Perspectives: Magnetic Fields:
50 Song Memoir
Monday 28th August (Programme A), 8.00pm and
Tuesday 29th August (Programme B), 8.00pm
Room: Main Stage
Prices: €37.50, €32, €27.50
Book tickets for both nights (Programme A & B) for €55. Click Here to avail of this offer.
Stephin Merritt, the master craftsman behind the Magnetic Fields’ 69 Love Songs, is one of our great living songwriters—a sardonic Stephen Foster with an expansive literary wit. Celebrating his 50th birthday and a new album on Nonesuch Records. Merritt and band perform two distinct programmes of new songs—one for every year of his melodious existence. In a spectacular staging featuring 50 instruments from Merritt’s formidable collection, the seven-member band recounts his five decades on planet Earth, covering everything from bedbugs and Buddhism to his conception by hippies on a houseboat in St. Thomas.
Each performance will be a separate programme.
The whole album will take place over two nights: songs 1 through 25 on 28th August and songs 26 through 50 on 29th August
“Stephin Merritt has distinguished himself as one of contemporary pop’s most beloved and influential artists” The New York Times
50 Song Memoir is the new album from songwriter Stephin Merritt’s beloved recording project, the Magnetic Fields. This personal album, containing fifty songs, one for each year of the artist’s life, is projected for a late 2016/early 2017 release on Nonesuch Records. The album commenced recording on Stephin Merritt’s fiftieth birthday, February 9, 2015.
To date, Merritt has written and recorded ten Magnetic Fields albums, including the popular and critically acclaimed album, 69 Love Songs. A song from that record, The Book of Love, has been covered by Peter Gabriel, and has appeared in numerous TV shows and films; notably, the Nairobi Chamber Orchestra performed it at an official state dinner in Kenya, before Presidents Barack Obama and Uhuru Kenyatta delivered their toasts. Merritt has also composed original music and lyrics for several music theater pieces, including an off-Broadway stage musical of Neil Gaiman's novel Coraline, for which he received an Obie Award. In 2014, Merritt composed songs and background music for the first musical episode of public radio’s This American Life. Stephin Merritt also releases albums under the band names the 6ths, the Gothic Archies, and Future Bible Heroes.
Unlike Merritt’s previous work, the lyrics on 50 Song Memoir are nonfiction, a mix of autobiography (bedbugs, Buddhism, buggery) and documentary (hippies, Hollywood, hyperacusis). There is one song per year for the fifty years since the songwriter’s birth in 1965. Musically, the sound ranges as widely and adventurously as possible, within the context of lyrics-driven music.
In concert, the music will be played and sung by seven performers in a stage set featuring fifty years of artifacts both musical (vintage computers, reel-to-reel tape decks, newly invented instruments), and decorative (tiki bar, shag carpet, vintage magazines for the perusal of idle musicians). The seven performers each play seven different instruments, traditional (cello, charango, clavichord) or invented in the last fifty years (Slinky guitar, Swarmatron, synthesizer).
In describing his approach to writing 50 Song Memoir, Merritt states:
The stage extravaganza will be directed by the award-winning Jose Zayas (Love in the Time of Cholera, Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter).
Presented by NCH