Selections from Leave Your Sleep

Selections from Leave Your Sleep

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by Natalie Merchant

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Throughout her career, Natalie Merchant has thrived on exceeding her own expectations -- no matter where her Muses led or her critics forbade her to go. Her last album, 2003's The House Carpenter's Daughter, rooted in American and British Isles folk traditions, was a stepping stone for Leave Your Sleep. Where the former's songs were originals and covers,See more details below


Throughout her career, Natalie Merchant has thrived on exceeding her own expectations -- no matter where her Muses led or her critics forbade her to go. Her last album, 2003's The House Carpenter's Daughter, rooted in American and British Isles folk traditions, was a stepping stone for Leave Your Sleep. Where the former's songs were originals and covers, Leave Your Sleep marries them in sung poetry and original music from both American and Celtic traditions. Co-produced by Merchant and Andres Levin, this truncated single-disc version contains 16 of the 26 new songs on the double-disc one. It was recorded live in the studio. She used the poems of 19th and 20th century British and American writers as well as anonymous nursery rhymes and lullabies as source material and set them to original music. Among the authors on this volumes are are Ogden Nash, e.e. cummings, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Jack Prelutsky, Edward Causely and others. Poetry is but one part of the story, however. The music Merchant composed is from across the genre spectrum: New Orleans swing on "Bleezer's Ice Cream" (Prelutzky) and Nathalia Crane's "The Janitor's Boy" are performed by Merchant fronting the Wynton Marsalis Orchestra. For the Yiddish folk music on "Dancing Bear" (Albert Bigelow Paine) she sings with the Klezmatics. Mervyn Peake's "It Makes a Change" is performed with Medeski, Martin & Wood and a horn section. "If No One Ever Marries Me," (Laurence Alan-Tameda) is Appalachian backporch music with hammered dulcimer banjo, upright bass, and guitar. Through it all, of course, is that voice: Merchant's throaty trademark. It expresses itself emotionally, honestly, and precisely, without resorting to dramatic tropes to get meaning across. The album closes with Hopkins' contemplative, melancholy "Spring and Fall: To a Young Child," with a symphony orchestrated by Merchant and Sean O'Loughlin. It sends the set off much where it begins, illustrating poetry's ability to provide its own musical instruction, comfort, poignancy, and sense of wonder for the experience of everyday living. Merchant succeeds in spades here; all the research and discipline pays off handsomely. Leave Your Sleep is Merchant's most ambitious work, yet because of her welcoming voice, it still provides familiarity enough to gather listeners inside her soundworld.

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Product Details

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Related Subjects


  1. Nursery Rhyme of Innocence and Experience  -  Lúnasa
  2. The Man In the Wilderness  - Natalie Merchant
  3. Equestrienne  -  Meridian Arts Ensemble
  4. The Dancing Bear  - Natalie Merchant
  5. Calico Pie  - Natalie Merchant
  6. The Janitor's Boy  -  Ditty Bops
  7. The Peppery Man  -  Hazmat Modine
  8. Topsyturvey-World  - Natalie Merchant
  9. Bleezer's Ice-Cream  - Natalie Merchant
  10. It Makes a Change  -  Medeski, Martin & Wood
  11. Adventures of Isabel  - Natalie Merchant
  12. The King of China's Daughter  - Natalie Merchant
  13. The Sleepy Giant  - Natalie Merchant
  14. If No One Ever Marries Me  - Natalie Merchant
  15. Maggie and Milly and Molly and May  - Natalie Merchant
  16. Spring and Fall: To a Young Child  - Natalie Merchant

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Natalie Merchant   Primary Artist
Bill Spence   Hammered Dulcimer
John Roberts   Concertina,Voices
Eddie Allen   Trumpet
Sterling Campbell   Drums
Greg Cohen   Bass
Joseph Daley   Tuba
Matt Darriau   Clarinet,Bass Clarinet,Alto Saxophone
Karen Dreyfus   Viola
Steve Elson   Baritone Saxophone,B-Flat Clarinet
Isaac Freeman   Vocals
Clark Gayton   Trombone
Victor Goines   Clarinet
Wycliffe Gordon   Trombone
Lisa Gutkin   Fiddle
Trevor Hutchinson   Upright Bass
Judy Hyman   Fiddle
Birch Johnson   Tenor Trombone
Katell Keineg   Vocals
Jeanne LeBlanc   Cello
Dan Levine   Tuba,Alto Horn,Bass Trombone
Frank London   Trumpet,Alto Horn
Wynton Marsalis   Trumpet
Larry McDonald   Percussion
John Medeski   Piano
Sandra Park   Violin
Erik Ralske   French Horn
Lorin Sklamberg   Accordion
Paul Sutton   Drums
Howard Wall   French Horn
Joanne Williams   Vocals
Billy Martin   Drums
Amanda Barrett   Vocals
Walter Blanding   Saxophone
Lino Gomez   Bass Clarinet
Sherry Sylar   Oboe
Kevin Crawford   Low Whistle
Joe Rice   Vocals
Michael Leonhart   Trumpet
Erik Della Penna   Guitar
Benjamin Herrington   Trombone
Marc Goldberg   Bassoon
Sean Smyth   Fiddle
Artis Wodehouse   Pump Organ
Daniel Grabois   Horn
Chris Wood   Bass
Nina Stern   Recorder,Chalumeau
Anne Lehmann   Violin
Horace James   Keyboards
Carlos Henríquez   Bass
Eileen Moon   Cello
Sharon Yamada   Violin
Robert Rinehart   Viola
Marc Friedman   Bass
Phil Myers   French Horn
Gabriel Gordon   Guitar
Robert Hamlett   Vocals
Cillian Vallely   uillean pipes
Lisa Kim   Violin
Deidre Rodman   Harpsichord
Paul Meehan   Acoustic Guitar
Jeremy McCoy   Bass
George Flynn   Bass Trombone
Gerald Johnson   Saxophone
Doug Wamble   Banjo,Guitar
Ali Muhammed Jackson   Drums
Shan Jiang   Violin
Brian McWhorter   Trumpet
Blake Miller   Accordion
Abby DeWald   Vocals
Mark Murphy   Upright Bass
Edward Hall   Vocals
Uri Sharlin   Accordion
Greg Heffernan   Cello
Dan Nimmer   Piano
Richie Barshay   Snare Drums,Frame Drum,Poyk
Minyoung Baik   Violin
Pete Smith   Electric Guitar
Michael Gomez   Dobro
Dan Aran   Percussion,Drums
Mike Davis   Tenor Trombone
Arnaud Sussmann   Violin
Kimberly Miller   Vocals
Michelle Baker   French Horn
Gilad Harel   Clarinet
Kyle Turner   Tuba
Raymond G. Stewart   Tuba
Jon Nelson   Trumpet
Motomi Igarashi   Viola Da Gamba
Ina Zdorovetchi   Harp
William Barrett   Chromatic Harmonica
Joseph Thompson   Vocals
Paul Morrisset   Bass Guitar,Baritone Horn
Erik Charlston   Percussion
Pam Fleming   Trumpet
Rich Huntley   Drums
Sun Li   Pipa
Wang Guo Wei   Erhu
Weng Po Wei   Dizi
Hoova Simpson   Bass
Dieter Hennings   Acoustic Guitar,Theorbo,Baroque Guitar
Andrew Bassford   Guitar
Matt Lehmann   Violin
Richard Stearns   Banjo

Technical Credits

Ogden Nash   Composer,Text
Jack Prelutsky   Composer,Text,Photo Courtesy
Stephen Barber   Arranger,Orchestration,String Arrangements
Nick Brophy   Engineer
Clark Gayton   Horn Arrangements
Andres Levin   Producer
Bob Ludwig   Mastering
Wynton Marsalis   Arranger
Natalie Merchant   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Orchestration,String Arrangements,Introduction
Michael Leonhart   Horn Arrangements
Paul Antonell   Studio Manager
Mark Seliger   Cover Photo
e.e. cummings   Composer,Text
Nick Wollage   Engineer
Sarah Cullen   Licensing
Carla Sacks   Publicity
Mervyn Peake   Composer,Text
Matthew Rankin   Publicity
Charles Causley   Composer,Text
Robert Edridge-Waks   Editorial Manager
Sean O'Loughlin   Orchestration,String Arrangements
Anne Harvey   Photo Courtesy
Sebastian Wintermute   Photo Restoration
Joseph Martin Kronheim   Illustrations
David Rands   Photo Courtesy
Nathalia Crane   Composer,Text

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