A Blog Post by Bill Stevens, Fragile Beauty, vol. IV, No. 2 - 2023 New Event Series Preview: A New Day, Yesterday
When New York City was issued the shelter in place directive in March 2020 you couldn’t help but feel that this was going to be with us for quite some time. Much of what I started to compose during this time was dark, emotionally stark and I felt that I really needed to come up with a project that lightened the mood to give us some hope. I had the idea of doing a series of interpretations on the music of Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, Eric Clapton and Bjork.
Not being able to connect in person to play and record the music, I took the steps to do the project remotely and called upon another group of musicians to join me in this project. I looked to release this material in 2023 and the Events Series that would be released will be titled “A New Day, Yesterday”. It features a group of younger musicians I had been performing with, along with some long time friends dating back to my college days while at Fredonia.
I re-interpreted the songs Blackbird, Come Together and Tears in Heaven in a sort of unplugged manner featuring Richard Philbon (flute, bass clarinet & alto sax), Andy Berman (guitar), Luca Rosenfeld (acoustic & electric bass) and Gary Fogel (percussion). The remaining four songs were meant for a small group type fusion band - Beautiful Boy, All is Full of Love, Hunter and George Harrison’s Something. For these pieces I created settings on GarageBand while I brought in my long time friend Steve Anagnost to feature on guitar.
To learn more about my thoughts and inspiration concerning this project, you can read my program notes: A New Day, Yesterday. My plan in 2023 is to release one piece each month from March to September while the full album will be available to listen to as a playlist on Spotify here.
I hope that you will take the time to check out these new arrangements that I refer to as interpretations throughout 2023. I look forward to sharing them with you and as always, I look forward to hearing from you as well.