Composer: Lewis Spratlan, Arr. Lawler + Fadoul
Words: Lawler + Fadoul
Zara Lawler: Voice, Washboard
Paul Fadoul: Voice, Marimba
This set of commercial breaks refers to the advertiser’s idea that once one commercial need is filled, another arises to take its place. Tracing the development of laundry from washboards to hand-cranks to electric washing machines to smartphone apps, it uses the theme from Jingle Without Words to create a unifying thread for the whole show/album. In live performance, a series of props are used to trace the progression of laundry technology…on the album, sound effects recorded in the field play that role. Zara recorded herself banging clothes against a rock, and our producer Jeanne Velonis recorded her own washing machine.
Want It. Need It. Have It.
Composer: Adam B. Silverman
Zara Lawler: Flute
Paul Fadoul: Marimba
Adam, a friend of Paul’s from college, mentioned this piece to us while we were in the development process for Clickable, and the title was so perfect, we pretty much agreed to include it in the project without even hearing it! Its relentless energy conjures up the exuberance of the marketplace and the capitalist drive for more. Originally written for alto saxophone and marimba, Adam himself made the arrangement for flute.
On tour many years ago, Zara was washing her clothes in a hotel laundry room, idly scanning the dust jackets of books left in the “take one/leave one” pile. It suddenly struck her that dust jackets could be the basis of a cool show: they are specific enough to suggest a story, but open-ended enough to be explored creatively. Since the job of a dust jacket is to persuade you to buy a book, we thought they fit perfectly with the theme of our album. Together with our stage director and composer collaborators, we chose the following three dust jackets to turn into music:
Sense & Sensibility:
Composer: George Frideric Handel, Arr. Lawler + Fadoul
Words: Dust Jacket from Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen
Zara Lawler: Flute, Voice
Paul Fadoul: Guitar, Voice
Jane Austen’s classic tells the tale of two sisters enmeshed in “a world where status and money govern the rules of love.” In the live show, we perform this while dancing an English Country Dance, the style of dance Jane Austen often describes in her novels. For the album, we added a sound backdrop of twittering birds and a babbling brook to capture that feeling of the English countryside, and to hint at the undercurrent of societal pressures felt by the two heroines. The field recordings were made by Zara and our producer Jeanne Velonis.
Power Money Fame Sex:
Composer: Jason Nett
Words: Dust Jacket from Power Money Fame Sex by Gretchen Craft Rubin
Zara Lawler: Flute, Voice
Paul Fadoul: Marimba, Cajón, Egg Shaker
This book by Gretchen Rubin is part self-help, part social commentary, and is surprisingly timely for our current political and social climate of self-promotion and propaganda. Jason Nett’s score uses loop pedal to create a feeling of the self-reinforcing nature of power, money, fame and sex.
Composer: Katherine Hoover, Arr. Lawler + Fadoul
Zara Lawler: Flute
Paul Fadoul: Marimba, Vibraphone
Composer Katherine Hoover was inspired by an Apache folk tale in which a young man calls a young woman to love by playing the flute. In the live performance, this piece is performed with choreography by Barbie Diewald. For the album, it was recorded in a beautifully resonant space reminiscent of the depth of the canyon.
Blow the Moon Out:
Traditional, Arr. Lawler + Fadoul
Zara Lawler: Alto Flute, Voice
Paul Fadoul: Vibraphone, Cajón
One night, while singing her daughter to sleep, Zara realized that lullabies certainly must be considered music of persuasion. This traditional lullaby is the one that she sang in her household for the first three years of her daughter’s life. Lawler + Fadoul arranged it for voice, alto flute, vibraphone and cajón. Often in a live evening performance, the timing of this number coincides with Zara’s daughter’s bed time, and she enjoys thinking about her sleeping at home while we are on stage.
Click. Tweet. Like. Repost.
Words: Liza Jessie Peterson
Zara Lawler: Voice
Paul Fadoul: Voice
We asked spoken-word artist Liza Jessie Peterson to create a work for us, inspired by Gil Scott Heron’s The Revolution Will Not Be Televised. That early hip-hop masterpiece uses commercial slogans of the time to contrast with the need for real-world action in the face of injustice. Liza’s update uses the lingo of social media to comment on the similar contrast between IRL connection and virtual persuasion.
Composer and lyricist: Pat Humphries
Zara Lawler: Banjo, Lead Vocals
Paul Fadoul: Guitar, Backing Vocals
Bill Spence: Hammered Dulcimer
George Wilson: Bass, Backing Vocals
Howard Jack: Guitar, Backing Vocals
Another great form of music of persuasion is the protest song. Audiences love to sing along with this stirring melody, and its message of unity in diversity makes a powerful ending to the show. For the album, we recorded it live in upstate New York…with an enthusiastic audience and guest folk musicians Bill Spence (hammered dulcimer), George Wilson (bass) and Howard Jack (guitar).
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Ravello Records is the contemporary classical label imprint of audio production house PARMA Recordings. Dedicated to highlighting forward thinking composers and musicians from around the world, the New England-based label's eclectic catalog offers listeners a cross-section of today's up-and-coming innovators in orchestral, chamber, and experimental music.
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