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New York-based violist Nathan Schram's debut solo album Oak and the Ghost is now available on New Amsterdam's Windmill Series. Featuring Attacca Quartet (of which Schram is a member) and Becca Stevens, Oak and the Ghost features 9 of Schram's original compositions and will be available on all digital platforms on November 15.
Inspired by Kurt Vonnegut's dystopic Player Piano and a list of musical influences spanning genres and eras, Oak and the Ghost creates a textural sound universe dealing in concepts both ageless and deeply of the moment. "The themes in the book revolve around a massive collection of wealth and power being allocated to engineers and their machines - leaving the remaining classes and population with little to inspire or empower them. The ensuing social issues and rebellions are all key inspirations to each of the tracks," says Schram.
"The musical inspiration comes from a diverse style of artists including Radiohead, Kamasi Washington, Nico Muhly, Sufjan Stevens and Gustav Mahler. The album is an attempt to combine the classical string quartet, which has always had a central role in my life, to the broader world of music that has had an equally large impact on me. To do this, the record was recorded in the style of a hip-hop/rock album more than as a traditional classical string quartet album. This means including additional electronic instruments, percussion, post production techniques, and extensive layering of instruments. The goal is to create an album that doesn't sit comfortably in any one genre yet is accessible for many to enjoy."
released November 15, 2019
Composed by Nathan Schram
Becca Stevens (tracks 7 & 8)
Luke Schram (tack 8)
Aya Nishina (track 8)
supported by 170 fans who also own “Oak & the Ghost”
When the Yule season rolls around, I am hopeful that some thoughtful souls will silence the all-too-commonplace holiday jingle-jangle in the room and allow sufficient space and stillness to play — and •listen• to — this most etherial take on a classic German carol. Philip David Morgan