Goldenhair: Music by Brian Byrne and Poetry by James Joyce, featuring Kurt Elling, Glenn Close, Julian Lennon, and Judith Hill
Goldenhair, a new recording by Golden Globe-nominated and IFTA award-winning composer Brian Byrne, will be released on Bloomsday, June 16, 2017 on Node Records.
Ranging in style from adult contemporary to jazz, bluegrass, opera, spoken word and more, Goldenhair features world-renowned artists, including Grammy award-winning jazz vocalist Kurt Elling, Golden Globe-winning actress Glenn Close, Prince's singer/songwriter protégé Judith Hill, British musician/songwriter Julian Lennon, Irish singer and composer Gavin Friday and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra.
Byrne's original songs were inspired by selected poems from renowned Irish writer James Joyce's 1907 collection, Chamber Music.
The release date for Goldenhair coincides with Bloomsday, the holiday celebrated worldwide to commemorate the life and works of Joyce.
These poems have a natural musicality to them, a lyricism that could only come from a writer (James Joyce) who was hearing melody. — Brian Byrne
Kurt Elling performs on four tracks: “Strings in the Earth and Air” (with Gavin Friday's reading), “Play On” (with Glenn Close's reading), “Goldenhair,” and “Go Seek Her Out.”
Elling says of Byrne:
He's managed to show the flexibility of the music that was hiding inside of the poetry. The diverse number of styles that he's able to bring to bear, to amplify what the words have to say, to put them in a more contemporary context while at the same time respecting exactly what Joyce meant to write – that's quite a profound gift.
Elling recorded Byrne's musical setting of “Where Love Is” on his 2015 album, Passion World. On Goldenhair, Judith Hill performs it.
Node Records artist Brian Byrne (also a conductor, arranger, pianist, and producer), composes in all media and across all genres, as Goldenhair showcases.
Byrne co-wrote “The Mystery of Your Gift” with Josh Groban for Dustin Hoffman's film Boychoir. He also wrote the end-title song “The Cry Inside” for Jim Sheridan's film The Secret Scripture, which was recorded for the soundtrack by Kelly Clarkson.
Glenn Close is another collaborator of Byrne's. She first worked with him as the lyricist for his song “Lay Your Head Down” for the film Albert Nobbs, and most recently on Goldenhair.
I was thrilled to be asked to read something for Goldenhair. Brian is a consummate musician who is fluent in multiple genres. He has masterminded a hauntingly gorgeous album. I'm proud to be part of it. — Glenn Close
Watch Byrne's YouTube playlist of nine short videos (each under 01:30) introducing Goldenhair.
For many, these words (from James Joyce) resonate at different levels and depths…. But I feel like they speak to 'The Self' within us all… The fire that sometimes overwhelms us all, and the need to breathe and be in the now. — Julian Lennon
1. Strings in The Earth and Air (Vocals by Kurt Elling, Reading by Gavin Friday)
2. The Winds of May (Vocals by Curtis Stigers and Sara Gazarek)
3. Play On (Vocals by Kurt Elling, Piano by Brian Byrne, Reading by Glenn Close)
4. When The Shy Star (Vocals by Kristina Train)
5. The Year Is Gathering (Vocals by Jack Lukeman, Piano by Brian Byrne)
6. Cool is The Valley (Featuring Balsam Range and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra)
7. Goldenhair (Vocals by Kurt Elling, Piano by Brian Byrne)
8. My Dove (Vocals by Cara Dillon, featuring the RTÉ Concert Orchestra) – Bonus Track*
9. Go Seek Her Out (Vocals by Kurt Elling, Piano by Brian Byrne, Trumpet by Ryan Quigley)
10. Where Love Is (Vocals by Judith Hill, Piano by Brian Byrne)
11. The Kiss She Gave To Me (Vocals by Andrew Strong and Lisa Lambe)
12. Though Love Live But a Day (Vocals by Kate McGarry and Piano by Brian Byrne)
13. Lightly Come Or Lightly Go (Vocals by Cara O'Sullivan, featuring the RTÉ Concert Orchestra) – Bonus Track*
14. In The Dark Pinewood (Vocals by Keith Harkin)
15. Silently (Vocals by Declan O'Rourke, Piano by Brian Byrne, Reading by Glenn Close)
16. Sleep Now (Vocals by Kristina Train and Julian Lennon)
17. The Flowery Bells (Vocals by Declan O'Rourke and Friends, Piano by Brian Byrne)
18. Love is Aweary (Vocals by Keith Harkin and Lisa Lambe) – Bonus Track*
19. A Little Ashes (Vocals by Declan O'Rourke, Piano by Brian Byrne, Reading by Gavin Friday)
20. Why Have You Left Me Alone (Vocals by Andrew Strong and Guitar by Phil Robson)
21. Bid Adieu (Vocals by Cara O'Sullivan, featuring the RTÉ Concert Orchestra) – Bonus Track*
* Bonus Tracks are digital only and not included on the CD.