It’s not always easy to fall in love with modern, classical-style music. Often, composers try to impress listeners with intricate melodies and chords of cacophony that prove they passed music theory.
Then, there are gifted composers like Carlos Simon, who clearly understand music’s complexities but have nothing to prove.
Simon is a young, Atlanta native whose compositions have been heard by symphonies around the world. Earlier this month, he released a brand-new collection of uplifting, beautiful songs that are ideal for prayer, meditation, and reflection.
Together offers traditional hymns heard in new ways and songs that inspire activism. Opera stars Wil Liverman and J’nai Bridges also appear on the new album, along with violinist Randall Goosby and cellist Sean Parker Woods.
September was a busy month for Simon. He also released another song cycle: brea(d)th, a commissioned work for the Minnesota Orchestra that focuses on the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder.
Simon, who is also a professor at Georgetown University, sat with Terrance McKnight, evening host on WQXR and host of the podcast, Every Voice recently at The Greene Space. The two discussed the album and Simon, Bridges, and Woods performed selections from Together.
Simon was once McKnight’s student at Morehouse College, so it was full-circle moment for both of them—and a true delight for both the live audience and remote listeners.
The full interview and performances can be viewed here.
Carlos Simon’s website is here