Sarah Jerrom – Magpie

Sarah Jerrom – Magpie

March 3, 2024

Sarah Jerrom: Voice, Compositions, Narrative
Conductor: Christian Overton
Voices: Laura Swankey, Galen Sedlak, Jackson Welchner
Woodwinds: Laura Chambers (fl, afl, picc); Chieh-Ying Lu (ob); Tara Davidson (as, ss, fl); Mike Murley (ts, ss, cl); Kirk MacDonald (ts, cl); Shirantha Beddage (bs, bcl)
Trumpet & Flugelhorn: James Rhodes (lead); Kevin Turcotte, Brian O’Kane
French Horn: Olivia Esther
Trombone: William Carn, Zach Smith, Emily Ferrell, Tom Richards (bs tbn)
Piano: Nancy Walker
Bass: Rob McBride
Drums: Ernesto Cervini

The Magpie Suite – an evocative and transformative musical journey for expanded jazz orchestra and 4 voices – was born from a moment of awe. During a residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts in January 2018, composer Sarah Jerrom observed a gathering of magpies and crows performing a dance in the middle of a winter storm. At the time, Jerrom was working on a deeply personal composition defying the stigma and taboo surrounding pregnancy loss. This experience not only captivated her but also set the narrative trajectory for this new piece. The complex world of magpies became a rich metaphor woven throughout the suite’s musical narrative.

The suite, which had its premiere on April 6, 2023 in Toronto, is a masterful blend of storytelling and music, guided by the folkloric nursery rhyme One for Sorrow. It takes the listener on a journey through the eyes of its main character, Woman/Magpie, exploring profound themes such as feminism, infertility, grief, hope, and love. Each of the suite’s eight movements offers a distinct musical experience, seamlessly integrating elements of classical and jazz performance. A quartet of vocalists led by Jerrom adds another dimension to  these dynamic and immersive soundscapes. Magpie is a tour de force, an emotional odyssey, a narrative of resilience, transformation, and the magic of storytelling through music.

Release Date: Friday, April 12th 2024 on TPR Records.