News → 2013
Long news post
On Arcade Fire's Reflektor, Owen's orchestral arrangements are performed by FILMharmonic Orchestra Prague. Strings are performed by Owen, Sarah Neufeld, Marika Anthony-Shaw, and Richard Reed Parry. The current live band includes:
- Win Butler
- Régine Chassagne
- Richard Reed Parry
- William Butler
- Tim Kingsbury
- Jeremy Gara
- Sarah Neufeld – violin
- Marika Anthony-Shaw – violin
- Owen Pallett – violin
- Colin Stetson – saxophone
- Diol – percussion
- Tiwill – percussion
In my opinion, the most unique set so far was the acoustic one at the Bridge School Benefit (33-minute video, Owen shows up from "Awful Sound" on). Also, I have colour coded the Arcade Fire shows on the tour pages to distinguish them from the other types of shows.
Working with Todd Terje, Owen provided strings and string arrangements for Franz Ferdinand's song "Stand on the Horizon", which appears on their album Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action and on their single "The North Sea" as the Todd Terje Extended Mix.
Owen was commissioned by the National Ballet of Canada to score a 28-minute ballet titled Unearth by choreographer Robert Binet. It will be one of four ballets in the Innovation series running from November 22 to 28 in Toronto. The program note begins:
"When we began our collaboration, composer Owen Pallett and I explored the idea that when a civilization reaches a certain level of advancement, it can lose its curiosity and become inert. Unearth looks at how this inertia is created and maintained and, more importantly, how we can push past it…"
For The Sound It Resounds, Owen talked about his favourite album, A Promise by Xiu Xiu. The 5-minute video took place in his Toronto flat, before he moved to Montreal.
Red Bull Music Academy Radio did an hour-long feature on Owen. The playlist is interspersed with segments of Owen talking about various topics: he moved away from Toronto because condos are ugly and exploitative; The Hidden Cameras' importance is underappreciated relative to Broken Social Scene's; in pursuing music as a career, rather than ditch your job to become a full-time musician, it is better for your opportunities as a musician to force you out of your job; his income comes primarily from solo work and licensing, and he does pay-what-you-can arrangements for small bands; he prefers songs to be challenging to perform, as songs that become easy are boring; he writes lyrics in the morning with coffee; he met Arcade Fire when they opened for Jim Guthrie; and Heartland Festival.
You may know that Owen has covered Céline Dion's “The Power of Love”. The first occasion was back in 2008 at the book launch of Carl Wilson's Let's Talk About Love: A Journey to the End of Taste, a book in the 33⅓ series ostensibly about Céline Dion's album. (Carl Wilson of zoilus.com was responsible for a lot of early coverage on Final Fantasy.) An expanded edition of the book, titled Let's Talk About Love: Why Other People Have Such Bad Taste, will contain 13 new essays by others, one of which is written by Owen and titled "When I Come Home". Its release date is March 13, 2014.
Sean Brady, fan of Stuart McLean's Vinyl Café, wrote an article describing his experience seeing and hearing Final Fantasy for the first time in 2004, at one of the earliest shows.
The Maniacal 4 Trombone Quartet performed "Many Lives → 49 MP", arranged by Carl Lundgren.
The piece "Pain Changes" from David Lang's Death Speaks, performed by Shara Worden/Owen Pallett/Bryce Dessner/Nico Muhly, has a new video directed by David Lang featuring Shara Worden. Stereogum has the video premiere as well as an interview with David Lang by Shara Worden.
Stargaze / Holy Fuck / "Bridle & Bit" debut
Photo by shanepb
Photo by Andrew Carver
Photo by abi.d
“Bridle & Bit” (debut)
“The Sky Behind the Flag” (first video)
“Song for Five and Six”
“The Secret Seven”
Arcade Fire tour
So far, the only known stop for Arcade Fire is Big Day Out 2014, 7 dates from January 17 to February 2. According to Big Day Out organizer Ken West, it will mark the start of Arcade Fire's world tour with some warmup shows beforehand. They are looking into having their own stadium shows rather than joining festivals (besides BDO).
Arcade Fire's fourth album will be released on October 29.
Light Fires / Patrick Stickles / Canada Day
"As an arranger I work with musicians from every continent, and so I'm able to compare first-hand the differences between Canada's music culture and those of other countries. We've come to recognize the importance of cultural development on a governmental level. Government granting programs create a feasible existence for filmmakers, authors, musicians, dancers and theatre workers.
"In addition to the visible work these programs create, it has been proven to be a good financial investment, as every dollar invested in the arts comes back tenfold. Without these mechanisms, my music and the music of many of my colleagues wouldn't exist. It is in part a result of this investment that Canada is recognized globally as a nation of music, and I am grateful to the people of Canada for recognizing the importance of their artists and standing up for what is best for their country."
New tour dates, arrangements, and collaborations
Some YouTube videos from the recent tour with Grizzly Bear:
“Song for Five or Six” at Milwaukee
“Song for Five or Six” at Kansas City
“Song for Five or Six” at Dallas
It has been over a decade since Owen first arranged for Jim Guthrie at the beginning of his career.
David Lang relates Franz Schubert to modern indie rock and asks, "What would it be like to put together an ensemble of successful indie composer-performers and invite them back into classical music, the world from which they sprang?"
At Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds' show on March 23 in Toronto, Owen Pallett and members of Godspeed You! Black Emperor comprised the string section. Also present was a local children's choir along with opener Sharon Van Etten. That's cool, I guess
Nicole Mercedes performed a cover of "This Is the Dream of Win & Regine".
In the novel Lake on the Mountain: A Dan Sharp Mystery by Jeffrey Round, in chapter 16 ("The Dog Days of Autumn"), on pages 272–3, Owen Pallett is name dropped. Here is the excerpt:
The Wait / Take-Away Show
M Blash had previously directed the music videos for “Blue Imelda” and “Lewis Takes Off His Shirt”.
We can also take this opportunity to look back on Owen's first Take-Away Show, when he played "Your Light Is Spent" and "Horsetail Feathers".