It has been announced that musical virtuoso Esperanza Spalding will release a new album. The 13-track collection of new music, “Songwrights Apothecary Lab” is due out Sept. 24 via her label, Concord.
The new album is unique in that it is an album suited after the discipline of music therapy. “Described as half songwriting workshop, half guided research practice, The Songwrights Apothecary Lab brings musicians and practitioners of different disciplines, such as music therapy, neuroscience, Black American music, Sufism, and South Indian Carnatic music, together in the spirit of radical healing,” Vogue writes.
The exploratory nature of this album has allowed Spalding to create a collective network of musicians and artists to interweave their practices in order to find new ways to enact growth and spiritual expansion for herself and others. The songs are designed to create a different effect on the album’s listeners and pose the question, “What do you need a song for?” They have released a song “Formwela 10” which represents “grieving the consequences of, becoming more alert to, and dissolving one’s own romantic-entitlement tendencies.”
Pitchfork reports, “The first half of ‘Songwrights Apothecary Lab’ was recorded in Oregon, featuring contributions from Wayne Shorter, Phoelix, Raphael Saadiq, Justin Tyson, Ganavya Doraiswamy, and Corey King. The second half was captured during a 10-day period of live sets in New York back in June. Those recordings feature drummer Francisco Mela, pianist Leo Genovese, guitarist Matthew Stevens, and saxophonist Aaron Burnett.”
Spalding has been a consistent staple in the jazz and contemporary music world, offering nothing but intelligent high-concept and high quality music. With this music, she has been able to combine neuroscience, music therapy, psychology, and ethnomusicology to engage music lovers in ways and practices that they may never be exposed to otherwise. Listeners will be able to engage, interact and learn from the music.
“It grew out of a few years of just reading, learning, and reckoning with how much trauma was going unaddressed in my life, in my community, and in my family,” Spalding told Vogue. “I was reflecting on so many slow-burning crises and acute crises that I [believe] erupted because we didn’t have a paradigm for responding to trauma and the woundings of the psyche and the spirit.”