Angel Heart – Evocative Music Storybook by Luna Pearl Woolf and Cornelia Funke, with Narration by Jeremy Irons – Due for Release as Deluxe CD Sep 24

 Cornelia Funke builds wild, wondrous worlds with her words.” Los Angeles Times

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Angel Heart – Evocative Music Storybook by Luna Pearl Woolf and Cornelia Funke, with Narration by Jeremy Irons – Due for Release as Deluxe CD Sep 24

 Cornelia Funke builds wild, wondrous worlds with her words.” Los Angeles Times

Haunting, heady, and evocative, Angel Heart is a music storybook with original music by award-winning composer Luna Pearl Woolf and original text by bestselling children’s fantasy writer Cornelia Funke. Synthesizing the work of pioneering A-list artists from multiple disciplines, Angel Heart represents an innovative, music-centered approach to children’s storytelling. Academy Award-winner Jeremy Irons narrates, with musical performances from cellist Matt Haimovitz, his all-cello ensemble Uccello, and vocalists Frederica von Stade, Lisa Delan, Zheng Cao, Daniel Taylor, and Sanford Sylvan. Enhanced by visual storytelling and design by the award-winning creative studio Mirada, Angel Heart’s deluxe CD package is due for release by Oxingale Records on September 24, with an iPad app to follow. The musicians will reunite for two live multimedia performances of Angel Heart at family concerts at Cal Performances at UC Berkeley (Oct 6) and at Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York (Oct 21).
 
Composer Luna Pearl Woolf is best known for adult-oriented works like Après Moi, le Déluge, which the New York Times called “an unsentimental but moving tribute” to the victims of Hurricane Katrina, and Strings magazine characterized as “sorrowful, deeply political, and aching with universal regret.” However, her Max’s Moon, a work for cello and orchestra, was inspired by two classic children’s picture books: Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are and Margaret Wise Brown’s Goodnight Moon.
 
Woolf’s groundbreaking collaborative project Angel Heart was born when she and soprano Lisa Delan discovered a shared “dream of lullabies”; each, Woolf explains, “unbeknown to the other, imagined creating the kind of recording we wanted to hear as we tucked our children in at night.” Both artists, moreover, independently conceived of recording this children’s album with Trailblazer Award-winning cellist Matt Haimovitz, Woolf’s husband, and his Grammy-nominated ensemble, Uccello. Woolf and Delan compiled a selection of songs reflecting their musical loves – some by composers ranging from Engelbert Humperdinck to Lennon and McCartney, others traditional folk songs and lullabies, all arranged for the intimate and sumptuous sounds of an all-cello ensemble by Woolf and composers Lewis Spratlan, Jake Heggie, Gordon Getty, and David Sanford – to be linked by music of a more virtuosic nature that Woolf would compose herself.
 
Together, these songs and musical interludes formed a soundtrack that the cellists recorded with a starry lineup of singers headed by legendary mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade, a recent inductee to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She was joined by Delan herself, whose voice has been praised by Opera online for its “luminescence … with a creamy, soothing tone that can be spellbinding”; the recently deceased mezzo-soprano Zheng Cao, to whose memory Angel Heart is dedicated; countertenor Daniel Taylor, winner of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal; and baritone Sanford Sylvan, who scored both Grammy and Emmy Awards for his role in John Adams’s Nixon In China. Mandolin players Mike Marshall and Caterina Lichtenberg both make guest appearances, as well as the Children’s Choir of St. Martin de Porres School in West Oakland, CA, prepared by von Stade.
 
Seeking an additional dimension to complement their project, Woolf and Delan came up with the idea of a story. As Woolf recounts, they “envisioned the songs as taking the place of illustrations in a storybook, conveying the emotional impact of a moment in the text, without literally speaking in the characters’ voices,” while her own original interludes would provide a “musical landscape for the narrated story.”
 
The two turned to German-born children’s author Cornelia Funke, a former honoree of the Time 100 list, whose books have already sold more than 20 million copies, and whose numerous awards include Book Sense’s “Book of the Year.” As the Los Angeles Times says, “Cornelia Funke builds wild, wondrous worlds with her words.” Woolf and Delan found her “innate grasp of what we were trying to do inspiring,” and engaged the incomparable Jeremy Irons – winner of Academy, Tony, Emmy, Bafta and Golden Globe Awards – to record her resulting narrative. In Funke’s story, a girl whose heart has broken into a thousand pieces meets an angel. During their travels in the night, the angel enlists the help of spirits of the East, North, West, and South on his quest to mend her heart. The story is geared for preschool through primary school children; the music is for all ages.
 
It was also important to the team that Angel Heart should have a visual component, although, as Woolf explains, “Music is the impetus and the origin of Angel Heart, and we felt that our audience’s experience should always come back to the music.” In order to strike the right balance – and through Funke - they approached creative studio Mirada, which specializes in integrating classic storytelling with new technologies. Founded by director Guillermo del Toro and cinematographer Guillermo Navarro, of Pan’s Labyrinth and Pacific Rim fame, and Grammy Award-winning director and producer Matthew Cullen and Javier Jimenez, and billed as “purveyors of handmade stories,” Mirada has just won a Cannes Silver Lion Award for MirrorWorld, a previous Funke collaboration. Following the Oxingale Records release, Angel Heart will be issued as an iPad app. Created in close collaboration with Mirada, the app will offer a new, music-centered approach to tablet-based storytelling.
 
Angel Heart will be presented in two live multimedia performances at Cal Performances’s Hertz Hall in Berkeley (Oct 6), and at Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York (Oct 21).  Participants include Haimovitz and Uccello; von Stade, Delan, Taylor, and Bruce Rameker; a narrator; and local children’s choirs from Oakland, CA and Brooklyn, respectively. The October 21 Zankel Hall performance is being presented by the Angel Heart Music Foundation in partnership with Carnegie Hall.
 
View YouTube video of “All Through the Night” from the Angel Heart music storybook recording session at Skywalker Sound.
 
 
Key Dates
 
September 24, 2013                         
Release of music storybook (Oxingale Records)
Deluxe CD packaging
Story by Cornelia Funke
Music by Luna Pearl Woolf
Composers and arrangers of new and traditional songs: Gordon Getty, Jake Heggie, Engelbert Humperdinck, Lennon-McCartney, David Sanford, Lewis Spratlan, and Luna Pearl Woolf 
Narrator: Jeremy Irons
Matt Haimovitz and Uccello
Lisa Delan, Frederica von Stade, Zheng Cao, Daniel Taylor, and Sanford Sylvan, singers
Mike Marshall, Caterina Lichtenberg, mandolins
The Children’s Choir of St. Martin de Porres School, West Oakland, CA
Length: 67 minutes
Target age group: Music for all ages; book geared for preschool through primary school
 
October 6, 2013                                  
Berkeley, CA
Cal Performances’s Hertz Hall
Angel Heart family concert
Story by Cornelia Funke
Music by Luna Pearl Woolf
Composers and arrangers of new and traditional songs: Gordon Getty, Jake Heggie, Engelbert Humperdinck, Lennon-McCartney, David Sanford, Lewis Spratlan, and Luna Pearl Woolf 
Narrator: TBD
Matt Haimovitz and Uccello
Lisa Delan, Frederica von Stade, Daniel Taylor, and Bruce Rameker
Dana Rath, mandolin
The Children’s Choir of St. Martin de Porres School, West Oakland, CA
 
October 21, 2013                               
New York, NY
Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall
Angel Heart family concert
Story by Cornelia Funke
Music by Luna Pearl Woolf
Composers and arrangers of new and traditional songs: Gordon Getty, Jake Heggie, Engelbert Humperdinck, Lennon-McCartney, David Sanford, Lewis Spratlan, and Luna Pearl Woolf 
Narrator: TBD
Matt Haimovitz and Uccello
Lisa Delan, Frederica von Stade, Daniel Taylor, and Bruce Rameker
Avi Avital, mandolin
Brooklyn Youth Chorus (Dianne Berkun, director)
 
Forthcoming (TBD)                                            
Release of interactive iPad app (Mirada)
 
The Music
Angel Heart – Music by Luna Pearl Woolf, story by Cornelia Funke
interwoven with:
“All Through the Night” – trad, arr. Gordon Getty & Luna Pearl Woolf
“Mother Nature’s Son” – Lennon-McCartney, arr. David Sanford
“O Waly Waly” – trad, arr. Luna Pearl Woolf
“Je Porte Ma Lanterne Jolie” – trad, arr. Lewis Spratlan
“Danny Boy” – trad, arr. Jake Heggie, orch. Luna Pearl Woolf
“The Adventurer” – Gordon Getty, arr. Luna Pearl Woolf
“14 Angels” – Englebert Humperdink, orch. Lewis Spratlan
“O Absalom” – trad, arr. Luna Pearl Woolf
“Unter Beymer” – Alexander Olshanetsky, arr. Lewis Spratlan
“Russian Lullaby” – Irving Berlin, arr. Lewis Spratlan
“Ho Ho Watanay” – trad, arr. Luna Pearl Woolf
“Sleep Baby Sleep” – trad, arr. Luna Pearl Woolf
“Tiefer und Tiefer” (Deeper and Deeper) – Gordon Getty, orch. Luna Pearl Woolf
 
Links
 
www.angelheartmusicstorybook.com - under construction
http://lunapearlwoolf.com
http://www.corneliafunke.com
http://www.oxingalerecords.com
http://mirada.com
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© 21C Media Group, September 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published: September 02, 2013

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