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Mandolin Orange with the Winston-Salem Symphony – Blue Ridge Music Center
June 1, 2019 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
The sensational NC-based folk and bluegrass duo lighting a “Wildfire” at MerleFest, Telluride, Newport, and on Austin City Limits joins Winston-Salem Symphony members for a special concert evening in the beautiful outdoor amphitheater at The Blue Ridge Music Center. This special BRMC concert will feature members of the Winston-Salem Symphony alongside Chapel Hill’s Mandolin Orange. The evening will start with Symphony musicians performing Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring in its original setting for 13 instruments— an iconic, instantly-recognizable piece audience members are sure to enjoy. Afterwards, Mandolin Orange takes the stage to play some of their most well-known tunes. To round out the evening, Symphony musicians will join Mandolin Orange onstage for some of the band’s favorite songs, featuring orchestral arrangements by renowned composer and guitar guru, D. J. Sparr.
Tickets: $30.00 advance; $35.00 day of the performance; $15 children 12 and under
Mandolin Orange’s music radiates a mysterious warmth —their songs feel like whispered secrets, one hand cupped to your ear. The North Carolina duo have built a steady and growing fanbase with this kind of intimacy, and on “Tides of A Teardrop,” due out February 1, it is more potent than ever. By all accounts, it is the duo’s fullest, richest, and most personal effort. You can hear the air between them—the taut space of shared understanding, as palpable as a magnetic field, that makes their music sound like two halves of an endlessly completing thought. Singer-songwriter Andrew Marlin and multi-instrumentalist Emily Frantz have honed this lamp glow intimacy for years.
On Tides of A Teardrop, Marlin wrote the songs, as he usually does, in a sort of stream of consciousness, allowing words and phrases to pour out of him as he hunted for the chords and melodies. Then, as he went back to sharpen what he found, he found something troubling and profound. Intimations of loss have always haunted the edges of their music, their lyrics hinting at impermanence and passing of time. But Tides of A Teardrop confronts a defining loss head-on: Marlin’s mother, who died of complications from surgery when he was 18.
These songs, as well as their sentiments, remain simple and quiet, like all of their music. But beneath the hushed surface, they are staggeringly straightforward. “I’ve been holding on to the grief for a long time. In some ways I associated the grief and the loss with remembering my mom. I feel like I’ve mourned long enough. I’m ready to bring forth some happier memories now, to just remember her as a living being.”
For this album, Marlin and Frantz enlisted their touring band, who they also worked with on their last album Blindfaller. Having recorded all previous albums live in the studio, they approached the recording process in a different way this time. “We went and did what most people do, which we’ve never done before—we just holed up somewhere and worked the tunes out together,” Frantz says. There is a telepathy and warmth in the interplay on Tides of A Teardrop that brings a new dynamic to the foreground—that holy silence between notes, the air that charges the album with such profound intimacy. “This record is a little more cosmic, almost in a spiritual way—the space between the notes was there to suggest all those empty spaces the record touches on,” acknowledges Marlin. There are many powerful ways of acknowledging loss; sometimes the most powerful one is saying nothing at all.
Tides of a Teardrop is the latest release from Mandolin Orange and builds on the acclaim of previous releases including: 2016’s Blindfaller, the band’s 2013 breakthrough debut This Side of Jordan, and its follow-up, 2017’s Such Jubilee.
The Winston-Salem Symphony has been bringing music to life in the Triad region for 67 years, offering not only the best in classical repertoire but also choral music, opera, ballet, popular music and more. In 2020, the Symphony will name its fifth Music Director and will continue to chart a future focused on innovation, exploration, music education and world-class music. The Winston-Salem Symphony especially celebrates the sounds of North Carolina, collaborating with a diverse array of artists including Mandolin Orange, Rhiannon Giddens, Chris Thile, Steep Canyon Rangers, and Ricky Skaggs.