Created by composer/performer Jay Cloidt and writer/singer Amanda Moody, the music
theater piece D'Arc:
woman on fire receives its premiere recording on this new CD. D’Arc features
performances by ex-Kronos Quartet cellist Joan Jeanrenaud on six of the
eleven songs. Also performing on the recording are cellists Danielle DeGruttola and
Elaine Kreston, pianist Jon Herbst and guitarist Will Bernard.
the threads of the Dark Ages with our own dark times, the lyrics of D’Arc depict
a present-day intercession by Saint Joan of Arc into the life of a contemporary
mother, whose daughter vanished while working abroad in a war-torn region.
St. Joan intrudes into the modern world through bizarre visions revealed
through the cold flame of a television set, challenging today’s Joanne
to listen to the call of her own life
The songs on D’Arc include
a newly-written hymn setting of 14th-century lyrics, delicate acoustic
duets and solo cello works, and intense electronic music. Cloidt weaves musique
concrète elements into the
music, along with electronic elements and acoustic instruments, to underscore
the voice and cello parts. Amanda Moody’s vocal performance runs the
gamut from medieval hymn singing to gospel wailing to full operatic bravura,
and Cloidt has set her lyrics to an extremely wide range of vernacular
styles and semi-abstract electronic textures. The music is intense and
intelligent, yet emotional and accessible.
Jay Cloidt is a composer and sound
designer working in the San Francisco Bay Area. He studied at the Center
for Contemporary Music at Mills College with Robert Ashley and David Behrman.
He has collaborated with many groups, beginning with the late Ed Mock’s
dance company (with a performance at the Vienna Biennale), and including
the Paul Dresher Ensemble, the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, ODC/San Francisco,
and Kronos Quartet. His works have been performed extensively by these
groups and others throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia, including performances
at Lincoln Center, Royal Festival Hall, the Concertgebouw, and many other
Starkland previously released Cloidt’s Kole Kat Krush CD to widespread acclaim. Stereophile awarded it 4 stars, stating that
Cloidt is “one of the few composers in the post-sampler era to fully
develop that tool’s fascinating and witty potential.”
another MinMax/Starkland CD, Spectral Evidence,
in 2007, featuring two string quartets performed by the Cypress String
Quartet. Sequenza/21 said Spectral
Evidence was “…engaging, attractive, and extremely crafty.”
Moody's critically acclaimed work, Serial Murderess,
directed by Melissa Weaver and composed by Clark Suprynowicz, won the
2001 Dean Goodman Award for Outstanding Achievement in Theater, and
the SF Bay Guardian's Best of 2000 Award for great solo performance.
original oratorio, Bitter Harvest composed by Kurt Rohde, premiered
with the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra conducted by Kent Nagano. Georgia
Rowe of the Contra Costa Times declared Bitter Harvest "Splendid...
boldly contemporary and undeniably moving." BackStage West said, “Moody’s
virtuosity – as writer, singer and actor – is awesome.”