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Sunday, April 16, 2006


ModMusic: Adam Guettel

As the grandson of composer Richard Rodgers (Sound of Music, Oklahoma!), Adam Guettel may have been genetically predisposed toward making musicals. Last year, he made good on the promise of early works like Floyd Collins by winning a Tony for his impeccable smash The Light in the Piazza, which is still running at Lincoln Center (and is bound for a national tour next year).

Almost a decade ago, a much less famous Guettel premiered his song cycle Myths and Hymns at The Public Theater...which then promptly disappeared from theatres across America. A damn shame. Balancing original songs inspired by mythology with new musical settings of 19th-century religious lyrics (Guettel found them in an old hymnal), the songs resonate with struggles of faith and crisis. "Saturn Returns" could be the theme song of Myths and Hymns; it's exquisitely beautiful, with a simple piano setting (Guettel sings his own vocal, backed by Broadway vets including Darius De Haas, Jose Llana, and Annie Golden). "I don't know what I hunger for/I don't know why I feel the hunger more and more/with every passing day." That lyric could be the theme of my life, no lie.

Download: Saturn Returns
Then Purchase: Myths and Hymns, Adam Guettel

P.S. -- A big thank-you to Silence Is A Rhythm Too, who granted my begging request for one of my favorite obscure 1980's tunes. You are my musical god, guru, and shaman!
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