In this new concert project, eighth blackbird curates a program of music from the shadow side of life. Three pieces written for the ensemble are featured, all of which were developed in part during eighth blackbird’s residency at the MCA. In Ghostlight, David T. Little captures ancient ceremonies with half-heard voices and ominous rumblings that give way to beauty and repose. Bryce Dessner’s Murder Ballades—recorded on eighth blackbird’s 2016 Grammy Award–winning album Filament and expanded in a new version here—recounts grisly American tales of revenge and betrayal through simple, upbeat melodies. The evening is rounded out by very special guest performer, Will Oldham AKA Bonnie “Prince” Billy, who joins the ensemble for Frederic Rzewski’s Coming Together, inspired by a letter written by Sam Melville—convicted for bombing eight New York City buildings in 1969—months before the Attica prison riot that marked his death. eighth blackbird joins Bonnie “Prince” Billy in several of his songs that he selected for the program.
Bryce Dessner: Murder Ballades
David T. Little: Ghostlight
Frederick Rzewski: Coming Together (with Will Oldham)
Will Oldham songs (with eighth blackbird)