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  • WDCH
  • Nov. 9, 2007
  • Tickets On Sale Sunday, August 26

    Media support provided by KCRW 89.9

    Accompanied by a 28-piece orchestra, featuring orchestral arrangements written by Van Dyke Parks, harpist-singer-songwriter Joanna Newsom makes her Walt Disney Concert Hall debut on Friday, November 9 at 8:00 p.m.

    Newsom, who hails from the California gold rush town of Nevada City, captured the hearts of fans and critics with her debut The Milk-Eyed Mender, an inimitable collection of avant-garde folk songs. Newsom's penetrating vocals and virtuosic harp playing adds an otherworldly affect to her music, which The New York Times describes as "mesmerizing" and "luminous."

    Arvind Manocha, recently appointed Chief Operating Officer of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, says, "The LA Phil is very excited to welcome Joanna to Walt Disney Concert Hall. She's a pioneer and a visionary artist, and together with KCRW, we're proud to continue our long-standing tradition of presenting innovative, one-of-a-kind concerts."

    Nic Harcourt, KCRW Music Director and host of Morning Becomes Eclectic, has always championed Newsom's music. "After steadily building her fan base in Los Angeles," he says, "Joanna returns with her distinct style to play the ideal venue for her unique talent."

    Newsom's 2006 release, Ys, is comprised of five songs that range from seven to sixteen minutes, an epic fairytale complete with fantastical allegories, and elaborate, vivid lyrics. Rolling Stone writes, "…at the essence of Newsom's grandiose songwriting lies an innate sense of melody, powerful song craft and stellar musicianship which, when added together quite often reaches the sublime." Ys also features lush orchestral arrangements by Van Dyke Parks, most recognized for his collaboration with Brian Wilson on The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds and Smile, as well as his own legendary 1968 release Song Cycle.

    This one-night-only performance is part of Joanna Newsom's first U.S. orchestral tour since her critically acclaimed orchestral debut with the London Symphony Orchestra at The Barbican.

    Since The Milk-Eyed Mender was released, two and a half years have passed, more or less. And JOANNA NEWSOM spent a lot of time moving around - first touring much of the United States and then Europe, over and over and over. Joanna played a benefit concert with her hero Neil Young too. Joanna also moved from San Francisco back to the hills of northern California. The eleven or so months preceding the recording of Ys were spent like this (take it, Jo!): Two of the songs were already written by the time I came up with the plan to set them to orchestral accompaniment. Three more were written from the ground up with the intention to orchestrate them in mind. All are intended to be playable with or without accompaniment, and I've already played them solo in a live context quite a bit. Vocals and harp parts were recorded first, with Steve Albini. The main reason for starting this way was that Van Dyke wanted to base his arrangements on a final version of the songs, not "scratch" versions, given the fact that I tend to improvise and vary each performance slightly. Van Dyke felt that every nuance of the performance would inform his arrangements. A happy byproduct of this necessary order of events was that the vocals and harp were recorded in a climate of quietness, ease, and spontaneity, allowing for the retention of a sense of intimacy and immediacy. The goal I had in mind was for the harp and vocals to feel like they were developing unawares of the presence of the orchestra, unburdened by any of the self-consciousness/formality/austerity/stiltedness this might if the orchestra is hanging in a hallucinatory shimmer around the more substantial harp and voice…thank you, Ms. Newsom.

    The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, under Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen, presents the finest in orchestral and chamber music, recitals, new music, jazz, world music and holiday concerts at two of the most remarkable places anywhere to experience music - Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl. In addition to a 30-week winter subscription season at Walt Disney Concert Hall, the LA Phil presents a 12-week summer festival at the legendary Hollywood Bowl, summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and home of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. In fulfilling its commitment to the community, the Association's involvement with Los Angeles extends to educational programs, community concerts and children's programming, ever seeking to provide inspiration and delight to the broadest possible audience.


    FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2007 AT 8 PM

    WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL, 111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles


    Tickets ($30-$55) are on sale August 26, 2007 at, at the Walt Disney Concert Hall Box Office, open at 12pm, or via credit card phone order at 323.850.2000, beginning at 10am. A limited number of $10 rush tickets for seniors and full time students may be available at the Walt Disney Concert Hall Box Office two hours prior to the performance. Valid identification is required; one ticket per person; cash only. Groups of 12 or more may be eligible for special discounts for selected concerts and seating areas. For all information, please call 323.850.2000.

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  • Contact:

    Adam Crane, 213.972.3408,; Lisa Bellamore, 213.972.3689,; Photos: 213.972.3034