“It’s a beautiful work. The voice. The words. The music. Sublime.”—Marilyn and Alan Bergman
Songs From The Movie, with its compelling orchestral reinvention of classic Mary Chapin Carpenter compositions, is an artistic landmark for the beloved singer-songwriter. Collaborating with Composer/Arranger and Producer Vince Mendoza (Sting, Diana Krall, Elvis Costello, Joni Mitchell) and working once again with Co-Producer Matt Rollings (Keith Urban, Lyle Lovett), Carpenter’s new record harkens to her love of classic film and symphonic music.
Citing as inspiration such seminal film composers as Elmer Bernstein and Thomas Newman, and contemporary symphonic composers like Tobias Picker and Morten Lauridsen, Carpenter had long imagined this project but it wasn’t until she had the chance to work with Mendoza that it came to fruition.
The result reprises ten of Carpenter’s songs in Mendoza’s distinctively beautiful and cinematic arrangements— thus the album title that gathers them together—to give the listener the continuum of a film soundtrack, albeit an imaginary one.
The album was recorded at London’s legendary AIR Studios, with a 63-piece orchestra, and a 15-voice choir. “Part of the challenge of this new musical setting was to find the right approach to singing each song,” Carpenter says. “Singing with an orchestra is very different from singing with a band. I had to learn to ride the enormous wave of sound an orchestra produces but not over sing at the same time. Finding a quiet voice while still conveying strength was the way in.”
From “Come On Come On” to “On And On It Goes” to “I Am A Town” and “Goodnight America,” the record finds this multi-platinum album selling, multi-Grammy winner, two-time CMA Female Vocalist, and member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame still breaking new ground, giving us a record unlike any of her others. “I grew up in a house where film soundtracks and classical music played constantly because my mother loved them so,” Carpenter says, as a way to explain how she came to this project. “Recording at AIR Studios in London was magical and working with Vince as he transformed my songs with his arrangements was an extraordinary artistic experience. I feel so fortunate to have been given this chance to do something so different from what I have done in the past and what I expect to do in the future.”
That level of excitement and fearless creativity has been a common thread throughout Mary Chapin Carpenter’s two-and-a-half-decade recording career, during which she’s sold more than 13 million records and developed a remarkably loyal and devoted international fan base.
Born in Princeton, New Jersey, Carpenter began playing guitar and writing songs early in life, and was playing her songs in D.C. clubs before she was out of her teens. Word of Carpenter’s talents eventually reached Nashville, winning her a deal with Columbia Records, which released her 1987 debut album, Hometown Girl.
Her debut disc set the stage for the success of 1989’s State of the Heart and 1990’s Shooting Straight in the Dark, each of which produced four Top 20 hits, including the Grammy-winning smash “Down at the Twist and Shout.” Those releases were followed by the massive commercial breakthrough of 1992’s Come On Come On, which was certified quadruple platinum and yielded no less than seven charting singles.
More success followed with such albums as the platinum Stones in the Road, A Place in the World, Time* Sex*Love* and Between Here and Gone. Carpenter moved to Rounder/Zo� in time for 2007’s Grammy-nominated The Calling, which was followed by the seasonally themed Come Darkness Come Light: 12 Songs of Christmas, the Grammy- nominated The Age of Miracles and Ashes and Roses.
Along the way, Carpenter has won five Grammy Awards, was named the Country Music Association’s Female Vocalist of the Year in 1992 and 1993 and in 2012 was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. Her compositions have also been covered by a diverse assortment of artists including Joan Baez, Wynonna Judd, Cyndi Lauper, Trisha Yearwood, Maura O’Connell, Mary Black and Dianne Reeves and has also collaborated, on record and/or on stage, with the likes of Joan Baez, Shawn Colvin, Dolly Parton, the Indigo Girls and Tony Bennett.
Following the January 2014 debut of the album with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra at the prestigious Celtic Connections Festival in Glasgow, Carpenter will appear as a guest with orchestras in the U.S. and the U.K. throughout 2014.