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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

In Context: 8980: Book of Travelers



Singer-songwriter Gabriel Kahane's hymn to the analog intimacy of American rail culture has its world premiere at the BAM Harvey Theater Nov 30—Dec 2. Context is everything, so get even closer to the production with this curated selection of related articles and videos. After you've attended the show, let us know what you thought by posting in the comments below and on social media using #BAMNextWave.

Program Notes

Article
How the Amtrak Dining Car Could Heal the Nation (The New York Times)
"Where much of the digital world finds us sorting ourselves neatly into cultural and ideological silos, the train, in my experience, does precisely the opposite."

Article
Gabriel Kahane Wears Sunglasses Inside to Look Like a Spy... (The Village Voice)
"Kahane balks at the idea of labeling himself or his style, which is as fluid as the variety of modes and subject matters that he works across."

Article
Brief Amtrak History (Amtrak Historical Society)
An overview of the origins of the passenger train, plus some early press releases.


Watch & Listen

Interview
Gabriel Kahane's 8980: Book Of Travelers At MASS MoCA (WAMC)
Kahane reflects on his train trip and the inspiration for 8980 before a sneak peek of the work at MASS MoCA.

Video
Gabriel Kahane and A Far Cry—"Nacht und Tr√§ume" & "Veda (1 Pierce Dr.)" (YouTube)
Kahane performs Schubert and one of his own songs with A Far Cry chamber orchestra.

Video
Gabriel Kahane on turning text into lyrics (YouTube)
"The one thing I feel very confident in is a weird ability to look at text and know what it should sound like."


Now your turn...

How did you enjoy the show? Likes? Dislikes? Surprises? Tell us what's on your mind in the comments below and on social media using #BAMNextWave.

4 comments:

  1. A superb performance. Gabriel Kahane remains at the top of his game!

    ReplyDelete
  2. It’s a nice concept. But was nine days really enough of a “road trip” for Gabriel to reflect, and talk and engage, and gauge the state of the nation? The evening had memorable moments and the songs themselves had some acute observations, not to mention musical variety, but I felt at the end we had skimmed along and not really achieved much beyond a superficial glance at the itinerants who make up America’s long distance train travelers.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wanted to love "8980" but found it a bit disappointing. Mr. Kahane's lyrics were boring as was the repetitive score (much seemed potentially borrowed from song “Ambassador Hotel” ??). Images could have been more illustrative as well. Still, his voice is angelic and his virtuosity on the piano is a transcendent experience. Hoping this was just a fluke and to hear more sometime in the foreseeable future.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wanted to love "8980" but found it a bit disappointing. Mr. Kahane's lyrics were boring as was the repetitive score (much seemed potentially borrowed from song “Ambassador Hotel” ??). Images could have been more illustrative as well. Still, his voice is angelic and his virtuosity on the piano is a transcendent experience. Hoping this was just a fluke and to hear more sometime in the foreseeable future.

    ReplyDelete