Most likely you know the dynamic pianist Vicky Chow best for her most visible job: as keyboardist in the versatile, eclectic, and always expressive Bang on a Can All-Stars. She’s also been a member of Grand Band and New Music Detroit, worked with the International Contemporary Ensemble, and made noteworthy recordings of works by Steve Reich and Tristan Perich.
A O R T A, Chow’s new second solo album, offers works by a mighty handful of contemporary creators: Andy Akiho, Christopher Cerrone, Jakub Ciupinski, Jacob Cooper, Molly Joyce, and Daniel Wohl. The disc comes out Nov. 18 on New Amsterdam Records – who’ve graciously allowed us to share the entire album in advance: right here, right now.
The album, according to Chow, is a deeply personal one, featuring pieces by longtime friends and intended to evoke how she has felt in some of her most vulnerable moments. As she explains it:
“A O R T A is named as such because it is a collection of pieces from my heart. I searched for music that resonated with me during desperate times, alone in a cramped apartment at 2 a.m. and wide awake, trying to find meaning.
“When I put out my first solo recording, I was obsessed with perfection – everything had to be in its right place. I wanted A O R T A to be different. I chose the longest takes, preserving my sense of this world as much as possible – the rawness and difficulty of being alive. I wanted to create an album about light, love, emotion, and humanity.”
You can preorder your own copy of A O R T A using the link in the Bandcamp player, or make yourself a note to pick it up at your favorite retailer on Nov. 18.
Vicky Chow will celebrate the release of A O R T A with a concert at National Sawdust featuring special guests Andy Akiho and the trio Loud Objects on Dec. 11 at 9 p.m.; www.nationalsawdust.org