My Brightest Diamond still shining
When you grew up with an accordion-expert dad, a classical organist mother, and grandma was an Epiphone player, you just might end up with an eclectic vision. And with the June release of her sophomore album, A Thousand Shark's Teeth, Shara Worden, now helming a project called My Brightest Diamond, presents audiences with the operatic evidence.
"This album is full of instrumentation, with over fifteen people playing on the record and a lot of different kinds of sounds," Worden says of the new strings-heavy composition.
Her first album as MBD was the more spare and rocking Bring Me the Workhorse, from 2006.
"On that album," Worden says, "I wanted to be very focused in the production. In order to prevent putting too many ideas in one pot, there was limited instrumentation to the rhythm sections and strings."
Heading up a tour in support of the new material, Worden introduces Charlottesville to her theatrical, instrumentation-drenched folk-indie-rock confection.
The Hook: What were some of your influences for A Thousand Shark's Teeth?
Shara Worden: I was really influenced by Tom Waites, the theatrical style and vaudeville elements. I really gravitated to magic tricks, strings, puppet shows for this tour.
The Hook: What were themes were you trying to convey?
SW: A lot of the songs were influenced by children's fairy tales. Musically speaking, we arranged the record in such a way that songs were split into earth and sky songs–- earthier ones used wooden instruments, super earthy sounds and sky songs were ethereal, untouchable, intangible, with the harp, string octet.
The Hook: What was your inspiration for doing this new all-strings album?
SW: In the beginning of MBD, I was in a new place musically and had developed a good relationship with some string players, so I thought– how do I work with strings, what do I want them to do? Should they sit on top of the arrangements structurally? I did a lot of experimentation with that relationship, and a group of sixteen to seventeen songs developed at the same time.
The Hook: What do you want audiences to take from this opera-influenced style?
SW: The thing that attracted me to opera was the melding of art forms into one. Hopefully, it's kind of a transportive and magical experience for people.
The Hook: What's coming up next once this tour wraps?
SW: I want to be more in the present, not feel like I have to represent these old ideas. I hope to be recording next fall.
My Brightest Diamond performs at Gravity Lounge on Wednesday, December 10. The show starts at 7:30 pm, and tickets are $15.