Local artist feature – Rachel Grimes

rachel_grimes

While Lunchtime Classics takes its summer break, we’re looking back at some of the program’s featured artists.

Rachel Grimes is a pianist, composer, and arranger based in Kentucky. She has achieved a certain amount of fame in the ground-breaking chamber ensemble Rachel’s, with whom she toured and released six albums. Rachel’s solo releases include Book of Leaves, Marion County 1938, and Compound Leaves.

Grimes’s music defies a tidy description. Her music crosses many genres, from classical to jazz to ambient to Americana. BBC reviewer Spencer Grady said of her solo debut album that…

“Her most wondrous gift was always her ability to paint the most evocative pictures in purest ivory and her lightness of touch allows majestic statements such as the Corner Room and Long Before Us to ring out, echoing with sensuousness and sentiment before drawing the listener back in.”

Grimes is one of the artists included in the June 2014 issue of the Smithsonian Magazine, highlighting artistic interpretations of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Rachel Grimes’ Anthem for Flag Day

old glory

In its June 2014 issue, the Smithsonian Magazine is highlighting artistic interpretations of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” from visual and graphic art, poetry to music. Included in the collection is Rachel Grimes, who composed this arrangement of our National Anthem, shifting it’s bright, major-key melody to a more contemplative, minor key.

Arrangements of The Star-Spangled Banner are common – most every version sung at a sporting event is an arrangement (sometimes to its detriment). Igor Stravinsky arranged our national hymn for a Boston performance, where the police misunderstood a law prohibiting the tampering with The Star-Spangled Banner. Stravinsky, who became a US citizen the following year, withdrew it from the performance (the score and parts were confiscated, but Stravinsky was not arrested).

Jimi Hendrix’s Woodstock performance ranks as one of the more memorable.

And you can join this national sing-a-long on June 14th at 4pm.
star spangled banner

Rachel Grimes at Green Building and Big Ears

rachel at theater de NWE Vorst

This week you’ll have two opportunities to hear Rachel Grimes play. The first is on Thursday at the Green Building (Doors open at 7pm. Limited tickets available at Guestroom Records), where she’ll play with saxophonist Jacob Duncan and cellist Helen Money, and share the bill with another Louisvillian Cheyenne Mize, and with vocalist Susanna.

For the second concert, you have to drive to Knoxville, Tennessee for the 2014 Big Ears Festival. There she’ll reprise her performance with Duncan and Money, and be part of a lineup that includes Steve Reich, So Percussion, Jonny Greenwood (composer of scores to There Will Be Blood) and more.

(Photo above by William van der Voort from her De NWE Vorst concert)

Mossgrove/Bed of Moss

The final film in a series featuring the music of Rachel Grimes takes us back to Kurtis Hough’s work.

Our Day

The second installment of films featuring the music of Rachel Grimes comes in this charming home movie, Our Day (1938) chronicling the life of a Lebanon, Kentucky family. The film with music was first presented with music as part of Amateur Night: Home Movies from American Archives.