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Andres: Work Songs

By Timo Andres

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By Timo Andres. By Timo Andres. Folk. Classical. Listening CD. Naxos #NWAM115. Published by Naxos (NX.NWAM115).

Item Number: NX.NWAM115

Work Songs is the new album from New York City-based composer and performer Timo Andres. Work Songs is a collection of songs for voices, guitars, accordion, piano and keyboard. The songs feature a number of artists from the New York new music scene: Ted Hearne, Gabriel Kahane, Becca Stevens, Nathan Koci, and Taylor Levine, and premiered on the Ecstatic Music Festival in 2014. Program note about the music, from composer Timo Andres: "Artists' working habits have always fascinated me--Matisse sculpting in bed, Charles Ives's Bach-ian eye-openers, Alice Munro's strict quotas (very useful)--not so much for the insight they provide into the actual work, but more as an idealized template for how to organize one's life. The Work Songs project began to form eight years ago, in the spring of 2011. I had wanted to make something having to do with American song traditions. One of the first musical "scores" I encountered in my childhood was the Fireside Book of Folk Songs (a 1940's edition, I think, with beautiful spot-color illustrations) which my parents owned. There are many work songs in the Fireside anthology, mostly about different kinds of manual labor. I gradually formed the idea to write a kind of artist-centric set of work songs, using similarly straight-backed, aphoristic texts. Some are songs of hardship and complaint, while others are meant to provide comfort, empathy, or possible solutions to problems. But they all, in some way, attempt to address existential questions--what do "artists" do, exactly, and how should we exist in the world?...".

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