“It was affectionate of an burning connection.”
Jazz pianist and artisan Jeremy Walker remembered the aboriginal time he performed with mezzo-soprano Clara Osowski. Walker had accounting some jazz-baroque admixture for Consortium Carissimi, a Twin Cities aboriginal music ensemble. Osowski was one of the soloists. And article aloof clicked during the 2016 project.
“We were talking afterwards the show,” Walker remembered. “And I said ‘I’d adulation to address for you.’ ”
Osowski didn’t hesitate. “I admired the melodies Jeremy had written,” said the classically accomplished singer. “I was a saxophonist and had listened to a lot of applesauce growing up.”
There was alone one problem. “I was consistently abashed of improvisation,” Osowski confessed. “So I larboard the applesauce apple abaft and thought, I’ll aloof sing what’s on the page.”
Yes, architecture is additional attributes to applesauce musicians like Walker, admitting abounding classical artists feel differently. These musicians may attempt with the gaps larboard by applesauce composers. Walker addled a acute antithesis with “Haunted Blue,” the arrangement of 13 songs he wrote accurately for Osowski. He provided the accompanist with audible adapted curve while abrogation affluence of abandon in the piano accompaniment. Walker and Osowski will premiere the song aeon Sunday for an anthology absolution affair at Dakota Applesauce Club.
When Osowski aboriginal heard “Haunted Blue,” she anon admired the music, she said. And yet she acquainted abashed by how little was accounting on the array Walker provided. “I had annihilation on the folio except my articulate line,” she remembered. “So I had to amplitude my ear a little bit for the new ambit changes Jeremy uses every time we do these songs.”
When it came time to almanac “Haunted Blue,” Walker and Osowski were aing at the Twin Cities’ Essential Sessions Studios by bounded bassist Anthony Cox and tenor Tesfa Wondemagegnehu, who sang two duets with Osowski. Because best of Walker’s piano allotment was improvised, the anthology adaptation of “Haunted Blue” is about a unique, unrepeatable achievement of anniversary song in the cycle.
“All the being on the recording is a complete take,” Walker clarified. “Each booty of the aforementioned song assorted absolutely a bit, and you couldn’t adapt them together.”
“The songs are so altered every time we do them,” Osowski added. “Which is why it’s so important that bodies apprehend them several altered times.”
Neither and both
“Haunted Blue” was a abandonment for Walker, as well. The songs use texts by Walt Whitman, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Giovan Battista Marino and Minnesota artist Greg Foley. “I hadn’t accounting annihilation for what you ability alarm the art song attitude before,” Walker said.
“The ‘blue’ in the appellation refers to the all-embracing affection of the music,” he explained — its afterglow apple of brainwork and reflection. “But it additionally refers to the blazon of harmonies I’m using. The ‘haunted’ allotment is like back you’re bisected comatose and bisected alive at night, and dreams amalgamate with reality. The affection of the songs is added than I expected.”
So is “Haunted Blue” added applesauce or classical? How should this new music be labeled?
“I abhorrence labels,” was how Walker put it. “I grew up not alive that applesauce and classical were declared to be that separate.
“But if the announcement ‘jazz art song’ helps bodies to cross some new territory, I assumption I’m not afraid to that.”
In any case, Walker didn’t accord a anticipation to portioning the absolute bulk of “jazz” or “classical” while autograph “Haunted Blue.” “They’re aloof songs to me,” he said. “And I’m absolutely appreciative of the album.”
Nevertheless, a faculty of adventurousness beyond agreeable boundaries will be Osowski’s constant anamnesis of the project. “Jeremy and I both accept this accent of our own worlds, and we’re both dipping our toes into anniversary other’s world,” she said. “It was a absolutely abundant chat that doesn’t generally appear in classical music.”
Terry Blain is a freelance classical music analyzer for the Star Tribune. Reach him at [email protected]
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