Crafted with the notion that big things often have tiny roundish beginnings, OVAL is a sensuous collection of string quartet arrangements of music by composer and vocalist Rupa, as she returns to the intimate nature of her songwriting after 9 years of leading global alternative outfit Rupa & the April Fishes.
Working together with composer/arranger Mark Orton (Tin Hat, composer for film Nebraska), the songs lay bare the raw lyricism of Rupa’s melodies while adding the rhythmic and harmonic depth of Orton’s arrangements, which were rendered impeccably by Grammy-nominated Quartet San Francisco and producer/bassist Todd Sickafoose (Ani DiFranco, Andrew Bird).
Listenable and approachable, the songs included on OVAL showcase the dynamic range of Rupa’s songwriting, with compositions in French, English and Hindi and styles as diverse as waltz, tango, sea shanty, ghazal, and folk rock all cohesively brought together by Orton’s cinematic approach and the singular warmth of Rupa’s voice.
The collection includes a timeless version of Rupa’s tantalizing slow milonga written in honor of the urge to merge, “Maintenant,” a heart-rending recording of a love song in a time of loss, “Wishful Thinking,” and a haunting cover of classic ghazal “Woh Kagaz Ki Kasthi” by the late Jagjit Singh.
In addition to collaborator Todd Sickafoose, who produced OVAL with Rupa as well as the last Rupa & the April Fishes release BUILD (2012), the lineup on this album includes the Quartet San Francisco on strings, JHNO on duduk, Ben Goldberg on clarinet, Allison Miller on drums, Jonathan Goldberger and Adam Levy on guitar, Prasant Radhakrishnan on carnatic saxophone and Rob Reich on accordion.
released September 4, 2015
Arranged by Mark Orton
Produced by Todd Sickafoose and Rupa Marya
Rupa on voice and guitar
Quartet San Francisco on Strings
Ben Goldberg on clarinet
Todd Sickafoose on bass
Allison Miller on drums
Jonathan Goldberger on guitar
Adam Levy on guitar
Prasant Radhakrishnan on saxophone
Rob Reich on accordion
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