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Caroline Shaw & Attacca Quartet

Caroline Shaw: Evergreen



Released: 23rd Sep 2022


Evergreen is five original works by Shaw: three pieces written for string quartet and two songs written for string quartet and voice.

It also includes an interpretation of a twelfth century French poem, which the Quartet performs with Shaw on vocals. Following 2019’s Orange, which featured six of Shaw’s pieces for string quartet and earned a Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance, Evergreen was built around the titular four-song suite, commissioned and first performed by Third Angle in March 2020. Shaw describes the work as an offering to one particular tree in an evergreen forest on Swiikw (Galiano Island), off the west coast of Canada. The album also includes Three Essays, a suite written for and premiered by Calidore String Quartet that addresses language’s power to stir emotion and spread information and ideas through written, spoken, and digital forms; And So, a piece composed for the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale and mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter as part of Shaw’s Is a Rose trilogy; Blueprint, a work originally composed for the Aizuri Quartet and relating closely to an early string quartet by Beethoven; Other Song, a piece written for the National Symphony Orchestra and originally released on Shaw's 2021 solo vocal debut, Let the Soil Play Its Simple Part; and an interpretation of Cant voi l’aube, a poem by twelfth century trouvère, Gace Brulé. The complete track list is below. In addition to the Grammy Award for Attacca Quartet, Orange – which was co-released by New Amsterdam and Nonesuch Records – received tremendous critical acclaim. BBC Radio 3 called it ‘completely gorgeous in so many ways… It hits you everywhere, all at once’, and NPR said it is ‘a love letter to the string quartet… when you hear all the imaginative sounds on Orange, you know you're listening to the voice of a strong composer.’ Pitchfork added that the ‘pieces on Orange shoot off in thrilling and unpredictable directions… The music exudes joy and a sense of wildness.’ Shaw released two additional albums on Nonesuch last year – Let the Soil Play Its Simple Part, a collaborative album with Sō Percussion and also her solo vocal debut – and the Grammy Award-winning Narrow Sea, featuring Sō Percussion, Dawn Upshaw, and Gilbert Kalish, which won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Classical Composition. Caroline Shaw is a musician who moves among roles, genres, and mediums, trying to imagine a world of sound that has never been heard before but has always existed. She works often in collaboration with others, as producer, composer, violinist, and vocalist. Shaw is the recipient of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in Music, several Grammy awards, an honorary doctorate from Yale, and a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship. In addition to Evergreen, 2022 will see the release of work with Rosalía (on upcoming album MOTOMAMI), the score to Josephine Decker’s film The Sky Is Everywhere (A24/Apple), the premiere of Justin Peck’s Partita with NY City Ballet, the premiere of the new stage work LIFE with Gandini Juggling and the Merce Cunningham Trust, a premiere for NY Philharmonic and Roomful of Teeth, the premiere of Wu Tsang’s silent film Moby Dick with live score for Zurich Chamber Orchestra co-composed with Andrew Yee, a second album with Attacca Quartet called The Evergreen (Nonesuch), the premiere of Helen Simoneau’s Delicate Power, tours of Graveyards & Gardens (co-created immersive theatrical work with Vanessa Goodman), and tours with Sō Percussion featuring songs from Let The Soil Play Its Simple Part (Nonesuch), amid occasional chamber music appearances (Chamber Music Society of Minnesota, Caramoor Festival, La Jolla Music Society). Shaw has written more than 100 works in the last decade, for Anne Sofie von Otter, Davóne Tines, Yo Yo Ma, Renée Fleming, Dawn Upshaw, LA Phil, Philharmonia Baroque, Seattle Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Aizuri Quartet, The Crossing, Dover Quartet, Calidore Quartet, Brooklyn Rider, Miro Quartet, I Giardini, Ars Nova Copenhagen, Ariadne Greif, Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Britt Festival, Vail Dance Festival, and many others. She has produced for Kanye West, Rosalía, and Nas. Her work as vocalist or composer has appeared in several films, tv series, and podcasts including The Humans, Bombshell, Yellowjackets, Maid, Dark, Beyonce’s Homecoming, jeen-yuhs: a Kanye Trilogy, Dolly Parton’s America, and More Perfect. Her favourite colour is yellow, and her favorite smell is rosemary. Grammy Award-winning Attacca Quartet, as described by the Nation ‘lives in the present aesthetically, without rejecting the virtues of the musical past,’ and it is this dexterity to glide from the music of the seventeenth through to the twenty-first century repertoire that places them as one of the most versatile and outstanding ensembles of the moment – a quartet for modern times. Recent highlights include performing at New York’s Lincoln Center White Lights Festival, Carnegie Hall, Gothenburg Konserthuset, Sociedad Filarmonica de Bilbao, Auditorio Nacional de Música, and Palau de la Música as well as Colorado, Septiembre Me, Amsterdam New String Biennale, and Ojai Festivals. Their recent recordings include the animated Real Life, which saw them collaborate with electronic artists such as Daedulus and TOKiMONSTA; Of All Joys, a journey that folds late twentieth century minimalism back onto the music of the Renaissance; Becca Stevens | Attacca Quartet with singer-songwriter Becca Stevens as well as Ellis Ludwig-Leone and Patrick Watson.

Caroline Shaw: Evergreen

  1. Three Essays: First Essay (Nimrod) - Three Essays: Second Essay (Echo) - Three Essays: Third Essay (Ruby)
  2. And So
  3. Blueprint
  4. Other Song
  5. The Evergreen: Moss - The Evergreen: Stem - The Evergreen: Water - The Evergreen: Root
  6. Cant voi l’aube