o incredibly excited to share that a fantastic project I had the opportunity to lead is now
About a year ago we sought to record the music of a woman whose work was not known not because of her ability, but her gender.
Under the baton of James Blachly the @experientialorchestra, as well as the incredible soloists Sarah Bailey and Dashon Burton and Grammy Award Winning producer Blanton Alspaugh we sought to record the album "The Prision". It is the first ever recorded work of Smyth's piece of the same name which is a massive and beautiful tone poem on the Chandos label.
I was not familiar at all with Smyth's music before this project
Championed by many conductors and composers of her time, she was the first woman to have her work performed by the MET Opera, speaking volumes to her capacity as a composer .
Also a staunch activist, she fought as a suffragist for the rights of women, even spending a period of time in prison thus the name of this work.
The Prison is an hour long choral symphonic work that symbolizes her farewell to her compositional career as well as a testament to love, life and self-worth. Smyth's music is so beautiful and has so much to say making it a shame her works have long been forgotten. Being able to bring even a small spotlight to her name is truly humbling.
I think a quote by the amazing Alex Ross best summarizes the need to play more of Smyth's music:
"She was, beyond everything else, a composer of impeccable technical skill, nowhere more so than in her String Quartet in E Minor (1902-12). It has a potent, unsettled slow movement and a finale enlivened by quirky whole-tone harmonies. Like many of her pieces, it deserves to heard much more often." - Alex Ross (The Rest is Noise)
How to listen to the album
Check out Smyth’s music and our album on all streaming services including
A Special shoutout to
- @paulinekimharris for inviting me to the project and putting together such a killer band and just being the best. And of course bravo to the incredible musicians!
- the other principals @ravennalipchik, @chocoblanca, @slee1016, whose musicianship, integrity.. and bowings 🤣... helped pull this behemoth of a project together in such a short time