Disease + The Girl with the Prefabricated Heart

An all-time great rock song and performance kicks off “16 Songs”. Here’s Allison Crowe live-in-concert – captured by Turtle Recording’s Larry Anschell (Engineer and Producer) and Brad Graham (Co-Engineer).

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Lyrical and social themes “as we replace marble with plastic” mesh visually with “Dreams That Money Can Buy” – the avant garde cinematic creation of German surrealist, Dadaist+ Hans Richter and collaborators. “The Girl with the Prefabricated Heart“, the second of DTMCB’s seven dream sequences, is shaped by the rich vision of French painter, sculptor, and filmmaker, Fernand Léger. This experimental feature film received the Award for the Best Original Contribution to the Progress of Cinematography at the 1947 Venice Film Festival.

“Power-house intense” says an European reviewer, “”the energy of ‘Disease‘ can easily provide electricity to a small country for a decade.”

Writing in Süddeutsche Zeitung, a major German daily newspaper, journalist Peter Baier sets the stage (in this translation): “From the outset the Canadian songwriter wins the favor of the audience and increases the expectations with her coloratural laugh. Allison Crowe plays the piano with a strong grip. Its sound fits perfectly to her slightly-smoky, expressive, in short: Great voice. Sometimes her playing recalls the keyboard-capers of Konstantin Wecker and then there are moments to bring to mind Modest Mussorgsky’s „Pictures at an Exhibition“.

(And in the original text: Bereits mit ihren ersten Ansagen gewinnt die kanadische Songwriterin mit eigenem Label die Gunst des Publikums, lässt mit ihrem Koloratur-Lachen die Erwartung auf Weiteres ansteigen. Mit kräftigem Zugriff spielt Allison Crowe das Klavier, zu dessen Klang ihre leicht rauchige, ausducksstarke, kurz: große Stimme hervorragend passt. Manchmal erinnert ihr Spiel an die Tasten-Eskapaden eines Konstantin Wecker, dann wieder gibt es Momente, die an den Stil von Modest Mussorgsky’s „Bilder einer Ausstellung“ denken lassen.)

“Amazing composition,” says another in the musician’s broadly international audience, “there is so much intellect in the music writing of Allison Crowe, which you don’t see anywhere these days, not from the new artists nor the established ones.”

It’s an intellect revealed in part via inspired musical choices and its energetic expression is visceral in nature. Energy flows from the performer on-stage to engulf concert-goers as well. Spontaneous eruptions – stomping feet, clapping hands, rhythmically pulsing bodies – accompany this song (a recent bootleg video from Jazzhaus Freiburg further testifies to this rocking reality).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6t4Gk15IB4

#1 of 16 Songs

Allison Crowe - 16 Songs Video Album - New Moon - Disease

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“16 Songs” Video Album from Allison Crowe = Music + Movie Magic

“Soulful. Alive. Joyous. Grievous. Real, true, music is what I want to make.”

That’s how Allison Crowe framed things near the start of this century before launching Rubenesque Records Ltd., one of the world’s truly independent music labels.

Through legendary live performances, broadcasts, and a dynamic oeuvre of recordings, globally-acclaimed and loved, Crowe’s distinguished herself among today’s finest songwriters, recording and concert acts, and as a supreme interpreter of popular song.

Combining versatility and virtuosity, the amazing Canadian musician transmits emotion into a visceral joy – sharing heart and soul with audiences.

Timeless artistic expression has its own tradition in Canada, a land plentifully represented by: wordsmiths & tunesmiths, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Gordon Lightfoot and Neil Young; by jazz pianist/composer Oscar Peterson; classical composer Marjan Mozetich; in theatre and opera – beautiful voices of Teresa Stratas, Richard Verreau, Léopold Simoneau; and other sublime standard-bearers.

Allison Crowe’s singularity carries her across the globe and into such company as the Master of the Queen’s Music, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Britain’s Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, and dates with Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet. Thrilling, fun, and moving, the Nanaimo, BC-born musician traverses Europe and North America from home-base in Corner Brook, Newfoundland earning hoorays even from Hollywood where appreciative movie Director Zack Snyder invited her to cameo in the latest Superman blockbuster.

Coming soon Allison Crowe releases “16 Songs” a video album reimagining century-spanning film, three decades of songwriting, and a dozen albums of modern music. Renowned for gorgeous, often ground-breaking, interpretations of Mitchell, Cohen, The Beatles, Pearl Jam +, Crowe’s set-list here is radiantly international, mixing original tunes (Disease, Circular Reasoning, Double-Edged Swords +) with covers of: Annie Lennox & Eurythmics, Radiohead, Tori Amos, Elton John & Bernie Taupin, Matthew Good, Hunters and Collectors.

"16 Songs" Video Album from Allison Crowe Coming Soon

16 Songs” Video Album from Allison Crowe Coming Soon

We’ve recently witnessed novel approaches to twinning of music and video releases in the American mainstream. In December 2013, pop superstar Beyoncé paired a video with each of her album’s 14 new song tracks adding three bonus music videos all as part of the “Beyoncé” album physical release. Partial clips of the vids were posted online upon the album’s surprise launch.

This Summer “Weird Al” Yankovic built upon the model of his 2011 “Alpocalypse” album. For his July 2014 release, “Mandatory Fun”, pop music’s über-parodist-satirist-accordionist amped awareness by production-partnering with an array of web portals to release eight videos online the same week his album’s 12 music tracks became available.

Allison Crowe’s music videos for most of this millennium comprise, either, documentary, live-in-performance, films (eg. the hugely popular “Tidings” series from director Alex Postowoi’s cinéma vérité crew), or, audio recordings with ‘still’ images. The exceptions – a pair of music videos in narrative style – were both made in 2003: “Midnight” (also directed by Steadiman’s Postowoi), and “Scared” (from the transmission2media duo of Angela Kendall and Brian Dutkewich – known for their later work with musical twins Tegan and Sara).

Starting with 2011’s luminous “Arthur” – a song exploring love, memory and aging – Crowe’s videos also marry her song recordings with vintage footage from home-movies, silent films and classics of Georges Méliès, Dimitri Kirsanoff, Nadia Sibirskaia, Salvador Dali, Dominique Monfréy, Josef von Sternberg, D.W. Griffith plus other pioneers and visionaries of cinema (impressionists, surrealists, Dadaists, avant gardists, pop-artists+).

“The strange thing about cinema, and this would go for television film, is that no one really knows why music is needed. I would say after a lifetime in it I could not tell you why. But it is not complete without it… As a matter-of-fact, I may be bold enough to say that with very few exceptions, a piece of film, or a film cannot come to life without the help of music of some kind,” reflected composer Bernard Herrmann, a frequent collaborator with film director Alfred Hitchcock.

The “Master of Suspense”, Hitch himself, observed: “Art is emotion.”

16 Songs” is an artful collection of Allison Crowe musical works with visuals from great creators and innovators – film-makers, animators, painters, photographers: Fernand Léger, Jean Vigo, Buster Keaton, Dave Fleischer & Max Fleischer, Edwin S. Porter, Man Ray, Hans Richter, Marcel Duchamp, Alexander Calder, Winsor McCay, Augusto Genina, René Clair & Georg W. Pabst. Iconic images and figures – Louise Brooks, Lois Lane and Clark Kent/Superman, Michel Simon, Dita Parlo, Jean Dasté, and Kiki de Montparnasse – populate the video album playlist.

“Oh, this is wonderful, it really is,” says Slovenia’s Milka of an advance screening, “I love it.” The art-aficionado from Izola comments: “It is marvellous amalgamation of Allison’s voice and movie’s poetry. Both benefit from each other and give a viewer another dimension for song’s interpretation. While the movie, not known to me, suddenly takes me to place where one never ages. Love it.”

Curtains rise on Allison Crowe’s “16 Songs” video album daily from the New Moon of September 23 to the Full Moon of October 8, 2014. Visit your favourite online video portal to know how it feels.

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Happy (early) 80th Birthday, Leonard Cohen!!

The Real Rick Rutt” ‏@RickRutt  tweets: Sunday, Sept 21, will be Leonard Cohen’s 80th birthday + This song has entranced me for decades. Here is #LeonardCohen80’s fellow Canadian Allison Crowe’s 2004 “Jeanne d’Arc

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Sing Out! In Our Global Village

The Leonard Cohen Files’ now lists 567 different cover versions of Leonard Cohen’s much-loved “Hallelujah” – recordings made in dozens of countries and numerous languages: http://www.leonardcohenfiles.com/coverlist.php

Hallelujah” is a popular song we’ve been able to widely and directly witness become a standard – as this process has occurred during, and, in part, thanks to, this age of the internet reaching near-ubiquity.

The global expanse of songs such as The Beatles’ “Yesterday”, (with some 3000 interpretations on record), and Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now”, (nearing 1000 covers at latest count – http://jonimitchell.com/music/covers-most.cfm ), and most other tunes which have become standards in the canons of pop and rock – and many more in folk, jazz and other genres – has, largely, been a phenomenon experienced offline (and these songs grew into universal favourites not in our real-time view).

The introduction of “Hallelujah” to a mass audience – via such channels as 2001’s Hollywood hit animated film “Shrek” – has been augmented and amplified by the world wide web.

Music and video sites online enable songs to be shared around, enjoyed and learned – grassroots traditions of jam sessions, campfire sing-alongs, church choirs and other communal ways that music is transported, today can be propelled by the advance in technology (and digital devices, in hand, enable more people to make recordings).

Not only can people world-wide experience music more readily, and in greater richness and variety, than in pre-internet times, folks are now able to express what it all means to them and reflect back to the same giant community “so that all souls can see it”.

For myself, serving as manager to Allison Crowe, a musician creating in these exciting times, one of the profound pleasures now possible is regularly hearing how people are moved by music.

Reflections on Hallelujah” @ http://blog.farmgirlwrites.com/2014/06/reflections-on-hallelujah.html – posted by Washington, DC-based blogger, “Farmgirl Writes”, is the sort of thing that inspires appreciation and understanding of a song and our fellow beings.

And, (especially for those with more dexterity and musical talent or dedication to this course than I), there’s such sites as “Chordify” – which show how we can play the music we love – http://chordify.net/chords/allison-crowe-hallelujah-live-in-the-studio-adrian22

Chordify - Allison Crowe

Joni Mitchell: In Her Own Words” – a new book that’s exactly what its title promises – Joni’s voice heard through a trio of decades-spanning interviews with her friend, artist and journalist, Malka Marom – is released this week (officially, September 9, 2014).

Allan Showalter, aka DrHGuy, offers a typically entertaining and enlightening post in review @ http://1heckofaguy.com/2014/09/03/book-review-joni-mitchell-talks-about-growing-up-art-songwriting-love-and-leonard-cohen

I’ve mentioned this previously in a post to my own (Adrian’s personal facebook) page and – not unrelated to L. Cohen, the nature of popular songs, their interpretation and sharing – this book includes choice commentary.

River... Joni Mitchell’s whole album Blue is timeless,” Allison remarked when she covered the uniquely ever-green song on her own album “Tidings” in 2004.

And “River”, like “Hallelujah”, has witnessed an accelerated cultural expanse and embrace in these digital media times. Currently, Bob Muller, the Grand Poobah of Covers at JoniMitchell.com, tracks 402 different versions of Mitchell’s song @ http://jonimitchell.com/music/covers-most.cfm

The song established itself steadily over the decades – with some 200 covers being made from the time of its release on “Blue” in 1971 to 2007. In these last seven years, the total number of “River” covers has doubled.

In this new book, the brilliant singer, songwriter, composer, painter+ tells her confidante and interviewer: “There was a funny article in the L.A. Times. The guy was ranting, ‘Why are all these people covering Joni Mitchell’s ‘River’? It’s overexposed.’ That’s what he said, and I thought, ‘This person has no concept of what a standard is. A standard is a good song enjoyed by many.’ A lot of singers wanted to sing it, and it kept the song alive.”

Malka asks: “How do you feel when people sing your songs, any song, or play it completely different, like with ‘normal’ chords, and different arrangements?”

Joni says: “I think it’s great, I feel honoured. I like the idea of songs being sung. I like the idea that people who can’t even sing are singing them…”

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It’s a bird, it’s a plane… it’s Allison Crowe

Krypton Chronicle’s Rennie Cowan today posts to DailyMotion her interview with Allison Crowe from the red-carpet World Premiere of “Man of Steel” – which happened at New York City’s Lincoln Center in Summer 2013:

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x25f6ii_man-of-steel-world-premiere-interview-with-allison-crowe-by-rennie-cowan_shortfilms

Allison Crowe - Man of Steel World Premiere - Interview by Rennie Cowan of Krypton Chronicles

MAN OF STEEL WORLD PREMIERE – Interview with Allison Crowe… by rennie-cowan

The chaotic fun of that adventure is well-captured in Rennie’s clip.

The genuine kindness and support of Hollywood film director Zack Snyder, producer Deborah Snyder, their super-professional team, and the many good folks we met at every stage, still lifts us up! Up! And away!

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16 Songs – Video Album

We now know the song listing for Allison Crowe’s upcoming 16 Song music video series:

Disease

Why

Circular Reasoning

Creep

There Is

Doughnut Song

Running

Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters

Spiral

Sweet Dreams

Effortless

Josephine

Double-Edged Swords

Running for Home

Alive and Breathing

Throw Your Arms Around Me

Allison Crowe - 16 Song Video Album - cover

This new music video series launches September 9, 2014 (a shift from the September 2 date originally announced).

A magical mystery tour of music with visuals from great artists and innovators of the 20th and 21st centuries – film-makers, animators, painters, photographers and more… – it’s a multi-media expression of the artist’s mission to make “Soulful. Alive. Joyous. Grievous. Real, true, music.” ( http://allisoncrowe.com/bio.html )

This 16 song video album pairs Allison’s originals with some singular interpretations – underscoring an observation of Allan Showalter, aka DrHGuy, delightful chronicler “On Life, Love, Lust, & Leonard Cohen” – “Once you’ve heard one Allison Crowe song, You’ve heard one Allison Crowe song.” ( http://1heckofaguy.com/2009/01/27/wedding-song-allison-crowes-small-masterwork )

It’s a season of cryptic crosswords and other, puzzling, fun. Here, now, are 16 visual clues – screenshots from each of the videos in the series. Some you may recognize, some you may not have seen before…

Imagine which goes with which song in the set-list – this September details will be revealed, and matches will be made.

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GMTF Company Makes a Splash for ALS Challenge

“The Gros Morne Theatre Festival was nominated for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge – and here’s our video!” taps Allison Crowe from the festival’s home-base in western Newfoundland. “We nominate Rising Tide Theatre and Donna Butt, Sarah McDonald, Kevin Perdue, Brian Ball, Natalie Tsang and Vickie Marston!!!” GMTF 2014 ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kh9UGoy7gPQ “Go to – http://www.ALS.CA/ICEBUCKETCHALLENGE – to donate!”

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Earlier in the day, Denise Dolliver, GMTF Production/Company Manager enjoyed a solo dousing – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jkyjsG7GIQ – and this Atlantic participaction flowed yesterday with a challenge from Gaylene Buckle, Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador’s GM.

ALS (aka Lou Gehrig’s Disease) is a progressive neuromuscular disease in which nerve cells die and leave voluntary muscles paralyzed. This Summer’s Ice Bucket Challenge has focused worldwide goodwill on awareness-and-fund-raising for this cause. ALS Canada has the scoop @ http://www.als.ca/ in, both, our nation’s official languages – English and French.

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NewFound Friends @ GMTF

Viceroy of vinyl, Wayne Tucker, Host of NewFound Records Radio Hour, ventures out to beautiful Cow Head, NL this past week and enjoys “Newfoundland Vinyl: The ‘C’Side”.

Here’s a pic of Wayne with the hit show’s Musical Director, Allison Crowe (tweeted @ https://twitter.com/NewFoundRecords )

Wayne Tucker & Allison Crowe @ Newfoundland Vinyl 2014

Conceived by Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador’s Artistic Director, Jeff Pitcher, “Newfoundland Vinyl” is a perennial favourite at the Gros Morne Theatre Festival – drawing from the deep well of classic, vinyl-era, recording artists’ repertoire, the joys, sorrows and rich character of the region are brought to musical life by a super-talented cast of actors and musicians and a top-notch production crew.

As part of this year’s GMTF, there’s a pair of performances still on the calendar – 9:00pm August 26 and 29: http://www.theatrenewfoundland.com/shows/newfoundland-vinyl-the-c-side-2014

Wayne Tucker gives airtime to the pioneer recording artists of Newfoundland and Labrador via his radio show each Saturday noon on CHMR 93.5FM, MUN. NewFound Records Radio Hour is also heard on Radio Bell Island, The Voice of Bonne Bay, East Coast Kitchen Party, iTunes Radio and TuneIn Radio (and spinning more widely each time you listen!) http://www.newfoundrecords.ca/

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Song of the Summer! Circular Reasoning + Prix de beauté

Song of the Summer – dive in!

In advance of the upcoming full Allison Crowe video show – here’s “sneak peek” fun in the form of her song “Circular Reasoning” with visuals from a French silent film that became a talkie in 1930.

Prix de beauté” (“Beauty Prize” aka “Miss Europe”) is directed by Augusto Genina, written by René Clair & Georg W. Pabst and stars a radiant Louise Brooks.

Enjoy :)

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Allison Crowe has a 16-song-video-series that launches September 2, 2014. Pairing a spectrum of recordings from the Canadian musician with visuals from great artists and innovators of the 20th and 21st centuries – film-makers, animators, painters, photographers and more… – it’s a multi-media expression of Crowe’s mission to make “Soulful. Alive. Joyous. Grievous. Real, true, music.” ( http://allisoncrowe.com/bio.html )

And, this collection confirms the diagnosis of Dr. H Guy aka Allan Showalter, the world’s inimitable blogger “On Life, Love, Lust, & Leonard Cohen” – who notes: “Once you’ve heard one Allison Crowe song, You’ve heard one Allison Crowe song.” ( http://1heckofaguy.com/2009/01/27/wedding-song-allison-crowes-small-masterwork )

Much more on this all, naturally, to come – once we’ve celebrated Summer in this part of the world. Right now, it’s time for bathing suits, ice-cream, fresh berries, bicycle bells… any and all other of life’s simple joys and pleasures.

Sláinte!

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Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms – Allison Crowe Live – Jazzhaus Freiburg

Allison Crowe delivers one of her encore tunes acapella – on Mother’s Day at Jazzhaus Freiburg, in Germany. (This being the latest, and, perhaps, last, in our live bootleg video series. At least until the next tour…)

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This traditional aire takes its lyrics from the writings of Thomas Moore. An international hit at the beginning of the previous century for the great Irish tenor John McCormack (who recorded it in 1911 and, again, in 1935), and Australia’s legendary coloratura soprano, Dame Nellie Melba (in 1909).

Allison Crowe’s Celtic roots show when she performs “Believe Me If All (Those Endearing Young Charms)“.

Recordings of this tune are found on Allison’s “Live at Wood Hall” (http://music.allisoncrowe.com/album/live-at-wood-hall) and “Tidings Concert” (http://music.allisoncrowe.com/album/tidings-concert) albums.And, it’s an “hidden” track closing her “Secrets” album (http://music.allisoncrowe.com/album/secrets).

Irish Music Daily” provides delightful background to this beautiful song @ http://www.irishmusicdaily.com/believe-me-if-all-those-endearing-young-charms

Believe Me If All

Traditional Irish Aire w. words by Thomas Moore
As performed by Allison Crowe

Believe me, if all those endearing young charms,
Which I gaze on so fondly today,
Were to change by tomorrow,
and fleet in my arms,
Like fairy-gifts fading away,

Thou wouldst still be adored,
as this moment thou art,
Let thy loveliness fade as it will,
And around the dear ruin each wish of my heart,
Would entwine itself verdantly still.

It is not while beauty and youth are thine own,
And thy cheek unprofaned by a tear,
That the fervour and faith of a soul can be known,
To which time has but made thee more dear:

No, the heart that has truly loved never forgets,
But as truly loves on to the close,
As the sun-flower turns to her god, when he sets,
The same look which she gave when he rose.

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