Photograph by: Brantley Gutierrez
The avant-sax innovator has announced his first album since New History Warfare Vol. 3.
Colin Stetson returns this year with an ambitious reimagining of Henryk Górecki’s Symphony No. 3, a piece of music he describes as “transformative.” After listening to the Polish composer’s masterpiece countless times, says Stetson he knew he would have to record it, and the finished result is SORROW.
“The concept was simple, and true to the original score. I haven’t changed existing notation, but rather have worked with altering instrumentation,” he explains, utilizing woodwinds, synthesizers and electric guitars, while retaining an orchestral element through a string section of violins and cellos.
Canadian musicians Sarah Neufeld (Arcade Fire, Bell Orchestre) and Rebecca Foon (Saltland, Esmerine) appear on the album, and Liturgy and Guardian Alien’s Greg Fox plays drums. The arrangement “draws heavily from the world of black metal, early electronic music, and from my own body of solo saxophone music,” says Stetson.
Watch a trailer for the album and hear an excerpt below. SORROW is out on CD, LP and digital on April 8 via Kartel Music Group.
FACT met Stetson back in 2013 to talk free jazz, war stories and The X Factor.