Dawn Upshaw – Caroline Shaw – Narrow Sea (2021) [FLAC 24bit/96kHz]

Dawn Upshaw – Caroline Shaw – Narrow Sea (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 28:22 minutes | 517 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Digital Bookelt, Front Cover | © Nonesuch

Narrow Sea was written for Sō Percussion, Dawn Upshaw, and Gil Kalish in 2017. The piece combines my previous explorations of folk song with a sonic universe that includes ceramic bowls, humming, a piano played like a dulcimer by five people at once, and flower pots (which are the central focus of Taxidermy – my first piece for So Percussion, written in 2012). Gil Kalish’s piano serves as a grounding force, or a familiar memory, that keeps reappearing amid the different textures introduced by Sō Percussion. And Dawn Upshaw’s voice is a brilliant instrument that brings the words to life with warmth and directness.

Each movement of Narrow Sea is a new melodic setting of a text from the Sacred Harp, a collection of shape note hymns first published in the 19th century. All of the texts used in the piece share two features: each refers to water in some way (the river Jordan, swelling flood, narrow sea – images of what lies between this world and the next), and each has a sense of joy in looking to heaven (crossing over, going home). These words may be hundreds of years old, but the essential yearning for a home, a safe resting place, has a renewed relevance today, throughout the world. The work is dedicated to all humans seeking safe refuge. – Caroline Shaw


1. Dawn Upshaw – Narrow Sea, Pt. 1
2. Dawn Upshaw – Narrow Sea, Pt. 2
3. Dawn Upshaw – Narrow Sea, Pt. 3
4. Dawn Upshaw – Narrow Sea, Pt. 4
5. Dawn Upshaw – Narrow Sea, Pt. 5
6. So Percussion – Taxidermy