Unremembered is an hour-long, thirteen-part song cycle for seven voices, chamber orchestra, and electronics by composer Sarah Kirkland Snider, inspired by poems and illustrations by writer and visual artist Nathaniel Bellows (W.W. Norton, HarperCollins). Four years in the making, the studio recording of Unremembered will release on New Amsterdam Records in September 2015, and features vocalists Padma Newsome (Clogs), DM Stith, and Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond), and the Unremembered Orchestra (includes members of ACME, Alarm Will Sound, ICE, The Knights, So Percussion), conducted by Edwin Outwater (Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, San Francisco Symphony.)
A meditation on memory, innocence, and the haunted grandeur of the natural world, Unremembered recalls strange and beautiful happenings experienced during a childhood in rural Massachusetts: a houseguest takes sudden leave in the middle of the night; a boy makes a shocking discovery on a riverbank; a girl disappears in woods behind a ranging farm; ghosts appear with messages for the living. Through Bellows's moving words and images and Snider's vivid, fraught, astonishing score, the cycle explores the ways in which beguiling events in early life can resonate in—and prepare us for—the subtler horrors that lie beyond the realm of childhood.
Hailed as “an intricately magical landscape” (Justin Davidson, New York Magazine) and "Snider's own brand of New England gothic that would make Edgar Allan Poe proud," (The Washington Post), Unremembered is a “a deeply personal, brave work” (I Care If You Listen) that “attests to Ms. Snider’s thorough command of musical mood setting” (The New York Times) and "cements her reputation--begun with 2010's Penelope--as the finest composer for voice of her generation" (Agit Reader). Named to dozens of Best-of-2015 lists internationally including The Washington Post (Top Five), The Nation (Top Five), The Boston Globe’s Steve Smith, The Guardian’s Seth Colter Walls, WNYC, and New Music Box, Unremembered was also called “one of the most significant and harrowing releases of the year” (Thought Catalog); “masterful…a stunning, immensely rewarding experience” (PopMatters); “evocative and strangely beautiful” (Opera News); “warped and eerie” (NPR Songs We Love); "luminous, otherworldly, and brilliantly individualistic (New York Music Daily); and “a glimpse into an entirely new sound world” (Indy Week). It was also named one of the 50 Best Classical Works of the Past Twenty Years by Q2 Radio listeners in both 2015 and 2016.
Produced by Lawson White and Sarah Kirkland Snider, Unremembered was mixed by Grammy Award-winning mixer Andrew Scheps and mastered by Grammy Award-winning mastering engineer Chris Bellman. Sound design was created by Michael Hammond, Lawson White, and Sarah Kirkland Snider. Both LP and CD formats include hand-drawn illustrations by Nathaniel Bellows and original artwork by DM Stith.
In the live performance of Unremembered, each movement is accompanied by video projections featuring Bellows's hand-drawn illustrations interleaved with photography and videography of the cycle's rural New England locations, offering a unique and immersive visual world to complement its varied sonic and emotional landscapes.