Maya Beiser has revealed “Ziggy Stardust,” a bonus track from her highly anticipated album Bowie Cello Symphonic: Blackstar (Islandia Music Records) – the cellist’s reimagining of David Bowie’s final album, Blackstar. It will be released January 10, the 4th anniversary of Bowie’s passing. “Ziggy Stardust” is one of two additional Bowie hits added to her track-by-track recreation of his last record.
A visionary musician, who has been featured on the world’s most prestigious stages, Beiser invokes Bowie’s words, melodies and spirit along with the 30-piece Ambient Orchestra. Bowie Cello Symphonic: Blackstar was arranged and conducted by longtime collaborator and fellow Bang on a Can All-Stars founding member Evan Ziporyn.
“Ziggy Stardust” originally appeared on Bowie’s 1972 record The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, which Beiser cites as the first record that made her fall in love with the musician. Juxtaposing elements from the Suite for Solo Cello in G Major by Johann Sebastian Bach with the opening iconic guitar lick of Bowie’s original, Beiser dramatically transforms her cello: a vocalist one moment, a lead guitarist the next. “Bowie’s 4-octave vocal range matches the cello almost exactly, making it the perfect protagonist instrument,” she says.
Along with the album, an immersive live performance has also been announced for the same day as album release, a concert featuring Beiser performing the album with sound-reactive projections that flood the space around her, and are beamed directly onto her cello using virtual reality special sensors and a software mapping system. The event is at the Winter Garden at Brookfield Place in Manhattan, free and open to the public. For more information: bfplny.com/event/aura-blackstar.
Beiser has triumphed in previous performances of Bowie Cello Symphonic: Blackstar, with a full symphony in Barcelona, at Central Park Summerstage with Ensemble LPR, and in Australia. She has collaborated with many great artists including Philip Glass, Brian Eno, and Steve Reich. Beiser consistently tops critics’ “best of” lists for her multi-media productions and is currently in the midst of a 20 city international tour for her landmark work THE DAY with dancer Wendy Whelan and legendary choreographer Lucinda Childs.
Jan 18 – Nashville, TN – Tennessee Performing Arts Center (The DAY)
Jan 24-Feb 6 – Paris, FR – Theatre de la Ville (The DAY)
Feb 15 – North Bethesda, MA – The Music Center at Strathmore (Bowie Symphonic: Blackstar)
Feb 27-28 – San Francisco, CA – Herbst Theatre (The DAY)
Mar 22 Philadelphia, PA – Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts (Travel Guide to Nicaragua World Premiere)
Mar 25 – New York, NY – Carnegie Hall (Travel Guide to Nicaragua World Premiere)
Apr 7 – St. Paul, MN – O’Shaugnessy Auditorium at St. Catherine University (The DAY)
Apr 10 + 11 – Hanover, New Hampshire – Dartmouth College (The DAY)
Apr 24-26 – Boston, MA – Institute of Contemporary Arts (The DAY)