NOW Ensemble

Before and After

New Amsterdam Records
Release Date: November 12, 2021

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Chant - Now Ensemble, composed by Sean Friar
1 Chant  
2 Frontier  
3 Spread  
4 Cradle  
5 Artifact  
6 Rally  
7 Solo  
8 Done Deal  
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On November 12, 2021, New Amsterdam released Before and After, the much-anticipated new album from NOW Ensemble, a group of composers and performers creating "effervescent, genre-busting" (NPR All Things Considered) chamber music for the 21st century. Before and After-NOW's seventh album with New Amsterdam-is devoted to the "refreshingly new and solidly mature" (Slate) work of Rome Prize-winning composer Sean Friar. Featuring flute, clarinet, double bass, piano, and electric guitar, NOW's compositions each have "a distinct voice but a shared ethos" (The Washington Post). Friar's acclaimed piece "Velvet Hammer" appeared on NOW's equally acclaimed 2011 album, Awake; now, a decade later, the composer and ensemble reunite on Before and After. 

"Before and After is a rumination on the lifespan of civilizations, on our own small place in the larger rhythm of the world," says Friar. "Each section touches these themes-growth and progress run amok, our nostalgia for an often-fictitious golden age, our idealized notions about the beginnings of civilization, and our feeling that, perhaps, humans have crossed some threshold we really shouldn't have." 

But while Before and After is about big and daunting ideas, the music itself is often intimate and reflective, inviting listeners to contemplate how these themes resonate in both their own lives and our collective life.

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