It seems as more time passes since his death, the more the extraordinary musical cannon of Arthur Russell is explored and appreciated. Musician and composer Peter Broderick has teamed up with the French 12 piece group Ensemble 0 to record a(nother) unreleased gem, Give It To The Sky.
Of the track, Peter says “‘Give It to the Sky’ is a song by Arthur Russell which, until this day, has never been released before. I first came across it while doing audio restoration work on materia from Arthur’s archives for the album ‘Iowa Dream’. It was one of the many songs that didn’t make the cut. But I fell in love with it nonetheless, and was very humbled when the estate of Arthur Russell gave us their blessing to work with it and, ultimately, premiere it to the world. Working with Ensemble 0 on this piece has been one of the highlights of my musical career up to this point. It’s an immense honour to bring this song to the public in this way.”
It’s typically emotive, and piano driven, and would – as is often the way with these Arthur Russell pieces, a little gem in lesser artists records. Broderick does this lovely tune justice, and gives is a frankly beautiful orchestral accompaniment, with subdued brass and winds underpinning things, and little flashes of bowed vibes and Smokey sax solo adding glitter to the proceedings. Its beautiful and engaging and immediate and emotive.
In addition, Erased Tapes will release the album ‘Give It to the Sky: Arthur Russell’s Tower of Meaning Expanded’ by Peter Broderick & Ensemble 0 on October 6; a complete re-recording of Russell’s epic minimalist orchestral composition originally released in 1983.
Check it, and the beautifully shot live accompanying in video, here
The group have announced the first run of tour dates in support of the release where they’ll be performing the album in full, with more dates including a London performance to be announced soon.
08.11.2023 Poitiers (FR) – TAP
18.11.2023 Anglet (FR) –Théatre Quintaou
23.01.2024 Rezé (FR) – La Soufflerie
31.01.2024 Pau (FR) – Foirail
12.03.2024 Arras-Douai (FR) – Tandem
13.03.2024 Arras-Douai (FR) – Tandem
20.03.2024 Brussels (BE) – Ancienne Belgique