Chris Rael | Araby

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Pop: with Live-band Production Classical: Chamber Music Moods: Type: Live Recordings
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by Chris Rael

Unforgettable modern show tunes set to chamber music, a post-modern musical with rock n roll roots, avant daring, semi-classical tone, and a fearless heart. Based on James Joyce's Dubliners short stories.
Genre: Pop: with Live-band Production
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Prelude
2:36 $0.99
2. The Sisters
2:29 $0.99
3. An Encounter
2:53 $0.99
4. Araby
4:06 $0.99
5. Eveline
4:32 $0.99
6. After the Race
3:10 $0.99
7. Two Gallants
2:59 $0.99
8. The Boarding House
3:28 $0.99
9. A Little Cloud
4:10 $0.99
10. Counterparts
4:47 $0.99
11. Clay
3:38 $0.99
12. A Painful Case
5:26 $0.99
13. Ivy Day At the Committee Room
2:10 $0.99
14. A Mother
3:25 $0.99
15. Grace
4:32 $0.99
16. The Dead
5:24 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
ARABY has enjoyed success in the 2011 NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL FRINGE FESTIVAL. A popular run at the Ellen Stewart Theatre at LaMama was followed by an invitation to appear in FringeNYC's prestigious Encore Series at the Players Theatre, a beautiful Off-Broadway house in Greenwich Village. Chris Rael received FringeNYC's Excellence Award for Musical Composition. 'Araby' is the brainchild of veteran downtown New York composer and bandleader Chris Rael. The show re-tells James Joyce's 'Dubliners' short stories in one story-song each, performed by a cast of singers assuming multiple characters and a chamber ensemble. The story-songs are introduced by Rael, offering his own family experience as an example of how everyone could draw parallels from their own lives to Joyce's stories of universal human drama. The show also uses video of Dublin landscapes shot by Rael, to serve as two-dimensional projected 'sets' for the rapidly changing settings of the songs. 'Araby' has been championed since its conception by Ellie Covan of Dixon Place, the wonderful Downtown New York theatre lab dedicated to supporting works in progress. The first workshop of the show appeared there in 2006, and included John Kelly, Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond, Gwen 'Blueberry' Snyder, and Dudley Saunders, who also contributed brilliantly to Rael's script as dramaturg, as did Penny Arcade. A fuller realization of the show was presented at Dixon's brand new theater in April 2009, drawing rave reviews and deep emotional catharsis from the audience. According to Back Stage magazine: "The music soars. Blessed with impeccable singers Nancy Magarill, Carlos Ponton, and Dudley Saunders and a truly impressive band, 'Araby' manages to...achieve the kind of musical bliss that is currently missing on Broadway. Filling the new Dixon Place space with pounding strings, Rael's songs come alive thanks to his singers. Never overplaying the emotions of Joyce's melancholy characters while still managing to clearly enunciate every word of Rael's complex lyrics, all three get multiple moments to shine. Magarill is particularly fine on 'Eveline', bringing out every nuance of Joyce's lonely character with nothing more than her throbbing voice; Ponton nails the comedy in 'A Mother' and rocks out on 'After the Race', and Saunders fills out so many different characters so expertly I'm amazed I've never seen his work before. 'Araby' manages to hit high note after high note, particularly on standout song 'Grace'. As the singers' harmonies rise above the swooning orchestration, the song - and the show - lives up to the name."

Musicians: Dudley Saunders, Nancy Magarill, Carlos Ponton, Chris Rael, Marlon Cherry, Rima Fand, Pinky Weitzman, Maria Jeffers, Philippa Thompson, Ina Litera, Matthew Goeke, Reuben Radding, Brian Geltner, Amali Premawardhana. Produced by Chris Rael. Recorded & Mixed by Scott Lehrer. Mastered by Fred Kevorkian. Cover by James Williamson & The Engine Room.



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