Spiritual America // Sounds From a Safe Harbour
A collection of songs exploring secular spirituality, composed by
Featuring special guests:
Arone Dyer (Buke and Gase)
Andy Stack (Wye Oak)
“Brittelle has been drawing from his varied experiences in classical music, punk rock, and electronica to produce silo-bombing music that is at once free-ranging, formally adventurous, unconventionally beautiful, and a joyful thrill to experience.” — Nation
“One of the most astounding records of 2019” - Indyweek USA
In May 2019, North Carolina-born, Brooklyn-based composer William Brittelle released a stunning genre-fluid electro-acoustic song cycle: Spiritual America, which will see its live European premiere featuring a host of special guests, at CIT Cork School of Music, as part of Sounds from a Safe Harbour festival, this September.
Mary Hickson, Festival Director, first heard Spiritual America in March of this year. “It literally stopped me in my tracks, I have never heard anything like it. It made me feel an energy I haven’t had with music in a while, it felt strangely familiar in so many ways but was drawn in and swallowed up by its completely new sound. This is something altogether different and thrilling, and I just knew then and there I had to share Brittelle’s vision for music with Cork. I connected with it in a deeply powerful and emotional way - being devastated and uplifted in equal measure. I am so excited and grateful to have the opportunity to present it to the Sounds from a Safe Harbour audience.”
Spiritual America, a cycle of seven songs, is the soundtrack to an emotional journey Brittelle undertook to reconcile his youth in a conservative Christian North Carolina household with his adult life as an “agnostic Buddhist” living in Brooklyn, and to address his questions about the nature of faith. David Hajdu of the Nation praised Spiritual America for its “utter fearlessness” and “quirky beauty” and Brittelle himself for producing “silo-bombing music that is at once free-ranging, formally adventurous, unconventionally beautiful, and a joyful thrill to experience.”
Witness Brittelle’s Spiritual America at Sounds from a Safe Harbour alongside the Grammy-nominated New York City–based contemporary chamber orchestra Metropolis Ensemble, drummer-percussionist Andy Stack of American rock duo Wye Oak, Arone Dyer of experimental pop act Buke and Gase, and American Folk artist Sam Amidon. For this performance in Cork Brittelle has created a revised chamber-based reimagining of the record complete with newly developed material.
The show will take place at CIT Cork School of Music, 2pm, Sunday 15th September, 2019. Tickets €12. On Sale Wed 07 August. Details to follow. #SFSH19
Listen to Spiritual America on Spotify, Apple Music, and other digital service providers.
About William Brittelle:
The arc of Brittelle’s career is itself something of a remarkable odyssey, from aspiring post-punk musician in the New York City rock scene of the early aughts to co-founder of the highly regarded Brooklyn–based non-profit label, New Amsterdam Records, “built for the diverse musical landscape of our time.” He and his band the Blondes had released a debut album produced by legendary Television guitarist Richard Lloyd, but serious vocal injury suffered during a 2004 gig dashed any dreams of rock stardom Brittelle may have harbored. Physically and emotionally devastating, though perhaps somehow serendipitous in retrospect, this onstage accident pushed him toward a very different path as composer, label owner, and concert presenter, who has been sought after by symphonies and performing arts groups around the country.
His music has been lauded by NPR’s All Songs Considered, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Nation, and more. Brittelle’s works have been presented at venues around the world including the Kennedy Center and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and he has collaborated with artists including Son Lux, Oneohtrix Point Never, Wild Up/Zola Jesus, Bryce Dessner, Roomful of Teeth, and Lower Dens.