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Filament / Eighth Blackbird

Dessner / Eighth Blackbird / Dessner / Muhly
Release Date: 09/11/2015 
Label:  Cedille Records   Catalog #: 157   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Bryce DessnerNico MuhlyPhilip GlassSon Lux
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Eighth Blackbird
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 49 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

American new-music sextet eighth blackbird, which won Grammy Awards for each of its last three Cedille Records albums, continues to connect with genre-spanning, cutting-edge composers on FILAMENT, a CD of world-premiere recordings of works by Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly, and Son Lux, plus a Philip Glass classic.

The ensemble’s album, FILAMENT, was produced by Dessner, a Brooklyn-based composer, guitarist, and member of the Grammy-nominated, Billboard-charting indie rock band The National. The 16-page CD booklet features original artwork, photography, and design by New York-based artist and architect Karl Jensen.

Premieres include Dessner’s Murder Ballades and Muhly’s Doublespeak, both written for eighth
Read more blackbird, and Son Lux’s To Love and This is my Line, a remix created from the album’s other tracks.

Dessner, on guitar, and Muhly, on organ, join eighth blackbird for a live-in-concert recording of Glass’s mesmerizing Two Pages at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.

The album’s title, FILAMENT, is a metaphor for the fiber of friendship, collaboration, and mutual influence connecting the composers and performers on the album.



Eighth blackbird has proven themselves quite the new music ensemble, selecting their works carefully, and bringing to the public music that is challenging and memorable. This release is no exception. It’s called “Filament” because it attempts to link friends and collaborators, and to a lesser extent, their influence on one another. I might also title it “A Tribute to Minimalism”, because without the influence of this much-misaligned genre, this music would not exist. This is a glorious album in glorious sound, marred only by the short playing time. Conceptions this good deserve more—maybe a sequel? – Audiophile Edition (Steven Ritter)

An invisible “filament” connects the experimental, Chicago-based sextet Eighth Blackbird with their composer friends Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly, Philip Glass and Ryan Lott, known by his stage name Son Lux. Dessner’s Murder Ballades reflect the violent, pulsating energy of their title. Muhly’s Doublespeak is a retro blast of fast-slow minimalism in homage to Philip Glass. Glass’s Two Pages takes a single line to zany extremes, and Lux’s short To Love and This Is My Line pull all together with electronic remixes from the rest of the album. Neatly done, with wit.

– Guardian [UK]Fiona Maddocks Read less

Works on This Recording

Murder Ballades, for chamber ensemble by Bryce Dessner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Eighth Blackbird
Period: Contemporary 
Length: 17 Minutes 27 Secs. 
Doublespeak, for chamber ensemble by Nico Muhly
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Eighth Blackbird
Period: Contemporary 
Length: 9 Minutes 6 Secs. 
Two Pages by Philip Glass
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Eighth Blackbird
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1968; USA 
Length: 16 Minutes 20 Secs. 
To Love by Son Lux
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Eighth Blackbird
Period: Contemporary 
Length: 2 Minutes 3 Secs. 
This is my Line by Son Lux
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Eighth Blackbird
Period: Contemporary 
Length: 3 Minutes 4 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Eighth Blackbird has done it again September 12, 2015 By Steven Freedman (Raleigh, NC) See All My Reviews "My wife and I heard Eighth Blackbird at a performance at Duke a few years ago and i have been hooked ever since. This album is marvelous. We heard the Murder Ballades at the concert so hearing it again brought back great musical memories. A stunning piece. Everything on this album is exhilirating, challenging, and moving. The Glass piece gets under your skin because it is at once beautiful, boring, annoying, intriguing, and haunting in its simplicity and repetitiveness. Not my favorite Glass piece but worth hearing at least once. The Eighth Blackbird albums are all wonderful and this one is no exception. If you have never heard this group, this is not a bad album in which to start your explorations of their musical magic. EB will expand your musical horizons and will bring a great smile to your face." Report Abuse
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