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Jazz 05/04/2021

Esperanza Spalding Unveils Songwrights Apothecary Lab And Three New Songs Designed For Home-Stress Relief

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New York, NY (Top40 Charts) esperanza spalding continues her singular, audacious approach to creating and releasing new music with the unveiling of her Songwrights Apothecary Lab today. The Songwrights Apothecary Lab is a curated portal of new work that is growing out of spalding’s collaborative practice over the past years, exploring how songwriters might meaningfully incorporate therapeutic practices and knowledge into their process and production. Today she is sharing new music forged in the lab, which will continue to grow over the next several months as spalding continues to experiment with creating in this way. The Songwrights Apothecary Lab follows her GRAMMY-winning and "truly intoxicating" (NY Times) 12 Little Spells album, which explored the salutary power of sound and words, and how music and the body interact.

Available to listen at today is the three song “TRIANGLE” suite - “formwela 1,” “formwela 2 (feat. Ganavya),” and “formwela 3.” Each song is designed to have a unique yet related affect to benefit the listener, intended to relieve the tension, grief, and isolation experienced while being home-bound during this global pandemic.

Read more about the Songwrights Apothecary Lab in this New York Times piece:

Listen to the 3-song “TRIANGLE” suite and watch the corresponding short film here: SONGWRIGHTSAPOTHECARYLAB.COM. The short film was directed by Matthew Hayes with art direction from Rob Lewis.

“If one of my friends is ill, I'd like to play a certain song and he will be cured.” - John Coltrane
“us too…” - the Songwrights Apothecary Lab

Handmade objects that relate with each song are also available for purchase, they help support the lab, at The objects include a chime, incense holder and bell, created out of clay and designed by a ceramics artist in spalding’s hometown of Portland, Oregon.

The “TRIANGLE” suite was composed via consultation with practitioners from various disciplines, including: music-therapy, neuroscience, Black American music, Sufism, South Indian Carnatic music, and her students and colleagues at Harvard. It was created and performed by esperanza spalding with collaborators including PHOELIX (instruments and production), Raphael Saadiq (production), Leo Genovese (piano), Justin Tyson (drums), Ganavya Doraiswamy (vocals), Thrive Choir, and Wayne Shorter (saxophone).

Over the coming months, more music will be created in the lab, in consultation with practitioners from various fields, and shared via the Songwrights Apothecary Lab website. Each creation will be shared with its intended use and ingredients.

spalding also plans to host an in-person lab in New York City this summer, in which visitors will be able to interact with the lab and the music. More details will be announced soon. A physical album with selections from the lab will be released later this fall, entitled: AVAILABLE AT SONGWRIGHTSAPOTHECARYLAB.COM.

“TRIANGLE” Listening Guide:
formwela 1: designed for memorizing, then hearing internally (via audiation) as an aide to self-soothe during an acute moment of stress in the home.
formwela 2 (featuring Ganavya): to be discreetly played as background-music. This song is designed to fill the room with a subtle vibrational-atmosphere that envelops and de-escalates interpersonal aggression.
formwela 3: designed as accompanying support for the listeners’ personal re-grounding process, after an acute moment (or general-state) of personal and/or interpersonal upset in the home.

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