Renowned singer and actor Will Oldham, aka Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, University of Richmond ensemble-in-residence Eighth Blackbird and Bryce Dessner will release a collaborative album, "When We Are Inhuman," on Aug. 30 via Secretly Canadian Records.
For those who missed Oldham and the Grammy-winning Eighth Blackbird at VMFA in 2017, when they performed this lovely Oldham song, “One with the Birds," you can hear it as the second single from the forthcoming album below.
“I think of Will’s songs as the closest thing we have now to classic, traditional folk music,” says Bryce Dessner in a press release. “I imagine people will still be singing them in 300 years.”
The new version of “One with the Birds” arranged by Eighth Blackbird pianist Lisa Kaplan, “is very different from the original,” she notes in the press release. “We used the birdcalls of all the different birds named in the song. And the extended piano intro was inspired by my friend Thomas Bartlett whom I had seen perform with The Gloaming just before making this arrangement.”
Style Weekly spoke to Oldham and Kaplan last time they performed together in Richmond.
Kaplan, founding pianist of Eighth Blackbird, told Style that it's been a pleasure performing with Oldham because he takes risks.
“Once recently we were rehearsing a new tune with him and I said, ‘Is that the way you usually do it in this spot?’ And he just said, ‘there is no usual way.’ That about sums Will up.”
The original version: