Listen to a new excerpt from Colin Stetson’s upcoming SORROW: A Re-imagining of Henryk Górecki’s 3rd Symphony

Colin Stetson - SORROW III (Extract I)Colin Stetson‘s upcoming album SORROW: A reimagining of Gorecki’s 3rd Symphony, based on the Polish composer’s 1997 classic piece, is simply a dream of an album. Envisioned by Stetson for nearly two decades, the record is finally seeing the light of day on April 8th on his own 52Hz via Kartel.

The composer and sax magician had already enticed us with two staggering excerpts from the album. He’s offering another majestic taste from it, with a new excerpt from the third movement, ‘III (Extract I)’, featuring Stetson’s sister Megan on glorious vocals and Liturgy’s Greg Fox on drums. Being “the heaviest part of the symphony”, as the press release describes, ‘III (Extract I)’ combines classicism and black metal”. Listen to it now.

Colin Stetson shares new track from upcoming SORROW: A Re-imagining of Henryk Górecki’s 3rd Symphony

Colin Stetson - SORROW: A Re-imagining of Henryk Górecki's 3rd Symphony

As we had already mentioned, Colin Stetson has a new album on the way, one he envisioned for two decades. SORROW: A reimagining of Gorecki’s 3rd Symphony, is based on the Polish composer’s 1997 classic piece and it will see the light of day on April 8th on Stetson’s own 52Hz label via Kartel Music Group.
Following the staggering excerpt of ‘Mvmt I’, the Montreal based sax super-hero has shared another incredibly beautiful and poignant taste from the album, in the form of an excerpt from the third movement. Marvel yourself with ‘III (Extract II)’ below.

In other related news, Colin Stetson will grace UK audiences with a string of solo shows, including a London date on March 16th at Scala.

Colin Stetson announces new album SORROW: A Reimagining of Gorecki’s 3rd Symphony

Photo: Brantley Gutierrez

Photo: Brantley Gutierrez

Colin Stetson released a marvellous collaborative album with Sarah Neufeld last year, but his last solo album came out three years ago. The 2013’s outstanding New History Warfare Vol. 3: To See More Light, which was one of our Album Picks of the Year, is being followed up this Spring and we couldn’t be more excited about it.
The Montreal-based sax super-hero has announced the release of SORROW: A reimagining of Gorecki’s 3rd Symphony, based on the Polish composer’s 1997 famous classic piece. Due out on April 8th via his own 52Hz label, SORROW is a dream come true for Stetson, who envisioned the project for two decades. Stetson assembled an incredible cast of musicians to bring this project to life, including Sarah Neufeld (violins), Rebecca Foon (cello), Greg Fox (drums), Gyda Valtisdottir (cello), Ryan Ferreira (guitar), Grey Mcmurray (guitar), Matt Bauder (saxes/clarinets), Dan Bennett (saxes/clarinets), Shahzad Ismaily (synths), Justin Walter (keyboards/EV) and his sister Megan Stetson (voice).
Here’s how he described the album:

“We all have those moments when we experience a piece of music that transforms us, and this was one of those moments for me. Over the years, I went on to listen to this record countless times, always determined to absorb every instance of it, to know it throughout and fully. And this dedication to a thorough knowledge of the piece eventually gave way to a need to perform it.

The concept was simple, and true to the original score. I haven’t changed existing notation, but rather have worked with altering instrumentation, utilizing a group consisting heavily of woodwinds, synthesizers, and electric guitars, as well as retaining an element of the orchestral in a string section of violins and cellos, which features prominent and decorated Canadian musicians Sarah Neufeld (Arcade Fire, Bell Orchestre) and Rebecca Foon (Saltland, Esmerine).

My approach was “additive”, in that I imagined certain sounds or parts, though not present in the original, were (to me) extensions of the emotional core of the piece. For example, the instrumentation is rounded out by the most extreme of those sonic/timbral/musical additions, the drum set. Performed inimitably here by NYC drummer/percussionist, Greg Fox (Liturgy, Guardian Alien, Z’s). My background and education in classical concert music is here, as well as a focus on group improvisation. The arrangement draws heavily from the world of black metal, early electronic music, and from my own body of solo saxophone music.

The result is an intact rendition of Henryk Górecki’s 3rd Symphony, though one which has been filtered through the lens of my particular musical aesthetic and experience.”

As a first staggering taste, Stetson is offering an excerpt of movement ‘I’ of SORROW, featuring Megan Stetson.  Listen to it below and watch the album trailer straight after.


Watch Colin Stetson and Sarah Neufeld’s new video for ‘Never Were The Way She Was’

Colin Stetson & Sarah NeufeldColin Stetson and Sarah Neufeld have unveiled a stunning visual accompaniment for ‘Never Were The Way She Was’, the title track from their staggering collaborative album released earlier this year. The video was made by Derrick Belcham and you can watch it below.

Never Were The Way She Was is out now via Constellation.

Colin Stetson and Sarah Neufeld premiere video for new song ‘The rest of us’

Colin Stetson and Sarah Neufeld - The rest of us

We’re only a couple of weeks away from the release of Never were the way she was, Colin Stetson and Sarah Neufeld’s much anticipated collaborative album. The effort will see the light of day on April 28th via Constellation. To keep us excited, the pair have just unveiled a video for a glorious new track off the album, ‘The rest of us’. Watch the video below, directed by Dan Huiting.

Colin Stetson and Sarah Neufeld announce debut album as a duo

Colin Stetson and Sarah Neufeld - Never were the way she was

A match made in heaven: the musical union of sax magician Colin Stetson and extraordinary violinist Sarah Neufeld. The pair have been composing together for a while now whilst carrying on playing with other outfits and keeping busy as soloists. 2015 will bring us the Colin Stetson and Sarah Neufeld duo‘s debut album. Entitled Never were the way she was, the album was recorded at their farmhouse attic studio in rural Vermont by Hans Bernhard and mixed in Montreal by Mark Lawson (Arcade Fire). As is usual with Stetson and Neufeld, in both recording and live formats, they didn’t use any looping/layering or multi-track/overdubs technologies. You’ve probably already heard us raving about Colin Stetson, and you’ll know of his superhuman powers and how he plays tremendously and uninterruptedly using circular breathing, which allows him to produce multiple sounds simultaneously in real time.

“Never were the way she was is guided by the metaphorical narrative of the life of a girl who ages slow as mountains; excited, exalted, and ultimately exiled in her search for a world that resembles her experience”, explains the press release. “The album’s expansive sonic trajectory and multiplicity of structures and voicings belies the fundamental economy of two acoustic instruments combining in real time. The result is a musical chronicle that powerfully establishes its own spatial and temporal horizon, a soundtrack that requires no images but profoundly compels the imaginative.”.

‘The sun roars into view’ is the first wonderful and staggering track being offered from the album. We can’t wait to hear more.

In other Stetson and Neufeld related news, and coinciding with the album release, the pair are bringing their compositions for horns and violin to Europe in April. Their tour includes a stop in London at the Islington Assembly Hall on April 17th. Head over here to check all their other dates.

Last November, we were delighted to have Colin Stetson curate our monthly mixtape. If you’ve missed it, check out now an incredible selection of tracks that inspire him.