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CurrentsANGELS SHARE RECORDSRELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 13, 2013iTUNES AMAZON CDBABY BANDCAMP SPOTIFY
CURRENTS is a dynamic new recording featuring some of the extraordinary new and recent American vocal/chamber music I have championed over the past decade. Produced by the legendary Leslie Ann Jones at Skywalker Sound, and recorded with a dream team of collaborators from the chamber, new music, and jazz communities, CURRENTS includes two works composed especially for me by American composers Liam Wade and Vartan Aghababian; an unpublished song cycle by the late John Thow; a haunting, lyric ballad for soprano and Flamenco guitar by Weslie Brown; and five arrangements created especially for this recording of songs by one of the most beloved songwriters of all time, Joni Mitchell.
CURRENTS IN THE PRESS“Inside Skywalker Sound” by Jeff Kaliss, San Francisco Classical Voice, 6/18, 2013
“[Ann] has this magic quality that somehow makes composers want to write for her, because not only does she perform [their songs], she invests in them, physically, emotionally, personally. I think she’s a transformative artist, because she can cross genres so easily. She’s not only comfortable in classics and Baroque music, but she also is expert at new music. Nothing scares her.” - Composer Jake Heggie
“exCHANGE - Episode 1: Currents” In the inaugural episode of exCHANGE, the official podcast of CMASH, John Grimmett speaks with Ann Moss and Isaac Allen (Hausmann Quartet) about Moss’ debut album. 9/27, 2013
“exCHANGE - Episode 2: Silver Apples” John Grimmett speaks with composer Liam Wade and pianist Steven Bailey about recording together. 11/2, 2013
“Practice Your Flamenco” by John Marcher, A Beast In A Jungle, 11/3, 2013
“Between each verse Moss sings a haunting chorus of notes, like a curse, creating a hook more typically found pop songs. It’s pretty sensational, and in the liner notes Moss says ‘If it is possible for a classical singer to have a hit single, than this is mine.’ That makes sense.”
“Ann Moss: Currents” by John Marcher, A Beast In A Jungle, 11/19, 2013
“I’ve been listening to Currents for about three weeks now on a pretty regular rotation, and with each listening it reveals more of itself. Like Esperanza Spaulding’s Chamber Music Society, it covers a lot of ground, and the album’s cohesion reveals itself through repeated listening.”
CD RELEASE EVENTSOctober 6, 2013 SAN DIEGO CA - New San Diego Central Library Auditorium
October 11, 2013 SAN DIEGO CA - ArtLab Studios
November 15, 2013 SAN FRANCISCO CA - Old First Concerts
January 30, 2014 TOPSFIELD MA - Willowdale Estate Signature Series
January 31, 2014 LINCOLN MA - Bemis Hall
February 4, 2014 PHILADELPHIA PA - Academy of Vocal Arts
February 6, 2014 NEW YORK NY - National Opera Center
PERFORMERS AND TECHNICAL CREDITSHausmann String QuartetKaren Rosenak - PianoSteven Bailey - PianoJeremías García - GuitarMatt Berkeley - Acoustic Piano, Hammond B3, Fender RhodesDewayne Pate - BassJoe Bagale - DrumsProduced by Leslie Ann JonesRecorded by Leslie Ann Jones and Dann Michael ThompsonEdited by Robert GatleyMixed by Leslie Ann JonesRecorded and mixed at Skywalker Sound, a Lucasfilm, Ltd., companyMarin County, CAMastered by Michael Romanowski at Michael Romanowski Mastering, San Francisco, CAExecutive Producers Jake Heggie, William and Bonnie WadePhoto Credit Debra A. ZellerDesign and layout by Jonas Angelet for A to Z Mediaⓟ&Ⓒ 2013 All Rights Reserved
ALBUM LINER NOTESDedicated in loving memory to Frances, Leonard and RodneyJake Heggie, Liam Wade, Bill and Bonnie Wade, Mom and Dad - this would have been impossible without your help and guidance. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.Sincere thanks also to Sheri Greenawald, Anna Gabrieli, Jane Struss, Liz Anker, Eric Sawyer, David Garner, Brian Moll, Wendy Hillhouse and Ann Kearns. Karen Chester. Markia Kuzma, Diana, Caroline and Margaret Thow. Stephanie, Chris and Izzy. Rick, Vivien and Sophia. Tom, Nancy and Anna. Ray and Jack. Missy and Kevin. Rhoda Climenhaga, Xiao Ming Cheng, Steve Bretow, Bryon Stone. The Heavenly Host of the Keuka Peat Bog. My Seven Songs collaborators over the years: Philip Moss, Edward Wu, Matthew Liebendorfer, Lisa Kempskie, Kathy Gates, Elaine Leisinger, Paul Yeager, Stephanie Bibbo, Alexa Beattie, Charlie Wilson, Andrew Eng, Isaac Allen and Russell Wilson. Guy Livingston. Benjamin Boone. Luke Aaron Mayer. Cheryl Cellon Lindquist. Richard Savino. Jeff Kaliss. Lindsay McConchie. Hot Einstein. Koji Kamada and Nick Edwards (in memoriam).PRACTICE YOUR FLAMENCO (2008)Music and lyrics by Weslie BrownJeremías García, guitarThe framework of Weslie’s epic ballad “Practice Your Flamenco” had taken nearly ten years to come to fruition when she revealed it to me and Flamenco Guitarist Jeremías García in 2008. The lead sheet was unlike most scores I encounter — a simple pop tune over chord changes — and I was captivated by her gorgeous melody and haunting lyric. We transposed it a fifth higher than initially conceived, allowing me to explore a wider color palette and vocal range, and the three of us experimented with rhythmic textures and sketched out an intro and coda. If it is possible for a classical singer to have a hit single, then this is mine.As you sail out of my harborAll the winds will multiplyI will climb into my towerAnd I’ll wave our last goodbye.May your travels bring you pleasureAnd the freedom of the seaWhen you practice your FlamencoAlways sing to me.You’re bound to have another loverIn the comfort of silk sheetsIf you wonder how to please herJust remember what pleased meAs we danced inside my towerAll your secrets seemed so sweetAnd you’d practice your FlamencoSinging just for me.Was there ever life without you?Did we meet out of the blue?And must I go on believingI’ll be empty without you?
SILVER APPLES (2008)Music by Liam Wade (b. 1978)Poems by E. A. Poe, R. L. Stevenson, W. B. Yeats, Lisa DeSiroSteven Bailey, pianoLiam composed this enchanting song cycle for me and pianist Steven Bailey to premiere on CMASH’s second annual New American Chamber Music program in 2008. Liam and I selected the moon-themed poems together, and Steven and I worked closely with Liam throughout his compositional process, contributing musical ideas along the way that were incorporated into the score. Liam left us a great deal of room for improvisation in these magically whimsical songs, allowing for a fresh perspective in every performance. Working in the studio with Leslie and Dann, the cycle evolved in totally unexpected ways, revealing still new surprises. I am thrilled to be able to share Liam’s inventive story-telling and natural affinity for the lyric coloratura instrument with a broad audience, especially as his budding operatic career is propelled by a recent commission from Washington National Opera. SILVER APPLES has enabled many new listeners to connect with and find joy in the genre of Art Song.The MoonRobert Louis StevensonThe moon has a face like the clock in the hall;She shines on thieves on the garden wall,On streets and fields and harbour quays,And birdies asleep in the forks of the trees.The squalling cat and the squeaking mouse,The howling dog by the door of the house,The bat that lies in bed at noon,All love to be out by the light of the moon.But all of the things that belong to the dayCuddle to sleep to be out of her way;And flowers and children close their eyesTill up in the morning the sun shall arise.Eldorado IIIEdgar Allen PoeGaily bedight,A gallant knight,In sunshine and in shadow,Had journeyed long,Singing a song,In search of Eldorado.But he grew oldThis knight so boldAnd o’er his heart a shadowFell as he foundNo spot of groundThat looked like Eldorado.And, as his strengthFailed him at length,He met a pilgrim shadow“Shadow,” said he,“Where can it beThis land of Eldorado?”“Over the MountainsOf the Moon,Down the Valley of the Shadow,Ride, boldly ride,”The shade replied“If you seek for Eldorado!”The Cat and The MoonWilliam Butler YeatsThe cat went here and thereAnd the moon spun round like a top,And the nearest kin to the moon,The creeping cat, looked up.Black Minnaloushe stared at the moon,For, wander and wail as he would,The pure cold light in the skyTroubled his animal blood.Minnaloushe runs in the grassLifting his delicate feet.Do you dance, Minnaloushe, do you dance?When two close kindred meet.What better than call a dance?Maybe the moon may learn,Tired of that courtly fashion,A new dance turn.Minnaloushe creeps through the grassFrom moonlit place to place,The sacred moon overheadHas taken a new phase.Does Minnaloushe know that his pupilsWill pass from change to change,And that from round to crescent,From crescent to round they range?Minnaloushe creeps through the grassAlone, important and wise,And lifts to the changing moonHis changing eyes.Carpe LunaLisa DeSiroAfter practicingself-perfection —my mind alone,my fingers, my arms,my bodycreatingthe only soundin the worldfor hours —I left the room,scuffed down empty hallsto a door, pushedmyself outinto sudden silence.And there was the moon,gleaming, roundas a snowball, frozenamid shallow drifts of cloud.I reached uptall as the night sky,grabbed that moonand melted itwith my bare hands.
FOR LOVE: THREE SONGS FOR SOPRANO AND PIANO (1980, rev. 2003)Music by John Thow (1949-2007)Poems by Robert CreeleyKaren Rosenak, pianoI first learned of the music of composer John Thow when asked to sing at his memorial service in 2007. Composed in 1980 with revisions commencing in 2003, For Love is a setting of three poems by Robert Creeley, leading member of the Black Mountain School of poetry. In reading through John’s hand-penned manuscript, which he was still revising at the time of his passing, the strange beauty of Creeley’s poems immediately spoke to me on a visceral level. Though we never met in real life, after performing his contemplative and delicately wrought cycle multiple times I feel a strong connection to John. I feel especially fortunate for this opportunity to record and share an unknown song cycle of great beauty.KoreThe RainWater MusicThese poems appear in For Love: Poems 1950-1960 by Robert Creeley(New York: Scribners, 1962) ISBN 0-684-71738-7
SEVEN SONGS (2003)Music by Dr. Vartan Aghababian (b. 1964)Poems by Wilfrid Wilson GibsonThe Hausmann Quartet: Isaac Allen, Eric Chin, violins; Angela Choong, viola; Jeremiah Shaw, celloVartan and I conceived the idea for SEVEN SONGS in the early winter of 2002, as our country was entering into armed conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. With imagery ranging from soldiers in the trenches, to wives and mothers on the home front, to the plight of veterans returning to broken lives, this powerful work evokes compassion for those who have given their lives or lost loved ones in the past, and challenges us to question our modern military actions and motivations.The ReturnHe went, and he was gay to go;And I smiled on him as he went.My son, ‘twas well he couldn’t knowMy darkest dread, nor what it meant —Just what it meant to smile and smileAnd let my son go cheerily —My son … and wondering all the whileWhat stranger would come back to me.The GoingR.B.He’s gone.I do not understand.I only knowThat as he turned to goAnd waved his hand,In his young eyes a sudden glory shone,And I was dazzled with a sunset glow,And he was gone.23rd April 1915BreakfastWe ate our breakfast lying on our backs,Because the shells were screeching overhead.I bet a rasher to a loaf of breadThat Hull United would beat HalifaxWhen Jimmy Strainthorpe played full-back insteadOf Billy Bradford. Ginger raised his headAnd cursed, and took the bet; and dropt back dead.We ate our breakfast lying on our backs,Because the shells were screeching overhead.All Being Well All being well, I’ll come to you, Sweetheart, before the year is through; And we shall find so much to do, So much to tell. I read your letter through and through, And dreamt of all we’d say and do, Till in my heart the thought of you Rang like a bell. Now the bell tolls, my love, for you;For long before the year is throughYou’ve gone where there is naught to doAnd naught to tell.Yet mayn’t I find when life is throughThe best is still to say and do,When I at last may come to you,All being well?Long TomHe talked of Delhi brothels half the night,Quaking with fever; And then, dragging tightThe frowsy blankets to his chattering chin,Cursed for an hour because they were so thinAnd nothing would keep out the gnawing cold –Scarce forty years of age, and yet so old,Haggard and worn with burning eyes set deep –Until at last he cursed himself asleep.Before I’d shut my eyes reveille came;And as I dressed by the one candle-flameThe mellow golden light fell on his faceStill sleeping, touching it to tender grace,Rounding the features life had scarred so deep,Till youth came back to him in quiet sleep:And then what women saw in him I knewAnd why they’d loved him all his brief life through.BackThey ask me where I’ve been,And what I’ve done and seen,But what can I replyWho know it wasn’t I,But someone just like me,Who went across the seaAnd with my head and handsKilled men in foreign lands…Though I must bear the blameBecause he bore my name.LamentWe who are left, how shall we look againHappily upon the sun or feel the rain,Without remembering how they who wentUngrudgingly, and spentTheir all for us, loved too the sun and rain?A bird among the rain-wet lilac sings –But we, how shall we turn to little things,And listen to the birds and winds and streamsMade holy by their dreams,Nor feel the heart-break at the heart of things?
JONI MITCHELL SUITE (2013)Words and music by Joni Mitchell (except for The Hissing of Summer Lawns - Mitchell/Guerin, and The Dry Cleaner From Des Moines - Mitchell/Mingus)Arranged by Liam Wade & Ann Moss (unless otherwise noted)Jeremías García, guitar; Matt Berkeley, acoustic piano, Rhodes, Hammond B3; Dewayne Pate, bass; Joe Bagale, drums; The Hausmann QuartetThis suite explores the broad, multifaceted spectrum of musical worlds I inhabit. Collaboratively re-imagined and conceived, our arrangements highlight Mitchell’s artistic ties to the canon of classical vocal music, further cemented by her inclusion in the Great American Songbook.Conversation (1970, arr. Moss/García)The Arrangement (1970, arr. Moss/Berkeley)The Hissing of Summer Lawns (1975)The Dry Cleaner From Des Moines (1979)Cactus Tree (1968)Lyrics for Joni Mitchell’s songs can be viewed at her website.