i really enjoy her concerts
Violence may not be the first thing that comes to mind from the pristine sound of a harp, a woman’s elfin voice and the genteel, elaborate backup of a symphony orchestra. But for Joanna Newsom, the songwriter, singer and harpist who will be performing her entire 2006 album “Ys” (pronounced ees) with the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra on Thursday and Friday nights at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, “emotional violence and brutality” are at the core of the songs, from their cataclysmic lyrics to their jumpy harmonies.
“References to upheavals, betrayals and deaths float through the lyrics on “Ys.” The songs encompass animal fables, visions of war and poetic disquisitions on the differences among a meteorite, a meteor and a meteoroid. When Ms. Newsom wrote the music, “I wanted to start with a bass line that had the same violence, that didn’t seem organic or natural in the shifts that it made,” she said. “There’s a lot of strange chromaticism.” Then, “to lace these weird global shifts together,” she came up with concise melodies rooted in folk songs, which provide some stability atop the turbulence. And to bind the simplicity and the complexity, she decided to use an orchestra.”