Sara Kirkland Snider ~ Composer of Music

Minnesota Post Interview

March 9th, 2017

The Minnesota Post asked Sarah some questions about Unremembered, about which they say “Wrapped in Snider’s lush, expressive music, the poems become songs of innocence lost and wisdom gained. It’s like a gothic novel unfolding in the most delicious way.”

MP: “Unremembered” is incredibly beautiful. It’s also dark and haunting and sad. So is your earlier work “Penelope.” What draws you to the dark side, as a composer?

SKS: I think it’s investigation – wanting to better understand it, make sense of it, make peace with it. I think writing music is generally my way of finding order in a chaotic universe, and the universe is often a heartbreaking place. The past few years of my life have been intense ones – losing my father and other family members, and having two children, one of whom was born early and has had some challenges. But I think that even my darkest works have warmth and hope in them. I don’t think I can effectively render shadow without showing some light, and I’m equally interested in the light. I actually frequently find that it’s joyful music that makes me saddest.

Here’s the rest of the interview.

Big Ears Festival Calls UNREMEMBERED One of “True Gems” of 2017 Line-Up

March 3rd, 2017

In a spotlight feature on Sarah, Big Ears Festival calls UNREMEMBERED one of the “true gems of this year’s line-up.” You can read more about how they’re “especially proud to call Sarah a Big Ears artist” here. We can’t wait to perform Unremembered with Shara Nova, DM Stith, Padma Newsome, and The Knights at the Bijoux Theater on March 23!

Q2 Music Premieres New Video for “The Barn”

March 2nd, 2017

Q2 Music premiered a beautiful new video for “The Barn,” from Sarah’s orchestral song cycle, Unremembered. Nathaniel Bellows, the cycle’s lyricist and illustrator, created the video himself from hand-drawn sketches and illustrations. Q2 writes:

Watch a new video for Sarah Kirkland Snider’s “The Barn” from her 2015 orchestral song cycle Unremembered. Set to animated stained glass-like paintings and pencil-on-parchment sketches, the music features vocalists DM Stith and Shara Nova and The Unremembered Orchestra under the baton of Edwin Outwater.

Unremembered is a song cycle in 13 parts for chamber orchestra, voices and electronics. The lyrics and video are by Nathaniel Bellows, who writes the following of the piece: “The Barn” is about an encounter with two ghosts—a young girl, bashful and demure, on the steps of the hayloft; and a young man, immersed in flames, walking across the pasture grasses. Like all the poems in Unremembered, “The Barn” explores what pulses and thrives—invisible, mysterious, and pervasive—within the realms of memory and childhood.” ”

You can watch the video here.

Big Ears Festival Dates Announced!

February 18th, 2017

Big Ears Festival announced its schedule. Sarah’s UNREMEMBERED, her song cycle performed by Shara Nova, DM Stith, Padma Newsome, and The Knights, will perform at 8:30 PM March 23 at the Bijoux Theater.

UNREMEMBERED March 2017 tour in U.S./Europe announced!

January 26th, 2017

Cover of 'Unremembered' by Sarah Kirkland SniderVery excited to announce that Unremembered will tour the U.S. and Europe in March 2017 with vocalists Padma Newsome, Shara Nova, and DM Stith, joined by ensembles The Knights, The St. Paul Chamber Chamber Orchestra, North Carolina Symphony, the Doelen Ensemble, and Codarts Orchestra Rotterdam. The tour will include performances at Holland’s Cross-Linx Festival, Knoxville’s Big Ears Festival, and Washington D.C.’s SHIFT Festival. Details and tour dates here.

UNREMEMBERED on Q2 Music’s 2016 New-Music Countdown

December 31st, 2016

q2clock_ws4aauh-1In early December, Q2 Music asked its listeners to vote on their favorite new-music of the last the last 20 years — i.e. music that was composed on or after Jan. 1, 1997: “What pieces broke the rules or built brilliantly on the traditions of the past? Which composers challenged you intellectually or moved you to new emotional depths? Twenty years from now, what pieces will we look back on as still capturing our collective imagination?”

Sarah’s UNREMEMBERED was voted one of these Top 50 Works of the Past 20 Years. Humble thanks, Q2 listeners.

Ferus Festival Announced; Preview of Sarah’s KYRIE

December 17th, 2016

unknown-3National Sawdust announced its Ferus Festival, which will take place at Brooklyn’s National Sawdust in January 2017. On January 8 the festival will include the renowned Choir of Trinity Wall Street and its companion chamber ensemble NOVUS NY led by conductor Julian Wachner in an evening of contemporary Mass music, commissioned by Daniel Felsenfeld and Trinity Wall Street as part of the Mass Reimaginings 5-year commission program.

The program will consist of previews of five new musical works in advance of their world premiere Jan 12 at Trinity Church Wall Street. Excerpted music by composers Daniel Felsenfeld, Jonathan Newman, Paola Prestini, Sarah Kirkland Snider, and Julian Wachner will be augmented by talks with librettists Nathaniel Bellows, Rick Moody, Brenda Shaughnessy, and Royce Vavrek.

Sarah’s work will be ‘Kyrie’, the opening movement from her Mass for the Endangered (on text by Nathaniel Bellows.)

End-of-Year Accolades for THE CURRENTS

December 10th, 2016

currents_album_coverCongratulations to pianist Michael Mizrahi for his album Currents receiving year-end honors from NPR, textura, and top-50 Albums of 2016 lists of critics Ted Gioia and George Wallace. Sarah’s The Currents was also named one of the Top Tracks of 2016 by Ted Gioia.

Pianist Nicholas Phillips Releases Recording of THE CURRENTS

October 14th, 2016

imagePianist Nicholas Phillips released a commercial recording of solo piano music today, Impressions, that included Sarah’s “The Currents” (which was also released earlier this year by pianist Michael Mizrahi.) Impressions contains solo piano music written in the last decade by Judd Greenstein, Nico Muhly, Mark Olivieri, Carter Pann, Jonathan Pieslak, Joel Puckett, and Sarah Kirkland Snider, as well as pieces written for Phillips by Lucas Floyd and Stacy Garrop.  Physical CDs will be available on and from the artist.  Digital tracks and albums on iTunes, etc. Recorded on a Yamaha CFX June, 2016, at Yamaha Artist Services, New York. Nicholas Phillips recently joined the Classical Pianists roster as a Yamaha Artist.


October 7th, 2016

unknown-2We’re thrilled to announce that the highly-lauded Big Ears Festival will feature Sarah’s evening-length song cycle, Unremembered (on text by Nathaniel Bellows), at Big Ears 2017 on March 23 in Knoxville, TN. The performance will feature vocalists Padma Newsome, Shara Nova, and DM Stith; and chamber ensemble The Knights; and will be accompanied by illustrations/projections by Nathaniel Bellows.

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