Grammy Nomination Info
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"Invention & Alchemy"
2007 GRAMMY NOMINEE for
"BEST CLASSICAL CROSSOVER ALBUM"
Deborah Henson-Conant
Grand Rapids Symphony • David Lockington, conductor

Deborah Henson-Conant's project, “Invention & Alchemy” - with the Grand Rapids Symphony, conductor David Lockington and producer Jonathan Wyner - received a 2007 Grammy Nomination for "Best Classical Crossover Album."

The DVD version of the project includes a 97-minute feature presentation and nearly 50 minutes of bonus special features. The Grammy-Nominated CD version is an audio-only version of the DVD, and, with both music and stories, was created to be listened to as audio music theatre – a cross between a soundtrack album and a radio play,

GRAMMY NOMINATION FAQs
“Invention & Alchemy” 2007 GRAMMY Nomination
for “Best Classical Crossover Album”
Deborah Henson-Conant • Grand Rapids Symphony • David Lockington, conductor

DID DEBORAH GO TO THE GRAMMYS? DID THEY WIN? WHAT HAPPENED?
Deborah and her staff, friends and family went to the Grammys, had a FABULOUS time and didn't win the golden Gramophone -- this time! You can read their Grammy Diaries and see some pictures here.


HOW DID "INVENTION & ALCHEMY" GET NOMINATED?
Producer Jonathan Wyner submitted the CD to the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, the membership voted, and “Invention & Alchemy” won a nomination for “Best Classical Crossover Album.”


DID THE DVD & CD BOTH WIN THE NOMINATION?
GRAMMY Awards are for audio recordings, not for film or video. So, officially, the CD won the nomination – though it’s the same music that’s on the DVD.


HOW MANY GRAMMY CATEGORIES ARE THERE?
There are 108 categories within 30 genres of music such as pop, gospel, rap and classical. "Invention & Alchemy" was nominated in the "Best Classical Crossover Album" category.


WHAT DOES “CLASSICAL CROSSOVER” MEAN? WHAT’S IT CROSSING OVER FROM... OR TO?
Wikipedia says: “In music, crossover is a term used to describe material borrowed from a different style or genre and whose popularity crosses the considered boundaries of styles or genres. One way of defining crossover is a work from one genre of music becoming popular among listeners who ordinarily listen to another, more popular genre.”

“Invention & Alchemy” is also considered “Classical Crossover” simply because it uses an ensemble that’s generally considered a classical ensemble (the symphony orchestra), to play “non-classical” music. From what we can tell, "Classical Crossover" is any music that crosses over the divide between what's traditionally considered classical music and music that is more influenced by current popular culture.


WHY IS “INVENTION & ALCHEMY” CONSIDERED A “CLASSICAL CROSSOVER” ALBUM?
In the case of “Invention & Alchemy,” the music itself is a crossover that mixes underlying structures of classical, jazz, folk, flamenco and other genres. For example, “Baroque Flamenco” (the first cut on the CD) starts with a classical minuet and a classical structure called a "Rondo," but that melody is alternated with sections built on a fast latin rhythm called “Naningo” (a rhythm most familiar from Leonard Bernstein’s “America”) and the whole piece culminates in a "cadenza" (a free improvisatory-type section) - on the harp - in a Flamenco style. So there's a LOT of crossover in Baroque Flamenco.

This stylistic crossover is inspired in part by Deborah’s musical imagination and her background in both classical and jazz-based styles, but also by the story inside the piece: the story of a troupe of Flamenco dancers who discover that their new guitar is really a time-machine -- and who end up crashing a Minuet party thrown by Marie Antoinette.

"The Danger Zone" is a similar hybrid of classical and non-classical ideas. The melody is angular and offbeat, but follows the structure of a very short sonata -- except that the section classical folks call the "development" is based on a sort of rhythm-and-blues groove. Like a classical concerto, the solo instrument stops the action near the end of the piece and plays a "cadenza" (a more free exploration of the instrument and the themes of the piece) -- but ... uh ... it's definitely not classical.

In "Way You Are Blues," the crossover is simpler: an orchestra is playing blues. But this crossover becomes enhanced when, for example, the principle bass player takes a jazz-type solo, but using a classical bowing technique -- or when the solo harp starts playing with guitar-like distortion.

A similar crossover happens in "Catcher in the Rye" where the timpani "rocks out" the way one is used to seeing a drummer "rock out."

This mix of classical and non-classical concepts runs throughout the music of "Invention & Alchemy" and makes it a Classical Crossover album both in concept and in sound.


WHOSE GRAMMY NOMINATION IS IT? DEBORAH'S? THE GRAND RAPIDS SYMPHONY'S? THE PRODUCER'S?
As we understand it, especially in the case of "Album," Grammy Nominations for "Best Classical Crossover Album" (versus nominations like "Best Song") belong to everyone who took part in creating that album. That means that now Deborah is a "Grammy Nominated Artist" and David Lockington is a "Grammy Nominated Conductor," and so on.

We are particularly proud of this nomination for that very reason. This was a deeply collaborative project and the fact that it received an album-wide nomination reflects to us the spirit in which this project was invented and developed. We're deeply proud of this nomination and everything it stands for.


GOT MORE QUESTIONS?
Send them to publicity@HipHarp.com and we'll try to answer them!


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