Working with jazz and world-music artists, the Gryphon Trio makes boundaries between musical genres disappear. Its most recent project, Broken Hearts & Madmen, is the natural outcome to a show featuring tangos, pop tunes and Mexican folksongs, which reunited the Gryphon with their Constantinoplepartners, Patricia O'Callaghan and Roberto Occhipinti.
Broken Hearts & Madmen is unlike any previous chamber music album. The album was recorded like a pop album, with live in-studio performances and close miking of the musicians. Musically, the album is global in spirit, mixing Latin songs with jazz-tinged tunes by some of pop's most revered composers.
From Nick Drake and Laurie Anderson to Los Lobos and Lhasa, the range of material on Broken Hearts & Madmen is admirably genre-stretching. The record moves naturally from the bittersweet "Cucurrucucu Paloma," a Mexican mariachi, to "I Want You," on which O'Callaghan plumbs the emotional depths of Elvis Costello's tortured love song. Astor Piazzolla's "Yo Soy Maria," showcases the Trio's torrid rhythmic drive, as does a spirited flamenco rendition of "Volver," the Carlos Gardel tango and title song for Pedro Almadovar's movie starring Penelope Cruz.
Having impressed international audiences and the press with their highly refined, dynamic performances, the Gryphon Trio has firmly established itself as one of the world's preeminent piano trios. With a repertoire that ranges from the traditional to the contemporary and from European classicism to modern-day multimedia, the Gryphons are committed to redefining chamber music for the 21st century. The Trio's thirteen celebrated recordings on the Analekta label are an encyclopaedia of works. Their 2011 recording of piano trios by Ludwig van Beethoven was acknowledged with a coveted Juno Award from Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences in the Best Classical Album: Solo and Chamber Music category. This was the Trio's second Juno Award, having previously won for their 2004 release Canadian Premieres, featuring new works by leading Canadian composers.
Patricia O'Callaghandivides her time between recording CDs, touring her own shows, and collaborating on other interesting projects. Equally at ease with the classical and popular repertoires, she has sung with Bryn Terfel at Roy Thompson Hall, toured the multimedia opera Constantinople by Christos Hatzis, produced by The Gryphon Trio, to London's Royal Opera House, among other places, and recording and touring with jazz clarinettist Don Byron, in support of his Bluenote release, A Fine Line.