February 21st, 2013 , by John Beeler
As part of its new partnership with Brooklyn-based, artist-run label New Amsterdam Records, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s March 9, 2013 concert presents Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond and Ryan Lott of Son Lux in a performance that smudges the line between “rock” and “classical.” You can buy tickets here.
Ryan’s set features the music of Son Lux in new orchestral arrangements created by a trio of rising classical musicians: electro-acoustic composer Daniel Wohl, and acclaimed singer-composers Caroline Shaw (of avant-garde chamber choir Roomful of Teeth) and New Amsterdam co-founder William Brittelle. Shara will join the orchestra in a perfomance of Penelope, the “ravishingly melancholy” (New York Times), “quietly devastating” (Pitchfork) song cycle by Sarah Kirkland Snider, another co-founder of New Amsterdam.
Neither singer is a stranger to the world of classical music. Both have studied composition and collaborated extensively cutting-edge chamber sextet yMusic, and Shara was recently tapped by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang (of the Bang on a Can collective) to give voice to his eerie cycle death speaks.
Shara sees the chance to sing someone else’s music as a liberating opportunity. “One’s own songs are so personal, and so you know it and have an intimate way of singing those songs,” she says, but “sometimes ‘knowing’ means that you get stuck in a rut and can’t see your own tune in a new light, so you have to challenge yourself to approach your own material like an improvisation at times in order to stay fresh.”
The challenge is to inhabit another composer’s music as intimately as if she had written it herself. “When you go to sing someone else’s tunes,” says Shara, “you really want to apply that same level of investment to their work as you have to your own.”
Penelope‘s lyrics, by playwright Ellen McLaughlin, interweave the story of Homer’s Odyssey with that of a woman whose husband returns from a more contemporary war so damaged that he is no longer himself. Shara points out that the multilayered piece is also an opportunity to exercise the more dramatic side of musical performance.
“There are at least four different voices in this text,” she says, “and I’m enjoying approaching it from more with actor eyes, and allowing the characters and their journeys to really let something different happen in my voice.”
The concert takes place at 7:30 at the Hilbert Circle Theatre. Edwin Outwater will conduct. Tickets are here.
January 23rd, 2013 , by John Beeler
My Brightest Diamond is playing played at the Bowery Ballroom in New York City Wednesday, January 23rd. Her blog promised a parade (!), new songs (!!), marching, dancing, party hats, and whistles.
May 4th, 2012 , by John Beeler
My Brightest Diamond’s Shara Worden will perform on her former home turf this weekend. Collaborating with New York-based indie-classical chamber ensemble supergroup yMusic, MBD plays Saturday at the Crossing Brooklyn Ferry music fest, sponsored by Brooklyn Academy of Music. yMusic contributed to MBD’s 2011 release All Things Will Unwind.
Crossing Brooklyn Ferry is curated by brothers and musicians Aaron and Bryce Dessner (The National). The fest was conceived by BAM director Joseph V. Melillo, who also commissioned Sufjan Stevens’ cinematic suite The BQE in 2007.
Part of a festival lineup, including Beirut, St. Vincent, and Sharon Van Etten, MBD takes the stage with yMusic at the Howard Gilman Opera House this Saturday, May 5 at 8 p.m. Click here for tickets.
February 15th, 2012 , by John Beeler
February 11th, 2012 , by John Beeler
Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond is appearing on A Prairie Home Companion (With Garrison Keillor) Saturday February 11th. The show will be live from the beautiful Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, Minnesota. No doubt news from Lake Wobegan will also be available on the show.
EDIT: Listen to the segment here.
November 17th, 2011 , by John Beeler
So much My Brightest Diamond! So little time!
Firstly: today marks the start of My Brightest Diamond's EU tour! She'll play tonight with a full ensemble in London, then visit Milan, Zurich, Berlin, Cologne, Utrecht, Leuven, and Paris. You can get details on the tour here.
Back to the USA. Above is a lovely video of "High Low MIddle," directed by Murat Eyuboglu, filmed in Detroit and featuring dancers from RunJitRun and Jitting Jesus.
If you live in the US and spent your Saturday morning ritual relaxing on the couch watching the November rain fall outside, eating your bowl of cereal, and listening to NPR’s All Things Considered, then you likely heard a lovely surprise: the voice of My Brightest Diamond frontwoman Shara Worden echoing over the airwaves.
It’s a terrific piece, on one of our favorite all-time bands. EU, US, anywhere; all of us can hear the radio piece right here, along with a couple tracks from the album. And as far as the album goes, you can buy it right here in LP/CD/MP3, and even t-shirt form.
October 18th, 2011 , by John Beeler
It’s always a happy day at Asthmatic Kitty when we ship out a new record, and today is no exception. All Things Will Unwind is now out, and it is easily our favorite My Brightest Diamond record yet. The album is full of surprises; loose but articulate, catchy but challenging. Every detail, from handbells to costume design to every note trill, is straight from the soul of frontwoman Shara Worden, and it shows in each little corner of every song. It’s stacked with collaborations too, including DM Stith and the prolific yMusic. We hope you like it as much as we do!
Buy the album on iTunes at a limited time sale price for $7.99 right here.
You can also find the CD or LP at your local record store, or order it from our humble mail-order website by clicking here. We also have new Detroit-made MBD t-shirts that include an MP3 download for sale right here.
There’s also a new video! Longtime MBD collaborator Murat Eyuboglu shot the above for “We Added It Up,” which includes dance choreography by Jennifer McQuiston Lott. Watch above, or here.
October 14th, 2011 , by John Beeler
Shara, who lives in Detroit, worked with a “hyper-local” screen-printer not far from her house named InkInBloom to design and print a shirt based on this song. You see the result above; a beautiful incorporation of one of the masks from the project and the lyrics.
All of the profits from the sale of these shirts go to Love146, a non-profit organization working to end child sex slavery and exploitation.
Of the shirts Shara says, “"Be Brave, dear one. Be ye changed or be undone. Millions of people are reported to be enslaved, most of whom are in commercial sex industries. 1.2 million are children. Since I have several friends who are working with non-profits to raise awareness of this reality, and try to help prevent human trafficking, I decided this was a small thing I could do to help. I’ve known the founders of Love146 for 10 years and I trust them. I believe in their work. So I thought for starters, I could make a tee shirt, a little prayer, a hopeful wish for those people who are trapped, to trust that change will come. "
You can buy men and womens’ shirts from InkInBloom’s website for $24 by clicking here.
October 12th, 2011 , by John Beeler
We'll speak it plainly: these are terrific t-shirts, and My Brightest Diamond through and through. Longtime MBD collaborator David Stith designed the shirts, while Detroit-based Inkinbloom screen-printed them from their own home using non-polluting and biodegradable inks and emulsions.
For the womens' shirt, they printed on the Berry colored Bella B8101 (click here for info and sizing chart). The mens' they printed on a Lieutenant Green American Apparel shirt (here for those details and sizing chart).
October 11th, 2011 , by John Beeler