Here is the press release from ABC Classics for the album that I am producing and engineering during September this year. Very excited about this one!
SARAH CALDERWOOD ‘AS NIGHT FALLS’ A FIRST FOR ABC CLASSICS
Australia’s leading classical CD label ABC Classics today confirmed that it has signed folksinger Sarah Calderwood to make a solo album. The groundbreaking deal – the first in which a solo folksinger has been signed to a major classical label – follows the success of Celtic Road, the album by Sarah’s band Sunas, which spent six consecutive weeks in the ARIA Classical Top 10 and achieved high rotation on ABC Classic FM and Local Radio playlists when released in February this year.
The band went on to headline both the National Folk Festival in April and National Celtic Festival in June, to extraordinary acclaim.
But it was Sarah’s solo vocal on the traditional Bushes & Briars, accompanied by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, which drew audiences to the album from well beyond the folk community.
‘The response to Sarah’s haunting voice has been amazing,’ says Manager of ABC Classics Martin Buzacott, who discovered the 29-year-old singer performing with Scottish song-writing legend Dougie MacLean at a semi-private concert in the Wollemi National Park last year.
‘Although she sings in the distinctive folk style, Sarah is actually classically trained, has perfect pitch, and very sophisticated musical tastes, so her association with ABC Classics is more natural than it might first appear.’
‘I am so thrilled to have the opportunity to make this solo album,’ says Sarah, who is already in the studio working with Celtic Road’s producer Geoff McGahan, ambient music specialist Mirko Ruckels, and leading orchestral arranger Jessica Wells. ‘Having these trusted colleagues plus ABC Classics and its partners at Universal Music Australia behind the album is like a dream come true.’
With its roots firmly in the Celtic tradition, the album will feature immortal tunes like Wild Mountain Thyme, The Unquiet Grave and Poor Wayfaring Stranger, alongside contemporary classics such as Annie Lennox’s Into the West and a particularly compelling version of Peter Gabriel’s Mercy Street.
‘These are some of my favourite songs from the traditional Celtic and contemporary British repertoire,’ says Sarah, ‘and we have the luxury this time of a full symphony orchestra plus Jess and Mirko’s beautiful, ambient atmospherics, as well as – on a couple of tracks – the musical loves of my life in my band Sunas!’
Recording moved to Hobart last week where the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra conducted by Andrew Greene played several of Wells’ arrangements including the traditional songs The Maid of the River, I Am Stretched On Your Grave, and The Blue Cockade, the latter featuring a high-profile male Australian singer as Sarah’s duet partner. ‘No names, no pack-drill just yet,’ Sarah laughs.
Also featured will be Irish-based Alan Kelly, acknowledged within the folk community as the world’s greatest accordion player, whose own new album Small Town and Famous Nights will be released on ABC Classics in October, plus Berlin-based Australian guitarist Bob Spencer, former Savage Garden bass player Lee Novak, and virtuoso Australian percussionist David Jones.
‘It’s like a who’s-who of the world’s great musicians,’ Sarah says. ‘I’m so inspired to be surrounded by this musical company.’
Sarah’s album, entitled As Night Falls, will be released on 4 November, with advance tracks being pre-released on iTunes from early October.
UPDATE: Also featuring duets with Mike Scott (from The Waterboys) and Shane Nicholson! We are currently finished recording and are madly mixing to reach the deadline!