The first time I understood what it is that the composer Nicholas Britell does for a film — understood with my whole body — I was in his studio, listening to a mistake he had made and the way he had fixed it. Earlier, in a cafe off Lincoln Center, I had asked him about the process of making “Moonlight,” the Oscar-winning coming-of-age story he scored for Barry Jenkins. Britell told me about a scene, early in the film, in which the protagonist’s mentor teaches him to swim. “I was looking at the sequence like, ‘Oh, Juan and Little swim,’” Britell said. “It’s a beautiful moment. This will be something special he can carry with him.” So Britell wrote a sweet piece in F major, an orchestral swell with a clarinet singing a variation on Little’s theme on top. He played it for Jenkins. The response was a visceral “nope.”Jenkins urged him to think of the scene as a spiritual baptism. This wasn’t simple optimism or happiness. It was the first day of the rest of Little’s life. “And I still get moved even just thinking about it,” Britell said. “Because I immediately knew.” On the spot, he began improvising something darker, in D minor, with the virtuosic feeling of a cadenza. “I was playing it on my keyboard with a kind of fake violence,” he said. “Barry was directing me from the couch. And so right there, I just made it in front of him.”In his studio, Britell played me the scene. First he cued up his original attempt, over footage from an early cut. It was tender, unambiguous movie music that could have scored any rite of passage; I pictured a high school football team triumphing against all odds. Then he cued up “Middle of the World,” the music he made with Jenkins. The violin plays jolting waves of arpeggios, wild and exhilarating. Little vanishes into the ocean, Juan holding him but somehow not protecting him, only initiating him into a kind of violent abandon. You watch with your heart in your throat: It’s beautiful and also, somehow, terrifying.The studio I was listening in — seated in the same spot Jenkins occupied as the music was written — is the size a New York realtor would market as a child’s bedroom, in an apartment overlooking the Hudson. It’s dark, the walls covered with gray acoustic foam, and Britell often works with the lights off. He shares the apartment with his wife, the cellist Caitlin Sullivan, who “is constantly and correctly encouraging me to take walks.” She also worries that he drinks too much Perrier. There are bookshelves and vintage movie posters on the walls — “Chariots of Fire” greets you at the entrance — and a small sofa, the left side of which is Jenkins’s territory. A huge monitor is mounted over Britell’s keyboard, for projecting rough cuts. (With a movie-size screen, you make movie-size music, Britell has learned.) There’s also a subwoofer the size of a washing machine; Britell’s scores include tones so low that they feel less like something audible and more like approaching weather.Last year, in February, Britell invited me back to the studio to watch him and Jenkins at work. The two hadn’t previously allowed anyone to sit in on their sessions, days-long confabs that involve near-clinical infusions of Shake Shack. They were still early in their work on “The Underground Railroad” — a 10-part series, based on the novel by Colson Whitehead, that debuts on Amazon this month. It is Britell’s first television collaboration with Jenkins, and his compositions for it are less a single score than 10 intersecting, fully realized musical universes.The first piece he played me at the session was something the two men made hours before: a dark, inquisitive piano sequence only a few bars long, circling the drain of a few dissonant notes. “One of the things we keep discovering is, for some reason, pianos,” he said. “Really specific pianos, like slightly warped.” He played another sequence to demonstrate. “It’s felted” — the piano’s hammers are padded with extra cloth — “so it’s really muffled. But it’s always like, piano works.”Jenkins sauntered in after finishing his burger in the kitchen. All he had on hand were a few unedited shots, he explained, “but I like to have some kind of picture while we’re working. If it works with this picture, it feels like you can tell if it’s part of the world.” He had been shooting in Georgia since August and flew up to spend the weekend with Britell before heading back to the set. By this point, his voice sounded felted, too. “Ninety-two days, 24 to go,” he said, rubbing his face. “We don’t normally work like this until we’re done. But, yeah, no choice.” In hindsight, this wasn’t quite true; only weeks later, the pandemic would shutter production for months, leaving them to finish their work in a sun-drenched quarantine pod in Los Angeles. Still, by the end of the session, Jenkins had slid down until he was sitting on the floor, slumped against the couch with his hoodie tugged over his face. “You can’t make a meal of how tired I am when you write this,” he warned. ‘I’m a musical Neanderthal, really. Nick speaks Neander.’I was more struck by how comfortable the two men seemed together. Britell’s voice even sounded different when he was with Jenkins, half an octave down, words running together easily. “You have to understand,” Jenkins said, “when we did ‘Moonlight,’ I didn’t really know Nick at that point.” This is the origin of the Jenkins-Britell partnership, the filmmaking equivalent of buying a house unseen. The producer Jeremy Kleiner had arranged an afternoon coffee between the men, which turned into evening drinks, the two of them talking for hours, mostly not about music. “They just vibed the whole time,” Sullivan told me. “And Barry hired him. He hired him never having heard any samples of Nick’s music of any kind.”“We had one meeting,” Jenkins said. “We went off and shot the film, and then it was like, ‘Oh, just come to New York.’ And so I walk into this place,” he said, giving considerable side-eye to the premises. “ ‘We’re gonna work in your bedroom? How’s that gonna work?’ But he made all this wonderful music. So, yeah, now it’s like a little home away from home.”“It’s a little mystical,” Britell said, deflecting credit to the tiny studio. “I think a lot of it is just feeling like it’s a safe space where you can kind of zone off and go on these little journeys.” He sat back and smiled, happy to vanish into the acoustic foam.You have almost certainly heard Nicholas Britell’s music, even if you don’t know his name. He is one of the hardest-working film composers of the past decade, despite having spent its early years wrapping up a career at a hedge fund. More than any other contemporary composer, he appears to have the whole of music history at his command, shifting easily between vocabularies, often in the same film. You may have seen “The Big Short” (2015), the manic, Oscar-winning story of the 2008 financial crash, whose score tried to musically embody subprime mortgages. Or maybe “Moonlight” (2016), narrated by a violin-and-piano theme that matures with the protagonist, tugged lower and richer by techniques borrowed from Southern hip-hop. Maybe you remember Bobby Riggs’s sleazy upright piano competing with Billy Jean King’s majestic concert grand in “Battle of the Sexes” (2017), the vinyl-soft crackle of “If Beale Street Could Talk” (2018) or the alluringly deranged sweep of “Vice” (2018).Britell also scored HBO’s “Succession,” whose title sequence would become the most unexpected hit of 2019 that wasn’t “Old Town Road” — a piece initially indistinguishable from the period music for froufrou costume dramas, except that in the background, maids are carrying value packs of Bounty and wealthy sociopaths are making penis jokes. The theme is dementedly catchy, classical phrases capped with an industrial fizz that sounds like a can of La Croix popping open, or a cash register. “Why is the ‘Succession’ theme so meme-able?” the website Vulture asked, on the same day the rapper Pusha T put out a remix with Britell’s enthusiastic collaboration.“Nick Britell,” the film-music historian Jon Burlingame told me, “is a fascinating example of where film music has gone.” Consider what movies sounded like in their earliest years: the swashbucklers that Erich Korngold scored in the 1930s, or Max Steiner’s lush “Casablanca,” or the sweeping historical epics, like “Ben-Hur,” that Miklos Rozsa wrote for in the ’50s. These composers had been classically taught and turned out symphonic, romantic scores. By the ’60s, film composers like Henry Mancini and Quincy Jones were coming up through a different musical education, rooted in jazz and pop. The next few decades featured competing visions of what film music could do — Vangelis’s triumphal synths, but also John Williams, whose blockbuster orchestrations wouldn’t have been unfamiliar to Korngold. Hans Zimmer managed to do both, inflecting his classical scores with a menacing buzz. “And then,” Burlingame says, “you get to Nick Britell.” His classical training gives him “a fairly large toolbox from which to draw,” including the traditional orchestra, like the 90-piece ensemble in “Vice.” “But his age and experience have also informed him in terms of much more contemporary musical forms,” Burlingame points out. From hip-hop, especially, Britell learned how to make sounds speak by ripping them open, warping notes to convey an affecting emotional arc rarely heard in cinema.The composers and filmmakers I spoke to about Britell emphasized the poetic intelligence he brings to his work. But his emotional reach is equally important. Part of his job is helping directors and producers feel things they can’t explain but know they want to feel. As Jesse Armstrong, the showrunner for “Succession,” told me: “I’m a musical Neanderthal, really. Nick speaks Neander.” Dede Gardner, who produced “The Big Short” and “Beale Street” and is an executive producer for “The Underground Railroad,” told me that when you introduce Britell to someone, “it’s like the air starts to vibrate and hum.” He is, she says, “the perfect person. He’s so expansive.”The director Adam McKay, who worked closely with Britell on “The Big Short” and “Vice,” likes to joke that “you can’t talk about Britell in factual terms, because all you’ll do is gush about him.” Britell’s only flaw that he can think of, he says, is that the composer doesn’t have true perfect pitch — “he has relative perfect pitch.” McKay delights in reciting Britell’s C.V., which reads like a setup for one of his comedies: a Harvard-educated, world-class pianist who studied psychology and once played keys in a moderately successful hip-hop band. “And then he graduates, and you think, Oh, he’s going to go into music. No.” Instead, McKay says, Britell winds up managing portfolios at “one of the biggest currency-trading hedge funds on Wall Street. And then he goes and starts scoring movies. And within five years, he’s nominated for Academy Awards.” You could practically hear McKay shaking his head through the phone. “Brutal.”Britell, who is 40, grew up mostly in Manhattan, in a home with the kind of devout enthusiasm for the arts characteristic of many Upper West Side Jewish families. His father, a lawyer, had a layman’s love of music, and Britell remembers figuring out the distinction between Bach and Mozart as his dad toggled between classical stations on the car radio. His mother was a musical-comedy actress before becoming a teacher — in the 1940s, in West Palm Beach, Fla., she was a child star on a local television program called something like “Aunt Lollipop’s Story Hour” — and the apartment was filled with old books of Rodgers and Hart show tunes. Britell learned to play on a broken player piano that his grandmother picked up from a neighbor; he began tinkering with it when he was 5, driven by an overwhelming desire to figure out “Chariots of Fire.” Slowly he started writing his own boyish pieces — he and his younger brother each fondly remember a repetitive number called “The Train Symphony” — and then, as an adolescent, imaginary scores. “I would write fake TV themes for myself all the time,” he says. “This is a fall drama on ABC, or this is a family comedy, or this is a detective story.”He went to private school in New York City until he was 13, when the family moved to Westport, Conn. On weekends, he commuted into the city for the Juilliard precollege program, where he trained as a pianist. He commuted too between musical worlds. It was the early ’90s, and Britell was transfixed by the hip-hop swallowing the city: the lyrics, and the beats you could feel in your chest, and the mystery of early samples, recordings of recordings that gradually morphed, leaving a fossil record of every person who touched them. He thought of hip-hop as otherworldly in the same way that he found Bach otherworldly. He remembers being walloped by the opening of A Tribe Called Quest’s “Excursions”: the almost-muddy double-bass sample, the way Q-Tip drops in, the drum break adding some final alchemical element. It was like learning, as a teenager, that there were more letters to the alphabet than he’d been taught.He arrived for his freshman year at Harvard loving everything — math and history, Brahms and Gang Starr — and was abruptly confronted by the necessity of choice. Lost and unsure, he left. For a year he tried to see if he was meant to become a concert pianist, living with his parents and scraping up work around the tristate area: cocktail gigs, the Jewish organist at the Episcopal church. The loneliness was sharper than he had anticipated. After a year, he went back to Harvard with the same sense of indecision, only now with the understanding that he couldn’t work alone.At a party soon after he returned to campus, he approached two guys rapping along with a D.J. and drums and asked if they needed keys. The group they formed, the Witness Protection Program, consumed his next three years. At its height, the group toured the Northeastern college and club circuits and opened for acts like Blackalicious and Jurassic 5. At the same time, Britell became close with another classmate, Nick Louvel, who was working on a film and invited Britell to write the score. They spent hours together watching films John Williams worked on, pausing often to interrogate the music. Britell thinks about Louvel often; he died in 2015, in a car accident, just as Britell’s musical career was taking off. He was the first person to ask Britell to write a score, and the question proved transformative. “We were always working on this movie, and I was always with the band, and those experiences really defined my life,” Britell says.But the band broke up after college, and the film he’d done with Louvel wasn’t headed to theaters anytime soon. A classmate who worked at Bear Stearns suggested that Britell consider interviewing. He got an offer and took it. “I was thinking to myself, Oh, in six months, I’ll probably go,” Britell recalls. Louvel’s film would break out; people would snap up the beats he was sending around; someone would hire him to produce. Except none of that happened, for years.Caitlin Sullivan, Britell’s wife, has played on nearly all his scores, including a melody symbolizing love in “Beale Street.” She is also the reason Britell is not currently researching emerging-market currencies in a Midtown office. The two first met when they were 18, studying music at a summer program in Aspen, Colo. — this despite years attending the same Juilliard program. They reunited after college, when Sullivan was embarking on her career as a professional cellist. She took Britell out for a birthday dinner in 2005, and they have been together ever since. By that point, Britell had been in finance for about a year, traveling to interview central bankers and people in finance ministries in Europe and East Asia. He thought he was happy. If you’re a curious person, Sullivan observes, a hypercompetent person, “it’s sometimes hard to actually parse out your true feelings.” For years she watched him come home and play the piano, or improvise beats on his old keyboard. “He’d be up, in a suit, gone around 7:30 a.m. every day and home around dinnertime,” she says. “But he would need to touch the piano.” He scrounged time for projects with friends, including short films for a former classmate, Natalie Portman. (In one of her films, he made a cameo as a cocktail pianist, tucked discreetly behind Lauren Bacall.)In 2008, on a vacation, Sullivan watched the heavy way Britell would pull out his BlackBerry to check the markets. For months, he had been so depressed that it felt like vertigo, but until Sullivan told him he was unhappy, he hadn’t fully known it. The markets, meanwhile, had guttered, Bear Stearns had folded in front of his eyes and, terrifyingly, the smartest people he knew had no idea what was going on. “People were traumatized,” he says. “It was scary to see that end to what I knew about the way that the world’s economy worked.” The demolished instrumentals leading up to the market’s implosion in “The Big Short” are the closest Britell gets to a vocabulary for what it was like to watch the world crash down.In 2010, Britell proposed to Sullivan; a month later, he gave notice. By the time they married, he had started to make trips to Los Angeles, a two-year odyssey of “bouncing couches” and trying to arrange coffee dates with directors and producers. “I was down to do anything,” he says. “I wrote telephone hold music for free. For free.” One evening, Jeremy Kleiner, an executive at Plan B Entertainment, attended a party and noticed someone playing Gershwin in the corner of the room. “We had just gotten a green light for the script of ‘12 Years a Slave’ and hadn’t really gotten into the question of composers,” Kleiner says, “and here’s this guy playing on a grand piano at a cocktail party.” Kleiner introduced Britell to the film’s director, Steve McQueen. Then Plan B introduced him to McKay, and then to Jenkins, and within five years, Britell was being nominated for Oscars.If there’s a through line across Britell’s work, it may be his fascination with winding melodies that make harmonic missteps. The most ambitious example is “Vice,” a kind of antiheroic symphony with an evil heartbeat at its center. It’s a profound technical achievement — buzzing with double fugues and allusions to multiple styles and genres, gesturing toward big-band jazz before ducking away into solo piano or full orchestra. But it’s also a statement about how much Adam McKay trusts Britell. “I don’t even know how to describe our working relationship,” McKay told me. “He’s almost like a producer, because I’ll tell him the idea from the second I have the premise, and he and I will just start kicking it around.”When McKay was beginning to think about a Dick Cheney mocku-biopic, Britell sent him a note about Mahler’s Ninth. The symphony was the last Mahler completed — while working on it, he was slowly dying from a heart condition. Leonard Bernstein suggested that the symphony’s skewed percussive opening was a reflection of Mahler’s own uneven heartbeat. This seemed like an appropriate reference point for a movie about a man whose life has been framed by repeated heart attacks. McKay began listening to the Ninth constantly, writing the script to it, and when he finished, Britell wrote a twisted, magisterial, Ninth-like score. “Vice” sounds like “Peter and the Wolf,” if Peter were also the Wolf.Britell and Barry Jenkins working on the music for “The Underground Railroad” in Los Angeles in November.Emma McIntyre/Getty Images“Dick Cheney’s heart is central to understanding his story,” Britell told me in his studio. “What is a malignant rhythm? How, rhythmically, could you play with it? And then I started doing that harmonically as well.” He turned to his Triton keyboard, the same one he used in the Witness Protection Program, and played the theme slowly, landing hard on the dissonant chords and staring at me intently, as if he were channeling either Dick Cheney or the Phantom of the Opera. “It has the shape of something strong,” he said, and yet it has a deadly flaw. You’re reeled in, then repulsed.There are intriguing parallels between Britell and George Gershwin, another brilliant, energetic Jewish kid who infused the classical canon with the buoyant new genre he loved. Britell’s most arresting scores tend to fuse both ends of his musical education. “Succession” is 18th-century court music married to heart-pounding beats; “Moonlight” chops and screws a classical piano-and-violin duet as if it’s a Three 6 Mafia track. “What I’ve found in the past,” Jon Burlingame told me, “is that people have found it impossible to incorporate such modern musical forms as hip-hop into dramatic underscore for films. When Nick did it in ‘Moonlight,’ I was frankly stunned. I didn’t think it was possible.”Hip-hop was Britell’s initiation to the fragility of sound — how it could be sampled, stretched and broken and somehow, through the breaking, made more powerful. He loves hearing a story in the sounds around notes: the hiss of spun vinyl, or the musician’s breathing. Britell’s signature may be music that’s been through something: As Barry Jenkins puts it, a productive line of inquiry for the two of them has been: How can we break this?Take the scene in “Beale Street” when Daniel struggles to tell Fonny what happened to him in prison — a rape, unmistakable in James Baldwin’s novel, that the movie seems to allude to through Britell’s music and Brian Tyree Henry’s remarkable face. On the surface, Miles Davis plays coolly on a record player. But underneath, Britell has taken the cellos from “Eros,” which scored an early romantic scene, and bent them. “We talked about it almost like we were harming them,” he told me. “Hurting the sound, making it feel like the sound is damaged.” You find similar damage in Britell’s breakout score for “The Big Short.” As the movie opens, in the 1970s, funky horns are the sound of irrational exuberance; later, when Steve Carell’s character realizes the industry is built on 40 years of sand, they return as a faint whine, like a chastened mosquito. “That’s what’s happened to his understanding,” Britell said. “It’s been mangled and stretched out and transformed.”The question of what hip-hop means for Britell may come together most concretely on “Succession.” He had read the pilot script and visited the set with Adam McKay, who suggested him for the project. The show had to have gravitas, Jesse Armstrong told him, but it was also deeply absurd, and the music would have to say both these things at once. It wasn’t clear how Britell could make that happen. Then he started thinking about Kendall Roy, one of the heirs apparent who anchor the show.“The first thing you see,” Britell said, “is he’s in the back of this car rapping to the Beastie Boys.” It’s hard not to think about Kendall as a failed Britell, a parallel-universe version of what he might have been if he had stayed in finance: a Wall Street bro who hides inside his headphones and disconnects from the world he chose. The scene — a young man rapping earnestly inside a chauffeured car — offered a window into how the Roys’ self-conception might contrast sharply with their destructive incompetence. “What if the sound that they imagined for themselves was this dark, courtly, late-1700s harmonic sound?” Britell asked himself. “I played Jesse some of these chords,” he said, “and he was just sort of like, ‘Yes.’”“It was just a wonderful, hairs-on-the-back-of-your-neck feeling that you don’t often have,” Armstrong told me. “To get that feeling, to feel like, Oh, my God, this is something which just feels like the show.” The waltz-like rhythm, reflecting the unsteady dance between the three central siblings, was “a smart insight” that continues to shape the way Armstrong writes the series.The show’s addictive title sequence was the last recording Britell made for Season 1. He had structured the season’s music like a symphony; the title theme, like an overture, introduces you to all the elements you’ll hear in the show, which Britell recited for me. The beguiling melody. The detuned pianos. “The cello melody, the idea of these huge beats, the weird sleigh bell — ” The sleigh bell? “That’s its own thing,” Britell admitted. “That actually doesn’t appear in other parts of the show.” The main theme is everything, but brighter. “You’re presented with these ideas so you will both recognize them but also notice how they change, and you’ll have this set of expectations. This is the world you’re about to enter.” When Britell sent the title theme to the production team, he reminded himself that the nature of his profession is adapting; he’s used to coming up with a hundred ideas, presenting a director a few dozen and possibly seeing them all rejected. But he also thought, I really don’t know what to do if they don’t like this.“I’ll never forget it,” Britell said. “Jesse sent an email back, and he was like, ‘I think the right words for this are [expletive] yeah.’”As Jenkins and I sat on the little studio couch, Britell played an early sketch for the opening of “The Underground Railroad.” A violin bent into a brass fanfare, and then a piano waltzed in, suggesting mystery — another winding melody that makes bewitching missteps. At this point, he and Jenkins had about three hours of music drafted, and at least as many still to go. He scrolled down a long list of file names. “Some of these things, we have a sort of very loose, amorphous idea,” he said, hitting play on another piece. “So this is an idea of descending downward — ”“I think this comes from the cicada,” Jenkins said. “Just that one melody.” He started singing softly. Do do do, do do do …Jenkins had been making recordings on set, collecting natural sounds that Britell would pitch down to make instruments. The piano track he’d played me earlier started out as a field recording: the whistle of cicadas and bird noise, an airy crackling that turned out to be cotton. “I just do Play-Doh with some of this audio,” Britell said, filtering out high frequencies and adding reverb until the cicadas sounded blurry and spectral. In one track, an insect caught in the Play-Doh turned into a bell, tolling the same three ghostly notes. “We don’t know what that is, by the way,” Jenkins said. “We just call him Fred now.”Britell started a new piano track.Jenkins: “And this piano was to match — ”Britell: “Trying to match Fred’s melody.”Jenkins: “So Fred the bug has to get a co-producer credit.”Jenkins had also been drawn to the noises of the human environment during the shoot. “We were shooting down in Savannah,” he said, “and there was a construction site next to our set, and I was like, ‘Oh, that drill has a really nice rhythm to it.’ And so I had the P.A.s go out and record it and sent it to Nick.” Britell started laughing. “I remember getting these texts from you in the middle of the day,” he said, “and it was just noise.”Britell and Jenkins.Emma McIntyre/Getty ImagesThere’s a slight Willy Wonka vibe to Britell in his studio, and as I processed Fred and the drill, he and Jenkins grinned like the inventors of the Everlasting Gobstopper. Over time, the two have grown more comfortable with thinking about a score in terms of manipulated recordings, not just a composition for instruments. “If everything’s in context,” Britell said, “the drill is music.” In “Moonlight,” they used ocean sounds; in “Beale Street,” subways. They were looking forward to getting new fire sounds. “We actually do have people on set burning things,” Jenkins said.Aria“The Underground Railroad”Britell cued up early footage from the show: images of an enslaved family in ragged clothing, faces stinging with confrontation; a white-haired Black man standing alone in a cotton field as cicada noises crackled, as if the field were catching fire; two young Black women seated at a dance, a man bowing and offering his hand — a fairy-tale sequence that feels more like a horror movie.“I didn’t mind the fire being out by that point,” Jenkins said. “Right as he reached for her hand.”I didn’t fully understand what they were up to until Britell played me a trailer they made for the Television Critics Association, a summary of the show’s music that starts with frantic arpeggios, almost unbearably high, then moves through the waltzing midrange of the Fred-the-bug piano melody and settles gradually into a resonant bass. “It’s that descending idea,” he said. “Going underground, going downward.” The final bass notes were made from the sounds of the drill — you literally hit earth. They weren’t drawn to the drill just because they wanted to allude to the show’s title. It was an attraction Jenkins had to a sound that felt right, and then became right. “We start with an idea,” Britell said. “It’s a feeling. It could even be really subtle. That’s why I’m so sensitive to these early things. We need those early places. And the great part is when you start with these things, and you don’t know why, and then they actually — ”“Start to make sense,” Jenkins said.“And you’re just like, Oh, that’s why we’ve been following this.”Sitting in the dark with empty bottles of seltzer, none of us could have anticipated that the world was about to shut down. By the time the show neared completion a year later, Britell and Jenkins would be engaged in their most radical experiments to date. By that point, Britell’s language for parts of the project was bracingly tactile: He spoke of “stripping sounds down” to an “abrasive” raw surface, peeling them to their bones. When he bent notes enough, he says, “they revealed whole other characters.” “The Underground Railroad” emerged from last year broken and changed but still recognizable; you can feel that February session still underfoot. “It all winds up somewhere,” Britell had told me. “There’s no wrong turn.”As we wrapped up, Jenkins concluded, “The piano just works for the show.”“It does.”“Like, I can see the episodes when I hear this stuff.”“And what’s so interesting is at no point in any of the other projects did we feel that way,” Britell said.“The piano’s just the bedrock, man,” Jenkins said. “The piano and Fred.”Jamie Fisher is a writer whose work focuses on culture and literary criticism. She is working on a collection of short stories. This is her first feature for the magazine. More
A box set of recordings pairs Stravinsky, 50 years after his death, with the conductor who championed his works.On April 6, 1971, a balmy spring day in New Haven, Conn., I arrived at the main building of the Yale School of Music a little late for a piano lesson. But I stopped at the front door. Someone had tacked up a small white note card: “Igor Stravinsky died today.”Those four words staggered me. Stravinsky had been central to the entire span of 20th-century music thus far. His “Rite of Spring,” from 1913, had been part of the creation of modernism — what seemed like ancient history. Yet in an analysis class that very semester in 1971, we were studying the score of what was still quite a new piece — his extraordinary “Requiem Canticles,” from 1966 — trying to understand the ways he had adapted 12-tone technique to his own ends. He seemed almost to embody the entirety of modern music and its various styles. What would happen now that he was gone?I’d been a Stravinsky fan since my early teens, when I listened over and over to the recording he conducted of his “Firebird.” The closest I came to him in person was in the spring of 1966. I had just graduated from high school and was attending all the programs of a Stravinsky festival presented by the New York Philharmonic. The final concert ended with the composer leading a performance of his “Symphony of Psalms.” I can’t tell you how many musicians I’ve met since then who have envied me for being there that day.Stravinsky was in the audience for the first program, which was conducted by Leonard Bernstein and ended with “The Rite of Spring.” Even today, that piece still has the power to shock. Back then, when it was not as familiar, the music seemed truly mind-blowing, especially in Bernstein’s mysterious and volcanic, yet somehow cohesive and eerily beautiful performance.During the ovation, Stravinsky, who was seated at the front of the first tier, stood up, smiled and gestured his thanks to Bernstein and the orchestra musicians. During intermission he had remained in his seat, and ushers kept students like me away. But I got close enough to wave at him eagerly; I think he saw me.Stravinsky and Bernstein were linked in my mind: the world’s greatest living composer and his greatest (and certainly most famous) champion. That reputation has lingered: To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Stravinsky’s death, Sony has released a box set pairing these two artists.Yet Bernstein’s Stravinsky discography is actually frustratingly small; the Sony set contains only six discs. Even in the concert hall, Bernstein did not conduct the range of Stravinsky works he might have — unlike the comprehensive approach he took to, for example, the symphonies of Mahler.Bernstein recording Stravinsky’s “Oedipus Rex” with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Hall in 1972.Sony Music EntertainmentStravinsky was central to much of the span of the 20th century and its music.Sam Falk/The New York TimesBernstein was one of Stravinsky’s greatest (and certainly most famous) conductor champions.Sam Falk/The New York TimesStarting in the 1950s, when Stravinsky was still a challenging composer for most audiences, Bernstein led accounts of pieces that clearly compelled him, especially the “The Rite of Spring” and “The Firebird,” as well as seminal works from Stravinsky’s Neo-Classical period, like Symphony in Three Movements, the Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments, Symphony of Psalms and more.The “Rite,” Bernstein’s signature piece, kept turning up, even on one of his Philharmonic Young People’s Concerts, in 1958, which opened with Haydn’s Symphony No. 104, followed by the Stravinsky. Bernstein must have thought that you might as well start students early on the “Rite” and show them what “classical” music could really sound like. Can you imagine that being presented as an educational program today?A couple of the recordings in the Sony set are classics, including two accounts of the “Rite”: Bernstein’s original 1958 version with the Philharmonic, and his reconsidered, still molten, yet more weighty and heaving account from 1972 with the London Symphony Orchestra.The revelation, for me, is a disc that pairs two lesser-known recordings: “Symphony of Psalms,” from 1972, with the London Symphony Orchestra and the English Bach Festival Chorus, and the opera-oratorio “Oedipus Rex,” recorded later that year with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, some excellent singers (including the tenor René Kollo as Oedipus and the mezzo-soprano Tatiana Troyanos as Jocasta) and the Harvard Glee Club. That “Oedipus” was recorded at Symphony Hall in Boston, in conjunction with the Norton Lectures that Bernstein delivered at Harvard in 1973.In the sixth and final of those lectures, “The Poetry of Earth,” Bernstein discusses the intentional stylistic incongruities in Stravinsky’s Neo-Classical works, singling out “Symphony of Psalms,” scored unusually for four-part chorus and an orchestra with just lower strings (no violins or violas), woodwinds (except for clarinets), brass and percussion, including two pianos. The chorus sings Latin versions of three psalm texts; the music looks back to the heritage of sacred vocal works, yet through an austere contemporary prism. The first movement, a setting of verses from Psalm 38 (“Hear my prayer, O Lord”), is a “prayer with teeth in it, a prayer made of steel,” Bernstein said in his lecture. “It violates our expectations, shatters us with its irony.”Bernstein brings those qualities to life in his recording, right from what he called the “brusque, startling, pistol-shot of a chord” that opens the movement, immediately followed by “some kind of Bachian finger exercises.” The tempo is daringly reined in. The instrumental textures are dark and weighty, yet remain dry and lucid. The choristers sound solemn and stoic on the surface, but a pleading, almost desperate edge to their singing comes through.The whole performance evolves in this manner, with Bernstein focusing on Stravinsky’s tart, hard-edge harmonies, even in the gravely beautiful slow second movement. Stravinsky’s counterintuitive choral setting of the word “alleluia,” which opens the third movement with chords that sound yearning and almost hopeless, comes across with affecting poignancy. At first I thought Bernstein might have gone too far with his approach — that the performance overall comes close to plodding. Not so. It’s now my favorite version.Bernstein, recording “Oedipus Rex,” maintained a grave tone throughout the score.Sony Music EntertainmentBernstein made the “Oedipus Rex” recording essentially so that he could use it to demonstrate some points in that final Norton lecture about stylistic misalliances. He argued that in composing this take on ancient Greek tragedy — which uses a Latin translation of Jean Cocteau’s French version — Stravinsky somehow found resonances with Verdi, specifically “Aida.” That might seem incongruous, Bernstein said. But what matters, he went on to explain, was that somewhere deep in Stravinsky’s consciousness “the basic metaphor contained in ‘Aida’ registered, stuck, and connected with the corresponding deep metaphor in ‘Oedipus Rex.’”The “Oedipus” score begins with a four-note motif, thickly harmonized by chorus and orchestra, in which the people of Thebes implore Oedipus to save the city from a deadly plague. Bernstein, in his lecture, convincingly links that motif to a pleading phrase sung by Aida, beseeching the princess Amneris, her captor and rival in love, to have pity on her.Bernstein’s performance of this opening blast is emphatic and anguished, and significantly slower than in Stravinsky’s own recording. Bernstein maintains that grave tone throughout the score, making the most of the passages with winding Verdian lyricism; juicing every crunchy chord; and, when called for, letting the chorus and orchestra flail away with clipped rhythmic intensity.The Sony box also offers bracingly crisp performances of the chamber work “L’Histoire du Soldat” and the Octet for Wind Instruments, which Bernstein recorded with players from the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1947. I also love the accounts of the Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments, with Seymour Lipkin as the piano soloist, and “Petrushka” (the 1947 version) with the New York Philharmonic. (As a bonus, there is also a recording of Bernstein discussing Stravinsky and his “Petrushka” ballet.)As it turned out, my last direct encounter with Bernstein also involved the “Rite.” In the summer of 1987 at Tanglewood, three years before his death, he spent a week rehearsing a large orchestra of college-age players for a performance of the piece. Though the rehearsals were closed to the public, I was then a freelance critic at The Boston Globe and was permitted to watch. At times I even sat onstage, behind the players, so I could see Bernstein as he faced them.Bernstein in rehearsal at Tanglewood in the summer of 1987.Heinz H. Weissenstein/Whitestone Photo, via BSO ArchivesThese gifted young artists could barely believe that the most celebrated classical musician in the world was teaching them — and this, of all pieces. Though he was infamous for being overly emotional, a gusher of enthusiasm, Bernstein in rehearsal was precise, exacting and impressively specific with his descriptions of the music. In one restless passage for the bassoons, Bernstein found the playing too jittery and playful.“It’s not a fanfare,” he said. “Ever heard a Russian choir singing in elongated notes?”That was the deep, resonant sound and character that he wanted. And the players got it. During the “Spring Rounds” section, he said that the music had to be “an assortment of groans and wails and troll sounds.” His words elicited collective nods, and the orchestra’s playing came alive. It was ominous and wild, without a trace of caricature. More
Edwards recalls crying because she thought she looked stupid wearing a man’s clothes for her girl group’s music video which came out recently to support new single ‘Confetti’.
May 6, 2021
Little Mix star Perrie Edwards was far from happy when she discovered she’d have to dress and behave like a guy for the group’s new “Confetti” video.
The pop star admits she’s too much of a “girly-girl” to play a man and felt way out of her comfort zone.
“I actually think I cried,” Perrie told the BBC’s Nick Grimshaw. “I was like, ‘I can’t be a boy, I’m not very good at it!’ It was really hard because like, Jade was living her best life. She was like, ‘I wear baggy stuff anyway, I love being like, slouched…’ ”
Bandmate Jade Thirlwall agreed, explaining she had a blast, “It was probably the most fun we’ve ever had on a video shoot. We obviously are the male versions of ourselves…”
“It was something that we’ve wanted to do for such a long time. It took about six, seven hours getting prosthetics done for it, so we really went all in… We really delivered.”
But Perrie thought she looked “stupid” as a guy.
“I think that’s why it was good, ‘cos we just went against the stereotype and lived our best lives,” she added. “It was fun but the prosthetics, jeez. When they peeled them off at the end of the day, it was like taking off your bra. It was the best feeling in the world.”
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The 2018 workshop for a possible revival of the lush musical was never meant to be seen by the public, but will now stream as a benefit this weekend.When Marsha Norman suggested to the producer Jerry Goehring the idea of streaming the 2018 workshop of a stalled Broadway revival of “The Secret Garden” as a benefit, he thought it was a great idea.He just didn’t know if it would be possible.“I was like, ‘Honestly, I don’t know that it’s ever been done before,’” said Goehring, a member of the team angling to bring back to Broadway the sumptuous musical that has never been revived there since the Tony Award-winning 1991 production that starred Mandy Patinkin.Securing the rights to stream a musical — much less a workshop, footage that was never intended to see the light of day and showcases actors in their rawest form — can be complicated.But it helped that Norman, the musical’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book writer, was already on board — as was the new director, Warren Carlyle (“After Midnight”), and all 21 actors, among them Sierra Boggess (Lily), Clifton Duncan (Archibald Craven) and Drew Gehling (Neville Craven).“They were all asking ‘Please, what can we do to help?’” Goehring said this week.Getting buy-in from every member involved and compensating the actors were the stipulations for Actors’ Equity Association, the labor union, to grant permission for the project, which will benefit The Dramatists Guild Foundation and The Actors Fund.“They said they rarely get requests for archival recordings,” said Goehring, who teamed with the producers Michael F. Mitri and Carl Moellenberg to develop the project. “But, if, at the end of the day, 100 percent of their members involved in the show agree, we could do it.”The two-hour workshop, which includes a full run-through of the show sans costumes or sets, will premiere on Broadway on Demand on Thursday, May 6 at 8 p.m. and remain available through May 9. It is dedicated to Rebecca Luker, the musical’s original Lily, who died in December at age 59 less than a year after announcing she had A.L.S.“It’s wonderful and terrifying at the same time,” said Carlyle, who directed and choreographed the workshop. “It’s in its rawest form, with all my terrible ideas and some good ones. It’s really like pulling back the curtain.”Goehring said the workshop showcases the production at its “very beginning” stages — and was never intended to be seen by any kind of audience, much less the public.“We didn’t plan on inviting anyone,” he said, noting that the authors had initially just wanted a chance to take their first look at the entire show — artistically. “But it turned out so special that everyone agreed we should invite our friends in the industry, including Broadway theater owners, to get their opinion.”Mandy Patinkin, left, and Daisy Eagan in the original Broadway production, for which Eagan, at just 11, earned a Tony Award.Bob Marshak, via the Everett CollectionThe musical, based on the 1911 children’s novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, tells the story of an orphaned English girl whose personality blossoms as she and a sickly cousin restored a neglected garden. The original Broadway production earned three Tonys, with a cast that included Luker, Patinkin, a pre-Hedwig John Cameron Mitchell and 11-year-old Daisy Eagan, who won for her performance as the heroine Mary Lennox.The revival, Carlyle said, is a “complete reimagining.” It will feature pared-back sets, more intimate orchestrations and different scenic design. But all of Lucy Simon’s songs are intact, he reassured fans of the original, just shifted around — not that anyone would dare cut “Lily’s Eyes.”“We joke that we lost a lot of big bushes,” he said. “Lots of big scene transitions from back in the early ’90s have been eliminated, so it really flows much better.”It’s clear, Carlyle said, that the workshop is a rough draft: The garden is imaginary; the dress code more T-shirts than waistcoats. Pieces of tape on the bare floor mark the edge of the stage, as well as where the wings would be. There are only a few props.“There are no frills,” he said. “Which allows me, as a director, to make sure we’re getting the story right.”To help people keep track of scene changes, the team inserted digital renderings by the production designer Jason Sherwood (“Rent: Live”) as transitions. But ultimately, Carlyle said, the material speaks for itself.From left: Drew Gehling, Sierra Boggess (near back wall) and Clifton Duncan in three of the musical’s key roles.via The Secret Garden workshop“The book Marsha has written and Lucy’s music are so strong that you can be in an empty room with talented artists and have it move you just as much as if it were on a Broadway stage,” he said.There are reasons the show has never been revived on Broadway: Critics said the lavish set and elaborate costumes left the actors fighting to be in focus, and the book was overstuffed with secondary characters.“Whether ‘The Secret Garden’ is a compelling dramatic adaptation of its source or merely a beautiful, stately shrine to it is certain to be a subject of intense audience debate,” The New York Times theater critic Frank Rich wrote in his review of the original. “I, for one, often had trouble locating the show’s pulse.”Broadway is still a target for the future, Goehring said, though the pandemic has thrown the timeline in flux.“We are not seeking new investment right now,” he said. “Our only goal is to raise money for the nonprofits.”The 2018 workshop was the latest in a string of high-profile iterations of the musical that also included a 2016 concert at Lincoln Center featuring Ben Platt, Ramin Karimloo and Boggess. David Armstrong directed a production at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle and Washington D.C.’s Shakespeare Theater Company in 2016-17.No cast has yet been set or theater secured, but Goehring hopes the orchestrations will begin taking shape in the fall.“As soon as we can all get back in a room again, we’ll keep working on it,” he said.“Our ultimate goal is to make this as good as we can,” he added. “However long that takes.”Inside The Secret Garden: Workshop and Livestream ExperienceMay 6-9; livestream.broadwayondemand.com More
Also set to help celebrate the 10th anniversary of the festival are Megan Thee Stallion, J Balvin, DaBaby, Ellie Goulding, Young Thug, 21 Savage and Phoebe Bridgers among many others.
May 5, 2021
Billie Eilish, Post Malone and A$AP Rocky are heading to New York to help celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Governors Ball festival.
Organizers had originally planned to mark the milestone last June (2020) with headliners Stevie Nicks, Missy Elliott and Tame Impala, but the three-day concert had to be scrapped when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
Now officials have unveiled an all-new line-up to take center stage for their rescheduled gigs, which were recently postponed from this summer to the “more realistic” autumn.
Also set to perform from September 24 to 26 are Megan Thee Stallion, J Balvin, DaBaby, new mum Ellie Goulding, Leon Bridges, Young Thug, 21 Savage, Portugal. The Man, Phoebe Bridgers, Jamie XX, Carly Rae Jepsen, Burna Boy, Bleachers and Future Islands among many others.
About the event, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement, “Building a recovery for all of us means reconnecting with the iconic events that make New York City the greatest travel destination in the world.”
“As more New Yorkers become vaccinated by the day, we’re proud to support arts and culture and welcome back Governors Ball and their fantastic lineup, including New York City’s own Princess Nokia, A$AP Rocky, and King Princess, among others,” he added.
The shows will take place at the Citi Field complex in Queens.
The inclusion of Billie to the Ball’s line-up came shortly after she was announced to be one of 2021 Met Gala’s co-chairs. On Monday, May 3, Vogue revealed that the “Bad Guy” hitmaker will take on the role alongside actor Timothee Chalamet, tennis star Naomi Osaka and poet Amanda Gorman.
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The former Little Mix member gets candid about her decision to leave the girl group, claiming she felt ‘enormous pressure’ for being constantly compared to her bandmates.
May 5, 2021
Former Little Mix star Jesy Nelson has discovered she has an ally in Liam Payne should her life after band fame prove difficult.
The 29-year-old singer, who is now embarking on a solo career, reveals the One Direction star was one of the first people to reach out to her after she announced she was leaving the girl group at the end of 2020.
“A few band members have reached out to me,” she said. “Liam Payne from One Direction was one of them. He actually sent me a really nice message, just basically saying, if I ever wanted to talk, he’s always here, which was really lovely.”
Nelson quit the girl group to focus on a series of personal mental health issues and, in a new interview with Cosmopolitan, she opens up a little more about her decision, recalling her breaking point came on the set of the band’s music video for its 2020 single, “Sweet Melody”.
“On the day of the Sweet Melody video I had a panic attack on set, because I didn’t look how I wanted to look and I found it so hard to just be happy and enjoy myself. I was sobbing in the dressing room,” she shared.
“Someone really close to me said, ‘This has got to stop. You can’t keep doing this to yourself. You’re going to end up where you were before.’ ”
“For me, that was the pinnacle point. I was like, ‘I need to start taking care of myself now because this isn’t healthy.’ It wasn’t nice for the other three to be around someone who didn’t want to be there. So I took a break.”
And when she finally decided to walk away from Little Mix for good, Nelson recalls feeling a huge wave of relief.
“It was a mix of emotions,” she explained. “I was sad, but at the same time, mentally, I felt free and like a massive weight had been lifted off my shoulders because for me, I felt an enormous amount of pressure being in a girl group.”
“The hardest part about being in a girl group for me, was constantly being compared to three other girls and not feeling as though I was good enough.”
Nelson was recently spotted in the recording studio working on new solo material and reports suggest a handful of top labels are fighting to land her as an artist.
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Will Smith to Document His Journey to Get Back in Shape on New Docuseries
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The ‘What About Love’ hitmaker has been officially announced as a special honoree at the upcoming Billboard Music Awards which is going to be hosted by Nick Jonas.
May 5, 2021
Pop star Pink is “humbled” after learning she will be feted with the Icon Award at the 2021 Billboard Music Awards.
The “Just Give Me a Reason” hitmaker will also perform at the Los Angeles ceremony on 23 May (21), when she will become the 10th recipient of the top honour, which “recognises outstanding artists who have achieved excellence on the Billboard charts and have made an indelible mark on music itself,” according to event organisers.
Sharing her joy at the news, Pink says, “As a little girl, I always dreamed about being a singer and sharing my love of music with the world. Years later, to receive the Billboard Music Awards Icon Award is hard to fathom.”
“I feel so honoured to join the ranks of music idols like Cher, Garth Brooks, Janet Jackson and Stevie Wonder. It’s a true ‘pinch me’ moment and I feel humbled and blessed.”
Previous superstars to receive the accolade also include Jennifer Lopez, Mariah Carey, and Celine Dion.
The event will take place less than a week before her new tour documentary, “Pink: All I Know So Far”, debuts on the Amazon streaming service on 29 May. The film chronicles her 2019 “Beautiful Trauma” trek, and is directed by “The Greatest Showman” ‘s Michael Gracey.
The upcoming Billboard Music Awards will be hosted by Nick Jonas. The Weeknd who was snubbed at this year’s Grammys leads the nominees with a total of sixteen mentions, thanks to his hit studio album “After Hours”.
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Elizabeth Olsen to Play Real-Life Axe Murderer on New Series ‘Love and Death’
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The pop star known for defying gender stereotypes got a glamour makeover with a corset. Not everyone is happy about it.Billie Eilish wants you to know she is in charge, brash and self-assured enough to scrap the raffish image that helped garner her a world of fans in favor of something a little more … adult.She vamps this month on the cover of British Vogue, a portrait of artfully crafted provocation. The singer once identified by her shock of green hair has gone blonde and full bombshell, swapping her trademark sweats for a style more domme than deb: pink Gucci corset and skirt over Agent Provocateur skivvies, accessorized with latex gloves and leggings.The choice was her own, Edward Enninful, the magazine’s editor in chief, wrote in the June issue. “What if, she wondered, she wanted to show more of her body for the first time in a fashion story?” Mr. Enninful recalled. “What if she wanted to play with corsetry and revel in the aesthetic of the mid-20th century pin-ups she’s always loved? It was time, she said, for something new.”To that end Ms. Eilish embraced the shopworn trimmings of female allure, offering the camera, without apparent irony, a nod to the sirens of golden age Hollywood and some of more recent vintage: Taylor Swift, Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion among them. And she is owning her look. An icon of body positivity who once cloaked her curves under neon tone track suits and hoodies, she appears to be done with all that. “My thing is that I can do whatever I want,” she told the journalist Laura Snapes, going on to disarm would-be haters with a pre-emptive strike.Craig McDean“Suddenly you’re a hypocrite if you want to show your skin, and you’re easy and you’re a slut,” Ms. Eilish said in the interview. “Let’s turn it around and be empowered in that. Showing your body and showing your skin — or not — should not take any respect away from you.”Indeed. “Her pushback has been her agency in this,” said Lucie Greene, a trend forecaster and brand consultant. “After all, like many of her Gen Z peers, Eilish has a sophisticated understanding of visual language and representation. She’s built a following for confidently subverting beauty codes. And she’s applying the same confidence to this.”Still, some may well question her agency, asking if, at 19, Ms. Eilish has the sense or sagacity to weather the possible fallout. Consider Tavi Gevinson, the fashion blogger turned writer and actress once known for her bulky layers and granny glasses. Writing in The Cut recently, Ms. Gevinson described doing a photo shoot at 18. Prompted to pose on her bed, she dressed in a skimpy romper, “pouting,” she recalled, “with heavily lined eyes and straightened blonde hair.” Sure, she was eager to sass up her image. And, she wrote, “if anyone who was there told me the whole setup was my idea, I would believe them.”Ms. Eilish seems similarly inclined to present her metamorphosis as a shrewdly brazen, self-determined update. Some fans are cheering. “She looks just as awesome now as she did in oversized clothing,” Karin Ann Trabelssie, a 19-year-old student from Jelina, in Slovakia, said via text. Like Ms. Eilish, she once evaded scrutiny, hiding a frame she described as curvy under baggy shirts and trousers. Exultant at her idol’s new image, she wrote, “I very rarely see anyone with a similar body type to me do something like this. It’s empowering.”Others feel betrayed. “Before: unique, different, a class of her own,” Stewin @jetztissesraus posted, on Twitter. “After: mainstream, exchangeable, slick and polished. Why?”That question was bound to arise. In an earlier phase of her career, Ms. Eilish could claim the distinction of being a one-off. A stylist, she insisted, had no place in her life. “I could easily just be like, you know what, you’re going to pick out my clothes, someone else will come up with my video treatments, someone else will direct them and I won’t have anything to do with them,” she said in a profile in The New York Times. “But I’m not that kind of person and I’m not that kind of artist.”Yet for Vogue, she placed her trust and vaunted image entirely in a team, one that, as it happens, was led by Dena Giannini, the magazine’s style director, with input from top rung designers including Alessandro Michele of Gucci. Her transformation would seem to suggest that Ms. Eilish is content these days to abandon her formerly maverick stance in favor of a fetish-tinctured bombshell look that seemed hackneyed when Madonna was a girl. If her reinvention poses a risk, it is that of becoming just another cliché. More
The ‘Can’t Let Go’ singer reveals that she spent a week in intensive care and a month of therapy at a Nashville hospital after struggling to maintain her balance in the bathroom of her home.
May 4, 2021
Americana singer/songwriter Lucinda Williams is eyeing a summer return to the stage after suffering a secret stroke last year (2020).
The “Can’t Let Go” star reveals she was hospitalized on November 17 after struggling to maintain her balance in the bathroom of her home in Nashville, Tennessee, and admitted to Vanderbilt Medical Center, where she spent a week in intensive care, before undergoing a month of therapy as an in-patient.
Luckily, Williams didn’t suffer any speech problems or any lasting brain damage, and is expected to make a full recovery, and she has been working on regaining her strength ever since she was discharged just before Christmas.
“What happens is your brain gets all… the wires get all crossed and you have to retrain your brain basically, to tell your arm to do whatever it is you’re trying to do,” Williams told Rolling Stone. “So that’s the biggest challenge.”
Addressing the team of medical aides and therapists who make regular visits to her home, she said, “It feels like we’re in somebody else’s house. I do, like, walking, with the cane and they watch me and see how well I’m doing. And then I have to do hand and arm exercises. It’s really about regaining my strength and mobility, and range of motion. That’s what they work with me on.”
Williams and her husband, Tom Overby, have only recently started to tell close friends about the health scare, but the musician was hesitant about making an online announcement because she didn’t want to turn it into a big deal.
“I thought about going to Facebook, but I didn’t want to make it a big, alarming thing,” she shared. “Because you know how Facebook is – everybody’s like, ‘We’re praying for you and everything,’ you know? I didn’t want people to overreact. I kind of felt like going off the grid a little bit.”
Williams had to cancel a planned performance at the weekend’s (May 1 and 2) Mile 0 Festival in Key West, Florida due to her ongoing recovery, but she is hoping to be fit enough to make her live concert return this summer.
“I feel good and positive about playing again. We’ve got some shows scheduled with Jason Isbell for late July and we’re planning on doing those,” she declared. “I don’t know if I’ll stand up and sing or I’ll sit down like an old blues person. But we’ll figure it out.”
She added, “The main thing is I can still sing. I’m singing my a** off, so that hasn’t been affected. Can’t keep me down for too long.”
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Kylie Jenner ‘Very Close and Affectionate’ With Travis Scott During His Birthday Party in Miami More