Bedroom Community

Mothertongue

Catalog Number: HVALUR5

Released: May 25 2008

Buy CD €11.99 | Download €7

  1. Mothertongue: I. Archive
  2. Mothertongue: II. Shower
  3. Mothertongue: III. Hress
  4. Mothertongue: IV. Monster
  5. Wonders: I. New Things & New Tidings
  6. Wonders: II. The Devil appear’d in the shape of a man
  7. Wonders: III. A Complaint Against Thomas Weelkes
  8. The Only Tune: I. Two Sisters
  9. The Only Tune: II. The Old Mill Pond
  10. The Only Tune: III. The Only Tune
  1. BONUS TRACK: Skip Town
Bonus tracks are available in digital form when you buy from this website.

Nico Muhly was born in Vermont in 1981 and raised in Providence, Rhode Island. He graduated from Columbia University in 2003 with a degree in English Literature and received a Masters in Music from the Julliard School one year later.

Since receiving his degrees, he has amassed a string of commissions, collaborations, and premieres that would be notable for a composer twice his age. He has written orchestral pieces for the Boston Pops, the Chicago Symphony MusicNOW, the American Symphony Orchestra, the Julliard Orchestra, the Boston University Tanglewood Institute Orchestra, and the American Ballet Theatre (for choreographer Benjamin Millepied).

His works have been premiered on the BBC and at New York’s St. Thomas Church, Carnegie Hall, the Whitney Museum and the New York Public Library – the latter, a special collaboration with designer/illustrator Maira Kalman in honor of her illustrated edition of The Elements of Style. Finally, Muhly has worked extensively with Philip Glass as editor, keyboardist, and conductor for numerous film and stage projects, and contributed to projects by a striking constellation of pop figures, among them Rufus Wainwright, Antony (of Antony and the Johnsons), Björk, Teitur, Will Oldham, and The National.

These many personal connections highlight one of the more important aspects of Muhly’s musical life – in a word, community. The cast of characters who appear on Mothertongue include his closest collaborators -- violist Nadia Sirota, folk singer Sam Amidon and, last but not least, Icelandic producer Valgeir Sigurðsson. Sigurðsson’s and Muhly’s view on musical relationships was, in part, the inspiration for Bedroom Community, the label Sigurðsson founded and which created both Mothertongue and its predecessor, Speaks Volumes, Muhly’s 2006 debut.

What the press says

"Weird, and intermittently wonderful."

Andy Gill — The Independent (May 13th 2008) ★★★★★★ Read all reviews

"As accomplished as Muhly’s debut was, I wasn’t quite ready for him to unfurl the full length of his ambition in the way he does on Mothertongue."
"Here, Muhly brings classic instrumentation, electronics and voices together into a piece of work which is at the forefront of contemporary classical music. Truly magnificent."

themilkman — The Milk Factory (June 3rd 2008) ★★★★★★★★★★ Read all reviews

"the three extended sound collages here are radically different in conception but are lent unified coherence by the central role of the various singers, all deployed at the extremes of human vocal expression."

Nigel Williamson — Uncut (June 17th 2008) ★★★★★★★★ Read all reviews

 In a transfixing exploration of the sung voice’s possibilities, he draws on Icelandic myth, English folklore, 17th-century church politics and royal superstition. It is never less than fascinating.  

Dan Cairns — The Sunday Times (July 22nd 2008) ★★★★★★★★ Read all reviews

"Muhly always wants to be perceived, and here, we witness the junkyard of his memory being spun into something at once utterly ordinary and utterly strange."

Pitchfork Media (August 19th 2008) Read all reviews

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