Restless Nation

The Music Of Andy Teirstein

Andy Teirstein composer

Release Date: January 28, 2022
Catalog #: NV6397
Format: Digital & Physical
21st Century
Chamber
Orchestral
Orchestra
String Quartet

Navona Records is proud to present RESTLESS NATION: THE MUSIC OF ANDY TEIRSTEIN. A student of Leonard Bernstein and Henry Brant, Teirstein’s music has been described by The New York Times as “magically atmospheric” and “tumultuously exuberant,” with “shifts from dark, earthy urgency to floating purity.” Featuring master soloists Marco Ambrosini (nyckelharpa) and Yair Dalal (oud), this new collection takes inspiration from the composer’s many travels directing the global initiative Translucent Borders, with musical influences from Bedouin singing, Scandinavian folk music, and his roots as a folk fiddle and banjo player. Letter from Woody is an orchestral reimagining of a letter the iconic folk balladeer Woody Guthrie wrote to his lover and future wife, the dancer Marjorie Mazia, in the 1940s, with hints of Guthrie’s songs and an introduction for harmonica. Restless Nation for string quartet, reflective of an upended country with a powerful Appalachian roots tradition, recalls the year Teirstein’s family embarked on a home-schooling expedition through America; it evokes the excitement, wonder, and challenges encountered on this journey. RESTLESS NATION: THE MUSIC OF ANDY TEIRSTEIN celebrates Teirstein’s diverse and compelling work.

Listen

Hear a preview of the album

Stream/Buy

Choose your platform

Track Listing & Credits

# Title Composer Performer
01 Restless Nation: I. My Eyes Were Hungry Andy Teirstein The Cassatt String Quartet | Muneko Otani, violin; Jennifer Leshnower, violin; Ah Ling Neu, viola; Elizabeth Anderson, cello 4:04
02 Restless Nation: II. Flora and Fauna Andy Teirstein The Cassatt String Quartet | Muneko Otani, violin; Jennifer Leshnower, violin; Ah Ling Neu, viola; Elizabeth Anderson, cello 3:40
03 Restless Nation: III. Recess Andy Teirstein The Cassatt String Quartet | Muneko Otani, violin; Jennifer Leshnower, violin; Ah Ling Neu, viola; Elizabeth Anderson, cello 1:38
04 Restless Nation: IV. Goree Island Andy Teirstein The Cassatt String Quartet | Muneko Otani, violin; Jennifer Leshnower, violin; Ah Ling Neu, viola; Elizabeth Anderson, cello 2:39
05 Restless Nation: V. Of Rocks and Rivers Andy Teirstein The Cassatt String Quartet | Muneko Otani, violin; Jennifer Leshnower, violin; Ah Ling Neu, viola; Elizabeth Anderson, cello 4:47
06 Restless Nation: VI. The Way Home Andy Teirstein The Cassatt String Quartet | Muneko Otani, violin; Jennifer Leshnower, violin; Ah Ling Neu, viola; Elizabeth Anderson, cello 3:59
07 Secrets of The North: Suite for String Quartet and Nyckelharpa: Gamel Vals Andy Teirstein Marco Ambrosini, Nyckelharpa; The Mivos String Quartet | Olivia De Prato, violin; Lauren Cauley Kalal, violin; Victor Lowry; Tafoya, viola; Mariel Roberts, cello 2:58
08 Secrets of The North: Suite for String Quartet and Nyckelharpa: Polska Andy Teirstein Marco Ambrosini, Nyckelharpa; The Mivos String Quartet | Olivia De Prato, violin; Lauren Cauley Kalal, violin; Victor Lowry; Tafoya, viola; Mariel Roberts, cello 1:27
09 Secrets of The North: Suite for String Quartet and Nyckelharpa: Vita Märrn Andy Teirstein Marco Ambrosini, Nyckelharpa; The Mivos String Quartet | Olivia De Prato, violin; Lauren Cauley Kalal, violin; Victor Lowry; Tafoya, viola; Mariel Roberts, cello 3:38
10 Secrets of The North: Suite for String Quartet and Nyckelharpa: Fiery Andy Teirstein Marco Ambrosini, Nyckelharpa; The Mivos String Quartet | Olivia De Prato, violin; Lauren Cauley Kalal, violin; Victor Lowry; Tafoya, viola; Mariel Roberts, cello 1:33
11 Secrets of The North: Suite for String Quartet and Nyckelharpa: Driven Andy Teirstein Marco Ambrosini, Nyckelharpa; The Mivos String Quartet | Olivia De Prato, violin; Lauren Cauley Kalal, violin; Victor Lowry; Tafoya, viola; Mariel Roberts, cello 1:12
12 Secrets of The North: Suite for String Quartet and Nyckelharpa: Sarabanda Andy Teirstein Marco Ambrosini, Nyckelharpa; The Mivos String Quartet | Olivia De Prato, violin; Lauren Cauley Kalal, violin; Victor Lowry; Tafoya, viola; Mariel Roberts, cello 1:14
13 Secrets of The North: Suite for String Quartet and Nyckelharpa: Dance Andy Teirstein Marco Ambrosini, Nyckelharpa; The Mivos String Quartet | Olivia De Prato, violin; Lauren Cauley Kalal, violin; Victor Lowry; Tafoya, viola; Mariel Roberts, cello 3:04
14 Secrets of The North: Suite for String Quartet and Nyckelharpa: Jarvovalser Andy Teirstein Marco Ambrosini, Nyckelharpa; The Mivos String Quartet | Olivia De Prato, violin; Lauren Cauley Kalal, violin; Victor Lowry; Tafoya, viola; Mariel Roberts, cello 1:58
15 Secrets of The North: Suite for String Quartet and Nyckelharpa: Escape Andy Teirstein Marco Ambrosini, Nyckelharpa; The Mivos String Quartet | Olivia De Prato, violin; Lauren Cauley Kalal, violin; Victor Lowry; Tafoya, viola; Mariel Roberts, cello 2:18
16 Azazme Songs: Suite for String Quartet, Oud and Dulcimer: Sheregi Andy Teirstein Yair Dalal, Oud; Andy Teirstein, Dulcimer; The Mivos String Quartet | Olivia De Prato, violin; Lauren Cauley Kalal, violin; Victor Lowry; Tafoya, viola; Mariel Roberts, cello 2:55
17 Azazme Songs: Suite for String Quartet, Oud and Dulcimer: Hjenni Andy Teirstein Yair Dalal, Oud; Andy Teirstein, Dulcimer; The Mivos String Quartet | Olivia De Prato, violin; Lauren Cauley Kalal, violin; Victor Lowry; Tafoya, viola; Mariel Roberts, cello 1:47
18 Azazme Songs: Suite for String Quartet, Oud and Dulcimer: The Naboteans Andy Teirstein Yair Dalal, Oud; Andy Teirstein, Dulcimer; The Mivos String Quartet | Olivia De Prato, violin; Lauren Cauley Kalal, violin; Victor Lowry; Tafoya, viola; Mariel Roberts, cello 2:56
19 Azazme Songs: Suite for String Quartet, Oud and Dulcimer: Dance of the Camel Drivers Andy Teirstein Yair Dalal, Oud; Andy Teirstein, Dulcimer; The Mivos String Quartet | Olivia De Prato, violin; Lauren Cauley Kalal, violin; Victor Lowry; Tafoya, viola; Mariel Roberts, cello 1:34
20 Letter from Woody: Pastures of Plenty Andy Teirstein Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra | Jiří Petrdlík, conductor; Andy Teirstein, harmonica 3:59
21 Letter from Woody: Hobo’s Lullabye Andy Teirstein Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra | Jiří Petrdlík, conductor; Andy Teirstein, harmonica 1:52
22 Letter from Woody: The Growling Old Man and Woman Andy Teirstein Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra | Jiří Petrdlík, conductor; Andy Teirstein, harmonica 3:29
23 Letter from Woody: Love You Down to Your Feet Andy Teirstein Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra | Jiří Petrdlík, conductor; Andy Teirstein, harmonica 1:54
24 Letter from Woody: The Scribbling Will Remain Andy Teirstein Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra | Jiří Petrdlík, conductor; Andy Teirstein, harmonica 1:24

Restless Nation
Recorded February 19, 2021 at Oktaven Audio in Mount Vernon NY
Session Producer Judith Sherman
Session Engineer Charles Mueller
Engineering and Editing Assistant Jeanne Velonis

Secrets of The North
Recorded July 2-3, 2018 at New York University James L. Dolan Studios in New York NY
Session Engineers Xingyang Li, Jihao Zhang
Editing and Mixing Katharina Dustmann, Studio Katharco, Germany

Azazme Songs: Suite for String Quartet, Oud and Dulcimer
Recorded December 6, 2018 at New York University James L. Dolan Studios in New York NY
Session Engineer Celia Yang
Editing Mark Dann, Woodstock NY

Letter from Woody
Recorded February 10, 2020 at Dům Kultury města Ostravy (The Ostrava House of Culture) in Ostrava, Czech Republic
Session Producer, Editing & Mixing Jan Košulič
Session Engineer Aleš Dvořák
Assistant Engineers Maroš Hlatký, Jana Jelínková

Special thanks to the NYU Tisch School of the Arts, the Center for Ballet and the Arts, the BMI Foundation Woody Guthrie Fellowship Program, Woody Guthrie Publications, and the American Song Archives, for supporting the development and of the “Letter from Woody” project.

Executive Producer Bob Lord

Executive A&R Sam Renshaw
A&R Director Brandon MacNeil
A&R Chris Robinson

VP of Production Jan Košulič
Audio Director Lucas Paquette
Production Director Levi Brown

VP, Design & Marketing Brett Picknell
Art Director Ryan Harrison
Design Edward A. Fleming
Publicity Patrick Niland, Aidan Curran
Content Manager Sara Warner

Artist Information

Andy Teirstein

Composer

Andy Teirstein’s music has been described by The New York Times as “magically atmospheric,” “glimmering, restless,” and “tumultuously exuberant.” A student of Leonard Bernstein and Henry Brant, Teirstein has composed film scores for BBC and PBS, the operas Winter Man and A Blessing on the Moon, and movement theater pieces including The Wild (La MaMa E.T.C.)  and The Vagabonds inspired by William Blake. The Village Voice wrote that his music “seems to speak in celestial accents of some utopia whose chief industry is dancing,” and he composes often for choreographers, including Stephen Petronio, Donald Byrd, and Liz Lerman.  As a musician, he has appeared with Paul Simon, Pete Seeger, and The Vanaver Caravan. He has acted in the Broadway show Barnum, the TV series Search for Tomorrow, the film Sophie’s Choice, and Woody Sez, an off-Broadway show about Woody Guthrie.

Learn More

Marco Ambrosini

Nyckelharpa

Marco Ambrosini studied violin and composition at the Musical Institute “G.B. Pergolesi” in Ancona and in the Conservatory “G. Rossini” in Pesaro, Italy. He has performed as a violin soloist and nyckelharpa player at La Scala in Milan, the Royal Swedish Concert Agency, Alte Oper Frankfurt, Konzerthaus Vienna, the Philharmony in Cologne, in Berlin, Moscow, and at Carnegie Hall in New York. Marco is an ECM-artist soloist, records for SONY Music with the Ensemble Oni Wytars, which he co-founded, and works as a professor of Early Music and nyckelharpa in several European universities.

Yair Dalal

Yair Dalal

Oud

Yair Dalal, a composer, violinist, singer, and teacher, plays an important role in shaping the global world music scene. His recordings span a wide cultural territory representing Israeli, Jewish, classical-European, Jazz, and Arabic music, with a strong affinity for the desert and its inhabitants. Dalal is dedicated to preserving musical heritages– particularly the Babylonian Jewish Iraqi musical heritage and the music of the Bedouins.

He performed at the Nobel Peace Prize gala concert in 1994 honoring Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, and Palestinian Chairman Yasser Arafat. Dalal was nominated in 2000 for a Grammy as part of Jordi Saval’s ensemble and by BBC World Music Awards 2003.

Mivos Quartet

The Mivos Quartet

Ensemble

The Mivos Quartet, “one of America’s most daring and ferocious new-music ensembles” (The Chicago Reader), is devoted to performing works of contemporary composers and presenting new music to diverse audiences. Since the quartet’s beginning in 2008 they have collaborated with composers representing a wide aesthetic range of contemporary composition and performing to critical acclaim at the Festival for New American Music, Asphalt Festival, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Wien Modern, The Darmstadt Internationale, and many other venues.

The quartet has conducted workshops at numerous universities across the United States and abroad. Mivos grants the Mivos/Kanter String Quartet Composition Prize, a yearly award to support the work of emerging and mid-career composers residing in the United States, and the I-Creation prize, a competition for composers of Chinese descent worldwide.

Cassatt String Quartet

Cassatt String Quartet

Ensemble

Acclaimed as one of America’s outstanding ensembles, the Manhattan-based Cassatt String Quartet has performed throughout North America, Europe, and the Far East, with appearances in London for Queen Elizabeth II’s Sapphire Jubilee, the Beijing Modern Music Festival, New York’s Alice Tully Hall and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, the Tanglewood Music Theater, the Kennedy Center and Library of Congress in Washington DC, the Theatre des Champs-Élysées in Paris, and Maeda Hall in Tokyo.

Radio broadcasts include NPR, Radio France, and the Canadian Broadcast Company. The quartet was named three times to Alex Ross’s 10 best classical recordings of the year in The New Yorker magazine. The quartet is named for the celebrated American impressionist painter Mary Cassatt.

Notes

At daylight we wake by the river
Home long behind us
Our hats atilt
Restless 

The quartet Restless Nation was originally conceived as a musical evocation of a year when the composer and his wife took their two children on a home-schooling expedition. Each movement reflects different aspects of the adventure from the children’s perspective: the open road, the sounds of insects and night animals, rambunctious and reflective moments, wilderness, and the journey home. Now, in this pandemic moment, the restless energy resonates with a sense of wanting to move in conflicting directions: inward toward the surety of solitude, and outward with the persistent hope to connect in an irreconcilable, endlessly fascinating world.

The altered tuning of the first violin, borrowed from Arkansas fiddlers, is audible in the final (sixth) movement, driven by a fiddle tune called “The Hangman’s Reel.” Restless Nation was commissioned and premiered by the Cassatt Quartet at Symphony Space in New York City.

The folk influences in Secrets of the North and Azazme Songs are evident in the instrumentation and modalities, as played by the two master soloists, Marco Ambrosini (Nyckelharpa) and Yair Dalal (Oud). The composer explores here what is earthy, anonymous, and the collective imagination of communities over time. Secrets of the North is inspired by a short story by Isak Dinesen, The Sailor Boy’s Tale. An old Sami woman turns into a hawk and helps a boy. In this suite version, we hear the distinctive sound of the nyckelharpa (key fiddle). The larger piece is composed for narrator, string quartet, nyckelharpa, mouthbow, and concertina.  The music strives to achieve a sense of what is ethereal and yet wild and raw—elements that are inherent in Scandinavian folk music.

The suite of tunes Azazme Songs was composed after a four-day trek with the Walidi family of the Azazme Bedouins across the Aravah desert, close to the Israel/Egypt border. The caravan was organized by Yair Dalal and the Walidis. At each meal, ouds and violins were taken down from the camels and played. The songs are known as “Hjennies,” old tunes the camel drivers sing to themselves on their journeys across the Aravah. The gently repeating themes are steeped in the maqamat Rast and Bayati. Azazme Songs is not intended as authentic transcription, but as the musical offering of a beginner, impressions gleaned from listening around the fire after walking across an ancient landscape, filled with the sense of time unbound. The Appalachian lap dulcimer is used here as a sound evoked by the Bedouin Sumsumia, a strummed psaltery-like instrument.

In 1942, folk balladeer Woody Guthrie was asked to play for the Martha Graham Dance Company in a piece entitled “Folksay.” But Guthrie had difficulty singing his songs the same way each time, and so was paired up with one of the dancers, Marjorie Mazia, in order to learn to count an equal number of beats between verses. The two were immediately drawn to one another, and Woody began to woo her away from her husband in Philadelphia. When Marjorie became pregnant with Woody’s child, she retreated to consider her options. Woody wrote her a series of letters, each one a school composition book. Letter from Woody is inspired by one of these notebook letters. An extended version of this piece includes text for actor/folk singer and dancer. The piece draws on traditional American folk string bowings and energies. Thanks to the BMI/Woody Guthrie Foundation and to the NYU Center for Ballet and the Arts for support, and to Nora Guthrie and Woody Guthrie Publications, for inviting the composer to the Woody Guthrie archives.

— Andy Teirstein