John Pitman Review: Conspirare’s The Singing Guitar
The Austin, Texas-based choir, Conspirare, give voice to poets and writers from across the spectrum of nationality and gender in their latest recording, The Singing Guitar. Founder and director, Craig Hella Johnson, commissioned new works from composers such as Reena Esmail, Nico Muhly, and Kile Smith that highlight the words of the Sufi poet Hafiz, pioneer and indigenous women in the 1880s; and of the Bengali poet, Rabindranath Tagore.
Giving “The Singing Guitar” an added literal and figurative quality are no fewer than three guitar quartets: the Los Angeles, Texas and Austin quartets are heard most fully in How Little You Are, by Nico Muhly. Cellist Douglas Harvey joins Conspirare for The Dawn’s Early Light, and Craig Hella Johnson’s The Song that I Came to Sing. Listen to John Pitman’s conversation with Johnson to learn more.