The Parsonage

The Parsonage: True Tales of Love and Anarchy at 64 East 7th Street is a concept album with words by Hajdu and music by eight different composers, released by Sunnyside Records on April 7, 2023. The composers: Darcy James Argue, Theo Bleckmann, Regina Carter, Ted Hearne, Kirk Nurock, Renee Rosnes, Sarah Kirkland Snider, Dan Tepfer. Performers: singers Theo Bleckmann and Alicia Olatuja, pianist Dan Tepfer. A premiere concert of The Parsonage was performed at the Museum of the City of New York on April 27, 2023.

Track Listing and Credits:

1. Sailing to the Sunday School Picnic
Regina Carter (music), Hajdu (words)
Bleckmann and Olatuja (vocals)

2. Ballad of the Man Who Laughed
Renee Rosnes (music), Hajdu (words)
Bleckmann and Olatuja (vocals)
Erik Friedlander (cello), Sean Smith (bass)

3. Translation, Two Cigar Butts
Ted Hearne (music), Hajdu (words)
Bleckmann and Olatuja (vocals)
Sound collage created by Hearne.

4. East in the Village
Kirk Nurock (music), Hajdu (words)
Bleckmann and Olatuja (vocals)
Carl Maraghi (bass clarinet), Smith (bass)

5. Living Light
Dan Tepfer (music), Hajdu (words)
Olatuja (vocals)

6. Lou Reed Was Very Well Read
Theo Bleckmann (music), Hajdu (words)
Bleckmann (vocals)
Friedlander (cello)

7. Glamour and Standing
Music by Jill Sobule and David Hajdu
Vocal: Jo Lawry
Arr. and piano: Tedd Firth

8. Suffer
Music by Renee Rosnes
Vocal: Karen Oberlin
Arr. and piano: Renee Rosnes

All songs with Dan Tepfer, piano.
Historical sound research by Jon Moskowitz.
Produced by David Hajdu.


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The Parsonage is a concept album about New York history, told through the story of a single building in the East Village. The site, 64 East 7th Street, was at the heart of eight major moments in the cultural history of the city, from its beginnings as the parsonage for the church whose membership was decimated by the infamous Slocum disaster through the rise of the Beats and performance art to the gentrification of the 21st century. To give voice to the eight distinctive chapters in the story of the building, The Parsonage was created by a group of eight different composers from the worlds of jazz, contemporary classical, and "post-classical" music: Darcy James Argue, Theo Bleckmann, Regina Carter, Ted Hearne, Kirk Nurock, Renee Rosnes, Sarah Kirkland Snider, and Dan Tepfer. The libretto is by David Hajdu.

The genre-defying vocalists Theo Bleckmann and Alicia Olatuja sing this unusual set of highly varied pieces. Dan Tepfer is pianist and musical director, with a chamber ensemble of cello, bass clarinet, and double bass.