not be Shakespeare—but it’s poetry, through and through.
Hello, world. Do you know The Westerlies? Here’s a warm introduction, if not. They’re a brass quartet based in New York, but all four musicians are Seattle natives and longtime friends, and “dedicated to the cultivation of a new brass quartet repertoire that exists in the ever-narrowing gap between American folk music, jazz, classical, and indie rock.”
We are thrilled here at Second Inversion to present the video premiere of The Westerlies’ “Sweeter than the Day” from their albumWish The Children Would Come On Home: The Music of Wayne Horvitz. The album, which Horvitz produced, was recorded in August 2013 and was recently released by Songlines Recordings. In between takes, they shot this video outside the studio on Lopez Island, one of the most peaceful and relaxing places in the Northwest, especially on these clear, summer evenings (yes, we have them and yes, I’m giving away one of our best Northwest secrets).
Friday, June 27, 8pm @ Seattle Art Museum (Opening for HUMAN FEEL)
Sunday, August 3, 8pm @ Café Racer (Curating the Racer Sessions)
Friday, August 8, 8pm @ Royal Room (Official CD release party!)
Monday, August 25, 8pm @ Good Shepherd Center (Album Release Tour)
Stay tuned for more Second Inversion coverage of this talented, innovative ensemble!