Sara Kirkland Snider ~ Composer of Music

Opera News Raves About Unremembered!

February 17th, 2016

ONLogo2015Joshua Rosenblum of Opera News had some wonderful things to say about Unremembered:

“In her cycle of thirteen songs for multiple voices and chamber orchestra, Sarah Kirkland Snider uses poems by Nathaniel Bellows to address various topics—memory, natural beauty and the intermingling of mystery, pain and pleasure that often accompanies recollections from childhood. She calls on an array of styles to conjure her evocative, strangely beautiful soundscapes…Snider excels at capturing the hazy swirl of memories that can haunt an entire lifetime. Her tonal language is often quite sophisticated and harmonically probing, with impressively layered textures of voices and instruments… the three alluring, flexible vocalists—Padma Newsome, DM Stith, and Shara Worden—provide affecting, lyrical renderings of Snider’s melodies, which are otherworldly and ear-catching. …Edwin Outwater conducts a good-sized, impressive-sounding chamber orchestra, and “sound design” is credited to Michael Hammond, Lawson White, and Snider, referring presumably to the skillful way electric and acoustic sounds have been interwoven. Snider clearly has a lot to say that’s worth listening to, and Bellows’ poems (which are accompanied in the booklet by attractive stained glass-style artwork), seem perfectly matched to her restless, inquisitive artistic sensibility.”

You can read the full review here.

UNREMEMBERED in 2015 Best-Of Lists

December 17th, 2015

We’re honored by the naming of Unremembered to the following Best-of-2015 Lists:

The Washington Post (Anne Midgette) Top 5 Classical Albums of 2015
The Nation (David Hajdu) Top 10 Albums of 2015
Steve Smith (The Boston Globe, The New York Times) Top 20 Albums of 2015
WNYC New Sounds (John Schaefer) Top 10 Albums of 2015
Textura Top Ten Albums of 2015 
Seth Colter Walls (The Guardian, Pitchfork) Top 30 Albums of 2015
New Music Box Staff Picks 2015
The Agit Reader Staff Picks Top 5 2015
New York Music Daily Top 50 Albums of 2015 
Paperblog Top 10 Albums of 2015
I Care If You Listen Gift Guide
Ted Gioia (The Daily Beast) Top 100 Tracks of 2015
KMUW Strange Currency Top 10 Albums of 2015
A Fool in the Forest Top 10 Albums of 2015
Auftoren.De Staff Picks Top 10 Albums of 2015
A Good Day for Airplay Top 10 Albums of 2015
Curve Ball Top 10 Albums of 2015
Worlds of Echo Top 20 Albums of 2015
Vallejo Nocturno Top Albums of 2015
Knight of Leo Best Albums of 2015

To read about, listen to, and/or purchase Unremembered, you can go here.

Profile in The Boston Globe

November 28th, 2015

unnamed1In advance of Beth Morrison’s production of Penelope (featuring Carla Kihlstedt and Firebird Ensemble) at the Isabella Gardner Museum in Boston December 3, The Boston Globe ran this profile of Sarah, written by David Weininger.

The Washington Post raves about Unremembered!

November 18th, 2015

1429545746138Unremembered received this wonderful review from Tom Huizenga of The Washington Post (and NPR Classical.) He writes:

“[Unremembered] is Snider’s own brand of New England gothic that would make Edgar Allan Poe proud. It is also a study in the beguiling power of memory… Snider’s music, like the images, is multilayered, often angular, and deftly blends ideas from rock and post-minimalist composers…strings slither and drums detonate like bombs, propelling a nightmarish chaos. Quieter songs are meticulously orchestrated, too. “The Swan” sways with misty strings, an undulating harp and the painterly touch of an oboe, while “The Speakers” displays an intricate weave of soft piano chords, acoustic guitar, celeste and gently rumbling electronics. Snider’s score, both terrifying and tender, gets a penetrating performance…

But it is Snider’s fresh, instinctive way with voices that sets her apart from most of her peers…groups of voices are stretched and layered with extended techniques. They pulsate in a shimmering bed of sound in “The River,” take flight with interlocking patterns in “The Girl” and unfold in fanfares of Renaissance-like polyphony to open “The Song.”…Snider’s and Bellows’s mysterious and unsettling creations may strike some as child’s play, embellished with gloom, but they just may contain clues to understanding the darker truths of adulthood.”

You can read the full review here.

Unremembered on European Podcasts

November 12th, 2015

Unremembered has been featured in some European podcasts of late! Check them out:

France: France Musique: Autour de Sarah Kirkland Snider
Germany: Feuilletone: Eine Kleine Frau, Sarah Kirkland Snider, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Sweden: SverigeRadio: Kalejdoskop
Switzerland: Clandestini Per Scelta

Upcoming: EPIPHANY at BAM Next Wave Festival 2015

October 10th, 2015

32384-2015NWF-Image_Suites-Epiphany-613X463This happens in about a month. I’m looking forward to it! I think it’s safe to say you won’t have seen anything like it.

“In an exuberant ode to life filled with live music, Epiphany sends its audience roaming through labyrinthine tunnels of video, light, and reflection to celebrate the ecstasies of existence. Around a monolithic installation, the Young People’s Chorus of New York City—joined by soulful Zimbabwean singer Netsayi—and ACME perform music by Paola Prestini, Netsayi,  and Sarah Kirkland Snider, backing surreal eight-channel video by Ali Hossaini. As 3D imagery pulsates with epic chronologies, Aztec, Zoroastrian, and Tibetan texts whirl in ritualistic constellations, merging with musical epiphanies that reveal the epic connectedness of all things.”

Epiphany: Nov. 11-14
BAM 2015 Next Wave Festival
Music by Paola Prestini, Netsayi, and Sarah Kirkland Snider
Libretto by Niloufar Talebi and Nathaniel Bellows
Film by Ali Hossaini
Directed by Michael McQuilken
Co-produced by VisionIntoArt and Young People’s Chorus of New York City
Developed at 3LD Art & Technology Center

Praise for HIRAETH

October 5th, 2015

North Carolina Symphony under Maestro Grant Llewellyn Performs HIRAETH

Critics have had some nice things to say about HIRAETH, Sarah’s new 30 minute work for full orchestra, which was co-commissioned and premiered by North Carolina Symphony on September 26, 2015.

Dan Ruccia of Indy Week writes:

“…For Snider, that lost homeland consists of memories of childhood visits to her grandparents in Salisbury, North Carolina, shot through with grief for her father, who died shortly after she started writing the piece. Unsurprisingly, the music is quite dark, though never grim. She achieves this effect in ways both obvious and subtle: large swaths of minor-key harmonies; well-placed bursts of dissonance or eerie drones that cut against the cheerier melodies; dense orchestral writing that feels heavy, like the humid summer air of her memories; and the overall architecture, which never quite functions how you expect.

For instance, the final build—a memorable passage with echoing, interlocking lines in the strings and brass over a simple melody in various lower voices, all buoyed by an insistent snare drum line—seems to gain momentum over a few minutes (or maybe more or less, as time flows in unusual ways through the piece), working toward some expected grand climax. But instead, at what could be a peak, the music dissipates into something much more somber, gradually dissolving into nothingness. One could make a case that this is a metaphor for loss, but that reading might be too heavy-handed. Overall, Snider’s command of the orchestra is fantastic, even if her colors are always highly saturated. It’s an engrossing composition that I look forward to hearing again.”

And Paul D. Williams of the Classical Voice of North Carolina writes:

“The featured work of the first half was the second in a series of three world premiere performances of Hiraeth, by the acclaimed young composer, Sarah Kirkland SniderHiraeth is a Welsh word that is said to depict “a feeling of homesickness for a land that never existed or one to which you can never return.” Although the thirty-minute work is not described as a tone poem, that would be a satisfying descriptor of the remembrances and the longing for the times the composer spent in North Carolina. Visual accompaniment for the piece was a large screen showing scenes of seemingly everyday life in small towns and pastoral areas, produced by Mark DeChiazza – small children playing, quotidian activities of a typical day…

The music definitely needed no supplementation. The scoring called for a large contingent of instruments. The orchestration was glorious, even luxuriant, with its rich palette of dark and light hues. One could well be reminded of the wonderful tone poems of Richard Strauss. The honored composer was present, appearing on stage to make her well-deserved bows to the exuberant audience.”

Interview with San Diego Union-Tribune

October 5th, 2015

In advance of the wonderful Art of Élan‘s October 6 performance at the San Diego Museum of Art (which will include a performance of my chamber octet, Daughter of the Waves) Jim Chute of the San Diego Union-Tribune interviewed me about performance practice, New Amsterdam, and more. You can read it here.

Interview with North Carolina’s Indy Week

September 24th, 2015

Dan Ruccia of Indy Week asked me some questions about Hiraeth, my large upcoming work for the North Carolina Symphony. I talk to him about childhood memories of North Carolina and the process of writing the piece and making the film component with Mark DeChiazza. You can read it here.

Premiere of “The River” Video on Interview Magazine

September 23rd, 2015

TheRiver_shot1Very excited to premiere the video for “The River” from Unremembered today on Interview Magazine. The video was shot at the cycle’s rural Massachusetts location and was directed by the brilliant Dan Huiting, with cinematography by the immensely gifted Andre Durand, and editing by Lauren Josephine.

The video is dedicated with love and admiration to Andre, who died tragically on September 20 in an accident in Brooklyn at the age of 32. You can watch his beautiful work here.

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