"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
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
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
“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
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.
Labels: Allison Crowe, Beatles, Beyoncé, Buster Keaton, Dita Parlo, Fernand Léger, Jean Vigo, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Louise Brooks, Oscar Peterson, Radiohead, Superman, “Weird Al” Yankovic