Monday, October 10, 2011

EIC'S10Q'S w/My Brightest Diamond

" unequivalent ear for "Heavenly meets Experimental" aural nirvana.."

My Brightest Diamond
A Pastoral Murmur

My Brightest Diamond Bio:
As impressive as her list of recent collaborators, Shara Worden’s voice and arresting live performances have left audiences thunderstruck from the Sydney Opera house to Lincoln Center to the House of Blues. She’s performed under the experimental-pop moniker My Brightest Diamond for the last seven years, and counts Bryce Dressner (The National), The Decemberists, Bon Iver, David Byrne and Laurie Anderson among friends and fans. They are just a few of the many who’ve fallen in love with Worden’s mystical voice and mythic storytelling.

Growing up outside of Detroit in a family of musical evangelists, Worden studied multiple instruments (her father is an acclaimed accordionist and mother an organist). She became equally passionate about classical and Motown, later pursuing a degree in Opera at the University of North Texas where she wrote and recorded original material for the first time. After moving to New York by way of Moscow, Worden recorded three albums before joining the ranks of Sufjan Stevens' Illinoisemakers. She then expanded her musical education further by studying composition under Padma Newsome (Clogs, The National), and turned out several scores for off-Broadway productions.

Worden’s artistry seems to transcend music itself. On stage she evokes as much Martha Graham as Edith Piaf, and can be found collaborating with visual artists (Matthew Ritchie) and filmmakers (Matthew Barney, Murat Eyuboglu) alike. Where worlds are colliding, there is a Shara; a zeitgeist for a growing movement of experimental musicians eager to bend the borders of artistry and genre.

Having recently moved to urban Detroit, planted a garden and given birth to a son, Worden’s latest offering, All Things Will Unwind draws inspiration from the motor city itself. More folk inspired than much of her recent work the new album addresses the painful juxtaposition of life and death, class and race, art and politics—as heard through the mesmerizing lullaby of a new mother.

Hello, how are you?
Pretty good. I’m in Berlin for the week. I just had some good Indian food. I practiced piano for an hour. I tickled my kid before he fell asleep. Life is good.

What are you currently listening to?
Tim Fite, Diane Cluck, Queen, Sade. I saw Sade in concert a couple weeks ago and it was incredible.

Where does the name "My Brightest Diamond" originate from?

I wrote a song called “The Diamond” in which I describe someone who is so precious to you, like a diamond hidden in your pocket . The song represented a turning point in my life.

Care to tell us a little bit about your latest album?
This third MBD album is mostly an acoustic album that I wrote for the chamber ensemble yMusic. They are a sextet: string trio, flute, clarinet and trumpet. I wrote most of the songs for a concert we did last January for the “American Songbook” series, so I was thinking a lot about classic song forms. My goals were to play rhythm instruments as little as possible, but if I did play an instrument, they had to be small enough to fit into one suitcase. The pump organ folds up into a suitcase, so I figured that one didn’t count.

I loved the recent remix album you put out last year, was there any process behind/how did you choose the producers/remixes for that project?
I’ve always been really interested in collaborating with electronic artists, but the Shark’s Teeth remixers were all my friends: DM Stith, Son Lux, Alfred Brown & Roberto Lange. Their approaches were all very different and that was something I was looking for also.

Do you have any upcoming side projects we should know about?
I will be doing more with the Dessner’s and artist Matthew Ritchie in the coming months. Also composer David Lang is writing a piece for Nico Muhly, Owen Pallett, Bryce Dessner and me which will be sung at Carnegie Hall in January. More Clogs, more Penelope, more Colin Stetson for me, too.

Got any weird hidden talents?
I have all of the A-ha catalog memorized. Is that weird?

If you could collaborate/perform a duet with any artist of your choosing whom would it be with?
Morten Harket. A-ha.

You can only keep/listen to ONE album for the rest of your life ..which album would it be?
Today I’ll choose Tom Waits’ 'Alice'.

Are you living your dream?

Every day. A dream does not always look like what you thought it would look like.

Thanx Judy & Danielle & Shara!

MBD is about to embark on a European tour, be sure to check a show out if you're in that area...

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