SIERRA: Composed by Jane Antonia Cornish & Performed by Vicky Chow
SIERRA Composed by Jane Antonia Cornish & Performed by Vicky Chow Out on Cantaloupe Music: April 22, 2022
Album Release Concert at Roulette: April 18, 2022 at 8pm 509 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn Tickets & Information: https://bit.ly/SIERRARoulette
Cantaloupe Music will release Sierra, a new album from composer Jane Antonia Cornish and pianist Vicky Chow, worldwide on April 22, 2022. Sierra features the world premiere recordings of six new pieces composed by Cornish – Sky, Ocean, Sunglitter, Last Light, and Sierra. Except for Last Light, which is for solo piano, the music on the album is for four or six multi-layered pianos, all of which have been recorded by Chow. Chow and Cornish will give an album release concert to celebrate the release of Sierra on April 18 at 8pm, at Roulette (509 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn), with art direction and lighting design by Ben Toht. The first single, Last Light, will be released on April 8.
Introspective and quietly majestic, Sierra is a vivid meditation on how our deep connection to nature can move us to an inner stillness and awaken the creative impulse. Sierra consists of five separate pieces composed for multiple pianos, ranging from the poignant solo excursion Last Light to the cascading, undulating Ocean and the epic 15-minute title piece. Performed with confidence and commitment by pianist Vicky Chow, whose ability to flex in different interpretive directions, depending on the composer’s intention, is renowned in the modern classical community, Sierra captures a palette of subtle but insistent emotions – wonder, wistfulness, joy and awe – that can elevate and transport us with astonishing power.
The genesis of the album, which was conceptualized and composed in 2020 during the early days of the pandemic, came from a painting – Noah Buchanan’s Symphony. Buchanan asked Cornish to compose a piece of music to paint into the work. Cornish says, “I aimed to compose something that would not only sound beautiful, but look beautiful in the painting as well."
Cornish and Chow had previously talked about recording another album – one that would include music for multiple pianos. With their schedules otherwise open in 2020, they decided it was time to embark on the recording project that would become Sierra. Cornish says, “I wanted this music to have many layers, but still live in a similar sound world to my previous albums, which are transcendent and peaceful, with a lot of space and a lot of quiet. It’s very textural.”
Jane Antonia Cornish is the first woman to have won a BAFTA award for music. Her five previous albums have been called “a font of wistfulness and melancholic beauty” by WQXR, “beautiful” by BBC Radio 3, “patient, virtuosic, and mesmerizing” by Tom Schnabel, KCRW and, “a virtual blessing in a world gone mad” by ICON Magazine. Vicky Chow, pianist in the Bang on a Can All-Stars since 2009, has been described as, “one of our era’s most brilliant pianists,” by The New York Times. Her latest album was described by The New Yorker as, “a milestone of pianism.”
The two artists first met when Cornish approached Chow to play on her album Into Silence in 2017 and have worked together ever since. For Chow, Cornish’s music has become a touchstone. She says, “Playing Jane’s music gives me the time to breathe and be myself, and gives me some time and space. Every time I listen to it, and every time I play it, it just really touches my heart.”
As Brett Banducci puts it in the album’s poetic liner notes, “This is music that entices us back to oneness with nature and the universe. It beckons us to reconnect, reflect, and return to the resonance of our own inner being.”