FAMILY SECRETS: KITH&KIN
"Our village notices our village."
Soprano Andrea Edith Moore joined forces with five-time GRAMMY-winning producer and 2020 Classical Producer of the Year GRAMMY nominee Elaine Martone to release her debut recording of Daniel Thomas Davis’s Family Secrets: Kith & Kin with multiple GRAMMY winning musicians on Albany Records. Given the forces involved to pull this off, this pandemic-era project is a real feat and one with a timely message from author Allan Gurganus asking, “Can’t we each be saved from our worst selves?” The driver of the project from its origins as a commission to staged productions and now a record, Moore sings “with her powerful and flexible soprano voice, her acting ability, her dedication and drive, and her charm that enables such projects as this to be successful.” (Classical Voice of NC)
American composer, and native son of rural North Carolina, Daniel Thomas Davis’s haunting and humorous work Family Secrets: Kith & Kin —Part Chamber Opera – Part Song Cycle– fuses new, original texts of renowned authors of the New South: Allan Gurganus, Daniel Wallace, Frances Mayes, Jeffery Beam, Lee Smith, Michael Malone, and perhaps the last published and only known work set to music by the late Randall Kenan. This series of interconnected dramatic portraits explore and reveal secrets through the rooms of houses in small-town scenes that tell of murder, gossip, humor, regret, solace, and ultimately…forgiveness. In constructing this work, Davis explains, “These writers all know one another and in one way or another, the people that inhabit their writings all seem to know one another, too. Their voices, their characters, their almost-forgotten-but-now-remembered friends and family – they all seemed to live in proximity to one another, in varying degrees of familiarity.” Again, Allan Gurganus’ words entice, “Our village notices our village…Everything the world does wrong, everything the world does best is found right here.”
Davis’s characterful instrumentation- with twangy banjo lurking and lilting beneath the score’s surface, striding piano riffs and high-lonesome fiddle solos- brought together an eclectic group of collaborators to highlight the operatic fervor and sultry southern accents of this genre-bending score. Moore’s ensemble features
4-time GRAMMY-winning pianist and cellist Lisa Kaplan and Nick Photinos of the pioneering, new-music ensemble Eighth Blackbird; oboist Bo Newsome and violinist Elizabeth Phelps of Mallarmé Chamber Players; Banjo virtuoso Hank Smith (Hank, Pattie & The Current); and tour-de-force storytelling actress Jane Holding. The intrepid and acclaimed conductor Timothy Myers unites this all-star group into a seamless and balanced whole.
This recording of Family Secrets: Kith & Kin is
supported by the Orange County Arts
Commission and by the North Carolina Arts
Council, a division of the Department of Natural
and Cultural Resources. Additional support
generously provided by the Kenan Foundation
as well as individual donors.