Evensong

by Caleb Burhans

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about

Ask composer, singer, violinist and multi-instrumentalist
Caleb Burhans about his relationship to the Christian tenets
of faith, and he’ll give you a thoughtful but conflicted
answer. “Despite the fact that I’ve sung in church choirs
for almost twenty years, I’m agnostic,” he says. “So a lot of
my music deals with my stuggles with religion.”

EVENSONG is Burhans’ defining statement of his complex
connection to the church — an “emo-classical” epic
where sacred meets secular in a pure, dynamic expression
of musical influences that range from classical to ambient
to post-rock. While the album presents motifs from the
Christian church service (book-ended with the opening
“Magnificat” and the closing “Nunc Dimittis,” recorded
with the Trinity Wall Street Choir), it refracts them through
the modern lens of new music and the avant garde.

This is Burhans’ debut as a lead composer and recording
artist, though he has long been recognized as a vital
presence on the NYC new music scene. The New York
Times has lauded him as “animated and versatile,” a
“sweet-voiced countertenor,” and a “new music virtuoso.”
He’s also a regular member of several groundbreaking
groups and ensembles that have helped redefine modern
classical music — among them ACME, Alarm Will Sound,
Beyondo, Bleknlok, Escort, itsnotyouitsme, Newspeak,
Ensemble Signal and the Wordless Music Orchestra.

Alarm Will Sound, in fact, takes up the secular portion
of EVENSONG, performing three pieces that test the very
limits of a large ensemble’s expressive capabilities. “oh
ye of little faith” is the arguable centerpiece, described
by none other than Steve Reich as “a lovely homage” to
Arvo Pärt’s “In Memorium Banjamin Britten.” Further on, the
Tarab Cello Ensemble infuses “The Things Left Unsaid” with
contemplative longing. With whimsical and incisive liner
notes by longtime friend, collaborator and guitarist Grey
Mcmurray, EVENSONG marks Burhans’ arrival as one of the
most promising young composers to emerge from NYC’s
trial-by-fire proving ground.

credits

released July 30, 2013

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featuring:

ALARM WILL SOUND (tracks 2, 3, 5)
the TRINITY WALL STREET CHOIR (tracks 1, 4, 7)
the TARAB CELLO ENSEMBLE (track 6)

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Cantaloupe Music Brooklyn, New York

Cantaloupe Music is the record label created by the three founders of New York's legendary Bang on a Can organization—composers Michael Gordon, David Lang and Julia Wolfe—with Bang on a Can managing director Kenny Savelson. Cantaloupe Music has made a massive impact in the contemporary music community, and has been recognized by critics and fans worldwide for its edgy and adventurous sounds. ... more

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