STRONG SAD features music by eight composers–Jonah Sirota, Paola Prestini, Nico Muhly, Valgeir Sigur∂sson, Robert Sirota, A.J. McCaffrey, Rodney Lister, and the improv duo Mondegreen (Jonah Sirota and Kurt Knecht).
Here’s what Jonah had to say about the album:
“The elegy as a musical form has often found a home in the plaintive middle-register voice of the viola–it tugs, and makes us aware of our inner landscape. I made this album not because I am particularly obsessed with the emotion of sadness, but because I believe in the humanity of every feeling. We can’t have joy without sadness. We can’t be whole without knowing our brokenness. Each of the composers on this record has offered their own beautiful, vulnerable response to a sadness. Let us learn to mourn every day a little. To help heal ourselves, each other, and this world.”
About Jonah Sirota
Jonah Sirota is a violist and composer dedicated to the imaginative performance of viola music, both original and preexisting. In addition to STRONG SAD, his projects include The Flowering Viola, a recital of lush viola chamber music featuring pianist Molly Morkoski; and Mondegreen, an improvisation duo with organist/composer Kurt Knecht. Sirota was the founding violist of the Chiara String Quartet for 18 years; 2017-2018 is the Chiara’s final full-time season, as its four original members expand into new creative orbits–a decision made by the entire group in gratitude and love. With the Chiara String Quartet he recorded seven albums, including the Grammy-nominated recording of the string quartets of Jefferson Friedman, and performed in numerous major venues worldwide, becoming known for playing the complete quartets of Béla Bartók “By Heart.” Jonah Sirota is a composer of music for film and media, as well as works for solo strings, chamber ensemble, and piano.