Esperanza Spalding’s new album SONGWRIGHTS APOTHECARY LAB (Concord Records) is out today. This collection of 12 songs were recently formed in a traveling creative space where spalding was joined by researchers, practitioners - including music therapists and neuroscientists - and musicians to make music designed to have a specific effect on the listener. The project, which spalding first unveiled in April, has been featured in the NY Times, Vogue, NPR Music, Pitchfork; an interview with NPR’s All Things Considered will also be airing shortly. She also contributed a performance to the Time 100 Talks in celebration of the 2021 edition of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People List that was revealed last week. Watch her performance of “Formwela 9” from the new album here:
With the release of several new music videos today, SONGWRIGHTS APOTHECARY LAB is now viewable as a full visual album as well. Watch the entire album HERE
The Songwrights Apothecary Lab website also features a guide that details the intended effect of each Formwela, which range from de-stressing and de-escalation, to finding the right words to say among loved ones and a reminder to respect and give time to our elders. Physical objects sold along with the songs are available as well: https://songwrightsapothecarylab.com/
The corresponding videos for “Formwela’s 7-13” were all filmed in New York City in June, when over the course of 10 days, the Songwrights Apothecary Lab created and recorded “Formwela’s 7-13” featured on the new album. Each night, the public was invited into the space to hear the music as it was formed, and hear spalding and researchers talk about intents and practices that went into each piece. On “Formwela’s 7-13” spalding is joined by drummer Francisco Mela, pianist Leo Genovese, guitarist Matthew Stevens, and saxophonist Aaron Burnett.
Earlier iterations of the lab took place in Wasco County, Oregon, and Portland, Oregon - where the first six pieces of music featured on the new album were created by spalding and include contributions from Wayne Shorter, Phoelix, Raphael Saadiq, Justin Tyson, Ganavya Doraiswamy and Corey King.
spalding also has a number of events lined up this fall, including a performance with pianist Leo Genovese this Sunday, on a bill with Herbie Hancock at Hollywood Bowl in LA. She will also be performing with the San Francisco Symphony on September 30, October 1 and 2. Performances of Iphigenia, a new opera created in collaboration with Wayne Shorter, spalding, and set design by Frank Gehry, are scheduled for November 5 and 6 at Mass Moca.
Vinyl is available for pre-order and will include a bonus track “Formwela 12.” The 2LP set will be available on April 1, 2022, along with exclusive vinyl and signed 11x11 vinyl album art prints.
SONGWRIGHTS APOTHECARY LAB Tracklist:
1. Formwela 1
2. Formwela 2 (Feat. Ganavya Doraiswamy)
3. Formwela 3
4. Formwela 4 (Feat. Corey King)
5. Formwela 5 (Feat. Corey King)
6. Formwela 6 (Feat. Corey King)
7. Formwela 7
8. Formwela 8
9. Formwela 9
10. Formwela 10
11. Formwela 11
12. Formwela 13
Produced by esperanza spalding
Mixed by Fernando Lodeiro
Mastered by Oscar Zambrano