David Lang's composition "Death Speaks" will be premiered by:
Owen Pallett – vocals and violin
Bryce Dessner – vocals and guitar
Shara Worden – vocals and guitar
Nico Muhly – keyboards
Described as "post-folk darkness and introspection," it is a companion piece to the Pulitzer Prize-winning "The Little Match Girl Passion," which will be sung by Paul Hillier's Theatre of Voices. The two dates are January 25 at Stanford and January 27 at Carnegie Hall.
On March 24 at the Ecstatic Music Festival in New York City, where Owen Pallett had performed earlier this year with the yMusic strings, Mountain Goats songs from their new work (album?) Transcendental Youth will be sung by the female a cappella quartet Anonymous 4 with arrangements by Owen for guitar, piano, and voices.
John Darnielle writes, "I am person who likes to eat candy. Every time somebody says 'kid in a candy shop,' I think to myself: 'I wanna be that kid in the candy shop, after hours, with the go-ahead to have all the candy I like.' Anonymous 4 singing my new songs in arrangements by Owen: this is all candy ever all at once for me. I simply cannot wait for this show."
One Millionth Tower is a web documentary centered on a highrise apartment in Toronto. Owen's six-minute composition is called "Five Offerings". Jim Guthrie composed the rest of the music. The full interactive experience requires Firefox/Chrome and a graphics card that supports WebGL.
The single "We All Go Back to Where We Belong" and song "Hallelujah" on R.E.M.'s final album Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage 1982–2011 had orchestral arrangements by Owen Pallett. Listen to the single on Rolling Stone.
"It's embarrassing because everything we've been writing together makes all of the older songs sound really lame," [Owen] says, adding that the sonic direction picks up on the "droned out, blissed out, motoric aspects of Heartland."
"I used to go to the weight room in ninth grade and put on Nevermind and pump iron. Then Kurt died and the music lost its anabolic effects -- I lost a lot of weight in '94. Good songs, though. And I never would've gotten into the Melvins, the Meat Puppets, or Shellac were it not for Nirvana." —Owen
"we asked [owen] and nico muhly (who is an extraordinary composer also. it was him behind the haywire arrangements for the jonsi album) to write string and brass parts for seven or eight songs on the album. owen came down to la to ocean way studios to conduct both his and nico's arrangments. for pictures of something other than his fine shoulder blades look on line.
"the strings on this one are strange, beautiful and unlike anything we've had before. much like the record itself. even if i am so bold as to say so myself."
We go on to talk about Toronto's Owen Pallett and how his song Keep The Dog Quiet "starts on the worst possible note he could sing; it's like a mistake, but it's fantastic..." and Eno reveals he likes dubstep more in principle than in fact.
The Wedge Presents Arcade Fire is a 30-minute documentary special about the Montreal-based indie rock band as they reach a new plateau of success in their storied career. Based around an interview with the group's core members Win and Will Butler conducted by Wedge host Damian Abraham in the wake of their award show successes, the show also features testimonies from creative people close to the band during their steady ascent [including Owen].
"Mix Tape. A lot of fast jams. Mostly French and Canadian, some punk, some new wave. Lots of Toronto's royal jewels. There's a couple of songs that I just realized are "electroclash"? I guess I never got tired of electroclash. As with all my mixes, I bounced the entire thing to a tapedeck to give it a mixtape feel. My drummer, Rob Gordon—the best drummer, no, really—he helped with the song selection. Thanks Michael Goodstein for "John E. Storm", thanks Steve Kado for "Thousands Dead". I hope you enjoy it. Go get a tan."
In addition to being a remarkably talented musician, Owen's very thoughtful and possessed of a delightfully sharp wit that would put any Algonquin Round Table member to shame. With this in mind, we asked if he'd be willing to fill out a classic Proust Questionnaire in the interest of providing a little personal context for his music. He was glad to oblige...
Acoustic and unplugged finale to the 2011 MusicNow Festival featuring Owen Pallett, Megafaun, Sharon Van Etten, Richard Reed Parry, and Little Scream. Owen also played in the live debut of "Exile Vilify", a song from Portal 2.
Under the Radar magazine is hosting an online charity auction for the Japan relief effort that starts today and features Okkervil River, Menomena, Owen Pallett, Telekinesis, Surfer Blood, Hooray for Earth, and Porcelain Raft. These seven artists performed at the second of Under the Radar's two SXSW parties this past March, and they all autographed three different posters for the event. The three posters are being auctioned off separately, with each poster accompanied by other goodies, including CDs and vinyl from each of the bands, top-of-the-line headphones from Shure, subscriptions and bags from Under the Radar, and a guitar donated by Hooray for Earth.
As the Barbican prepare to celebrate the work of Steve Reich with a major festival, writer and musician Leo Chadburn (Simon Bookish) looks at the continuing significance of the oft-imitated minimalist pioneer.
"The music [for Good Night, Doll] is primarily instrumental and more electronic than I usually do. I hope to publish the music as a soundtrack, so I expect to embark on a new studio album this fall."
Do you have an idea how this album will be? "I have a completely clear idea. My band makes it such that it becomes more of a band record than my previous works."
"I've been listening to the new Wild Beasts album Smother, they're absolutely excellent. Otherwise, I have recently listened to Popol Vuh, a German Krautrock band from the 70s, and Jaki Liebezeit, drummer of Can. Maybe you could hear the influences in my next album."
The most emotional event of the evening, however, may ultimately have been the tragedy that befell Pallett as he began his encore. Grabbing for the violin, which he had rested on his electronic keyboard the whole night, Pallett knocked it to the floor, splitting it at the neck. It culminated in a collective gasp and a look on mournful look on Pallett's face...
Spinner sits down with the musical virtuoso to discuss his disdain for artistic sexual labelling, flirting with Arcade Fire's success, how the Strokes inspired his album and why Morrissey should just come out of the closet already...
His Narwhal show was called "The Invisible College," and was besotted with the surreal, the canonical and the antique, depicting anthropomorphic and human dignitaries in classical-portraiture poses (one work was a beautiful rendering of musician Owen Pallett in a frock coat)...
Owen Pallett announced during a set at Austin's Flamingo Cantina that his performances at SXSW would be the last as a solo act. Pallett noted that he was working with a drummer and that he is really excited for people to hear it.
"Owen is a good friend of ours and has always been a huge support. I asked him for some arrangement help as soon as we had some demos done, but he kind of swooped in at the end of our sessions and decorated the cake so to speak. He's wonderful, and brilliant, and has nice legs." —Jessie Stein
In this French interview, Owen mentions that he is working on an artistic film with a director friend who is not known. He's on tour until July, and he will play with musicians (bassists, guitarists) like a rock band.
Who would have thought that Owen Pallett, the artist who brought us one of the most beautiful records in 2010 was into noise rock? We sure didn't, but it's a fact, people expect bands to listen to music similar to theirs, but it's almost always the contrary, i.e. check out OP's picks...
"I was at medical school. One part of me was doing what I wanted to do, and the other was doing what my conscience wanted me to do. I’m very happy, but I feel very guilty. I just think that I would have more to offer the world as a doctor than a musician."
Sitting in the green room of Vancouver's famous Vogue Theater, Pallett casually trades discussion with me, coming off as genuine yet sparse. When I inquire about his pursuits aside from his album, he clearly seems uninspired, remarking "I just want to make music for now."
"Originally written to be performed by a full orchestra, Owen Pallett reworked the charts to meet the needs of performing with a smaller group of Hamilton Philharmonic musicians in the intimate setting of the Hamilton Place Studio Theatre."
"I think life is probably more like a game of Tetris: it gets harder and harder and harder, and then you die." I asked Pallett to share a few more of his upbeat video game-inspired life lessons with Oyster...
Owen Pallett was funny and charming when Anaya Latter spoke to him on the phone about his upcoming tour and new album Heartland. He promises no light shows, but amazing music that is great to get drunk to...
"For the next year you're not going to be seeing that much of me - online or anywhere. I'm exhausted and trying to reconnect with more material things. I've been doing a lot of interviews, and when I read them I think I just sound defensive. Rather than correct people's impression of me, I'd rather people form their own impression of me."
For Under the Radar's 8th annual Artist Survey we emailed some of our favorite artists a few questions relating to 2010. However our printed pages weren’t enough to hold all the great responses we got. Here are additional answers from from Owen Pallett...