Jim James, Teddy Abrams and the Louisville Orchestra - The Order of Nature
Jim James, acclaimed genre-bending solo artist and leader of legendary rock band My Morning Jacket, and conductor/composer Teddy Abrams and The Louisville Orchestra release their collaborative project, The Order of Nature. As two of the world's most vibrant and versatile musicians, neither James nor Abrams shies away from a challenge, and with The Order of Nature they've crafted a large-scale symphonic suite that has James' evocative songs as its foundation. Abrams built a grand orchestral house on that foundation, and the result is an explosion of music that boldly synthesizes rock and classical while taking advantage of orchestral music's inherently cinematic nature.
Featuring unreleased new songs from James as well as re-imaginings from his solo catalog, lyrically he takes a deep dive into issues vitally important to him in recent years, including equality and intolerance, human connection and acceptance. Abrams uses repeating motifs to weave the songs into a seamless whole, with the goal of capturing the idea of nature in a cinematic way and turning James' quiet demos into a majestic tapestry that conveys the album's themes of politics, the natural order and the hopelessness of hatred. They all spin off of the suite's central theme, which is James' fascination with the absence of hate in nature. Animals kill each other, but only out of hunger, while humans daily choose hate – we ignore the order of nature and that choice is wreaking havoc.
Abrams spent months building a complex symphonic work in which the songs could breathe, writing music that captures both the quiet drama of walking alone through a snowy landscape and the urgency of trying to steer a disrupted society toward kindness. "We're really looking at addressing things head on," says Abrams. "That was an interest of mine in working with Jim because he has a way of taking on challenging and divisive issues and presenting them in ways that everybody can relate to, even if you're from different political backgrounds." "For me it was very inspiring, and it was also inspiring to hear what Teddy wrote," James added, "and I really enjoyed just giving him this seed of a song and just watching it flower."
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