As RighteousGIRLS, NY-based flutist Gina Izzo and pianist Erika Dohi continually expand their vocabulary through ongoing commissioning projects and collaborations, inviting some of today’s most prominent composers and artists to create genre-blurring new music. Their debut album “gathering blue” features nine contemporary classical and jazz artists; aiming to expose new audiences to 21st century music, as well as commission, premiere, and record works that root themselves in classical, but pull from other genres.
The album features new works and commissions by:
Pascal Le Boeuf
Featured guest artists include:
Andy Akiho, steel pan
Ambrose Akinmusire, trumpet
Justin Brown, drums
For the RighteouGIRLS, “gathering blue,” (inspired by the 2000 science fiction novel by Lois Lowry) is a sweep of personal discovery, a metaphor about gathering colors and weaving them together to create the story of their surrounding community. Since their formation in 2010, RighteousGIRLS have continually explored the artistic community of New York City, and on this album, share their experience. “gathering blue” brings together a collection of composers and performers in duo/trio settings (drums, steel-pan, trumpet, and bandoneon) while integrating improvisation and post-production techniques. The subject matter (odd time signatures, improvisation, and nonconventional forms) is woven together by a series of interludes, illustrating the evolution of the RighteousGIRLS sound and the colors they’ve collected. Over the past year, RighteousGIRLS have worked with each artist and composer featured on the album to help shape each work, turning these ten newly composed pieces into their own unique story.
As part of the album, RighteousGIRLS will include a music video of the opening track “GIRLS” by jazz pianist/composer Pascal Le Boeuf. The commissioned track will be recorded by videographer Michael McQuilken using a wide range of contemporary video techniques and multi-camera angles. The “experimental film” will display the many theatrical elements written into the score by Le Boeuf including: the use of palms, elbows, and forearms on the piano keys; strumming and plucking inside the piano; and various extended techniques for flute and piano. It is neccessary to provide a visual aid to allow the audience to fully experience both the composition and the asthetic of the album as a whole. This video will give the uninitiated listener a context for the various unconventional acoustic sounds used throughout the album, thus changing the way the RighteousGIRLS’ performance is experienced.
“gathering blue” was recorded at Brooklyn Recording (engineer Andy Taub) and at Oktaven Audio (engineer Ryan Streber). The album is set to be released in 2015 on iTunes, Amazon, and CDBaby, and will be followed by CD release events in NYC and Japan. Once released, RighteousGIRLS will ask each collaborating composer to include their recorded track on their New Music USA profile.
This debut album acts as an introduction to the ensemble, displaying not only the RighteousGIRLS as instrumentalists, but the rush experienced when they are given the freedom to unleash their own discoveries while “gathering blue.”