Olagón: A Cantata in Doublespeak eighth blackbird

Album info



Label: Cedille

Genre: Classical

Subgenre: Chamber Music

Artist: eighth blackbird

Composer: Dan Trueman, Iarla Ó Lionáird

Album including Album cover


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  • Dan Trueman (1968), iarla ó lionáird (1964): Olagón, Pt. 1:
  • 1Pillow Talk08:21
  • 2Introductions07:21
  • 3Marbhan's Shadow03:27
  • 4Being Only a Dame04:59
  • 5A Queen Bee06:30
  • Olagón, Pt. 2:
  • 6Stirrings I03:49
  • 7For Eons and Eons02:08
  • 8Stirrings II00:57
  • 9Motet for Medhbh05:35
  • 10Níl Aon Ton-Ton02:24
  • 11Stirrings III01:26
  • 12You Know It's a Salmagundi04:07
  • 13Stirrings IV01:19
  • 14Marbhan and Guaire09:33
  • Olagón, Pt. 3:
  • 15Pillow Talk Reprise04:13
  • 16Restless Rest02:09
  • 17Ululations I01:27
  • 18Zeus to My Demeter01:41
  • 19Only on Medhbh03:42
  • 20Ululations II01:08
  • 21Reeling Reels04:11
  • 22Ailíll03:13
  • 23The Book of Lamentations07:31
  • Total Runtime01:31:11

Info for Olagón: A Cantata in Doublespeak

Olagón: a Cantata in Doublespeak is the newest album from multiple GRAMMY Award-winning chamber ensemble Eighth Blackbird. The project finds the innovative new-music sextet collaborating with vocalist Iarla Ó Lionáird of the Irish supergroup The Gloaming, Princeton-based composer-fiddler Dan Trueman, and Pulitzer Prize-winning Irish poet Paul Muldoon. A modern retelling of an ancient Irish epic, Olagón depicts — not without irony and humor — a privileged “power couple” mired in envy, greed, and adultery, descending into criminality and addiction as Ireland’s “Celtic-Tiger” economy collapses in the early 21st century.

Trueman’s score combines elements of the traditional music of Ireland, Norway, and America with the raw urgency and sonorities of contemporary classical music. Muldoon’s text interweaves verses in English and Irish Gaelic, seasoned with word-play and wit.

Ó Lionáird, whom The Guardian calls “one of the most dramatic voices in contemporary music,” sings the text in the unique and highly ornamental Irish style known as sean nós. The production incorporates the gorgeous young voices of students of acclaimed Irish sean nós singer Treasa Ní Mhiolláin, who also makes an appearance.

Eighth Blackbird is “one of the smartest, most dynamic contemporary classical ensembles on the planet” (Chicago Tribune). Olagón is the new-music sextet’s ninth Cedille Records album. Four of their previous recordings won Grammy Awards in the Best Small Ensemble/Chamber Music Performance category.

Eighth Blackbird:

Nathalie Joachim, flutes
Michael Maccaferri, clarinets
Yvonne Lam, violin, viola
Nick Photinos, cello
Matthew Duvall, percussion
Lisa Kaplan, piano

eighth blackbird
combines the finesse of a string quartet, the energy of a rock band and the audacity of a storefront theater company. The Chicago-based, three-time Grammy-winning “super-musicians” (LA Times) entertain and provoke audiences across the country and around the world.

Colombine’s Paradise Theatre is eighth blackbird’s new staged, memorized production. Composer Amy Beth Kirsten challenges the sextet to play, speak, sing, whisper, growl and mime, breathing life into this tale of dream and delusion. Performances have taken place at the University of Richmond, as well as DC’s Atlas Arts, and it has been called a “Tour de Force” by the Washington Post.

The 2013/14 season’s acoustic program, Still in Motion, features new works by The National’s Bryce Dessner (the folk-inspired Murder Ballades), Steve Mackey (music from his Grammy-winning Slide) and Australian composer Brett Dean (the searing Old Kings in Exile). eighth blackbird brings this show to Ohio, Missouri, Idaho, Oregon, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan, New York and California.

Other highlights include debuts with the Cincinnati Symphony (where the ensemble is an Artist in Residence) and New World Symphony; residencies at UCLA, SUNY Purchase, Baylor and Duke; a collaboration with Oberlin College’s CME; and a debut on the Lincoln Center’s Atrium series.

eighth blackbird holds ongoing Ensemble in Residence positions at the Curtis Institute of Music, University of Richmond, and University of Chicago. A decade-long relationship with Chicago’s Cedille Records has produced six acclaimed recordings. The ensemble has won three Grammy Awards, for the recordings strange imaginary animals, Lonely Motel: Music from Slide and Meanwhile.

eighth blackbird’s members hail from America’s Great Lakes, Keystone, Golden and Bay states, and Australia’s Sunshine State. There are four foodies, three beer snobs and one exercise junkie. The name “eighth blackbird” derives from the eighth stanza of Wallace Stevens’s evocative, aphoristic poem, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird (1917). eighth blackbird is managed by David Lieberman Artists.

This album contains no booklet.

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