Multitalented composer Ellen Mandel joined me recently in the studio for the mastering of her gorgeous project, entitled "the first of all my dreams." The project is basically piano and voice, featuring tenor extraordinaire Todd Almond.
This is the second collection of songs for piano and voice from Ellen. The first was exclusively settings of the poet ee cummings. This one includes ee cumming texts, but also some Yeats, and some original Mandel text. On the instumentation side, she stretches out the piano/vocal thing this time out, to include some bass and also a guest vocal or two.
I have been working with her for almost 15 years, and I can say the music is some of her best. Very American sounding in spots, with beautiful introspective moments, as well as exuberance and subtlety. Perfect for its subject matter, tasty, nostalgic, full of sentiment and power, this music will definitely be on my playlist at home in the future. I don't say that about too much stuff that I work on.
The really good thing? She didn't make me turn it up to 11.....
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