there is no Other, the new album by Rhiannon Giddens with Francesco Turrisi, is out today on Nonesuch. Tracing the overlooked movement of sounds from Africa and the Arabic world and their influence on European and American music, there is no Other illuminates the universality of music and the commonality of the human experience. The album has received critical praise and later today the New Yorker Radio Hour will air an interview and performance with Rhiannon and Francesco. Over the past week the duo has visited WNYC, WFUV, Sirius, and NPR’s World Café for interviews and performance segments; stay tuned for run dates.
Giddens and Turrisi will perform there is no Other on an extensive fall tour that includes the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC on October 4 and at Pico Union in Los Angeles on October 19. A European tour for November-December was announced this morning. Full itinerary is below.
Produced by Joe Henry and tracked over an intensely productive five day period in Dublin, Ireland, there is no Other is at once a condemnation of “othering” and a celebration of the spread of ideas, connectivity, and shared experience. It primarily features only Giddens and Turrisi playing one or two instruments together. The album comprises a mix of original songs penned by Giddens and a diverse set of interpretations ranging from Ola Belle Reed’s “I’m Gonna Write Me a Letter” and Oscar Brown, Jr’s “Brown Baby” to the Italian traditional “Pizzica di San Vito” to the aria “Black Swan” by Gian-Carlo Menotti.
Watch the first in a series of behind-the-scenes interviews filmed during the making of the album with Giddens and Turrisi, producer Joe Henry and engineer Ryan Freeland: https://youtu.be/9NF1ufRGFNw
And watch the previously released video for original song “I’m On My Way”: https://youtu.be/a4Xlyi8Is98
there is no Other "(shows) the ease with which the boundaries of genre and nationality can be broken through music." NPR says. "There, this album dwells: in the quiet times where people live fully with each other ... Rhiannon Giddens turns her exquisite voice and sensibility toward this psychic territory on ... her new collaboration with the Italian multi-instrumentalist Francesco Turrisi ... (an) exploration of heartfelt exchange and private longing." – NPR Music
“For an album recorded in only five days, it wallops with impact. Giddens is going supernova, and it’s a blistering thing.” – Guardian, 5 out of 5 stars / Folk Album of the Month
“This is acoustic roots music at its most glorious, and Giddens is fast becoming the genre’s brightest star in the firmament.” – Uncut , 9 out of 10
“(Francesco’s) accompaniments, often on old/unusual instruments, add a strange, delicate beauty to Giddens’ solemn, powerful soprano.” – Mojo, 4 out of 5
“These songs are as much about place as they are time, and it’s impressive how seamlessly Giddens and Turrisi can blend Arabic, African, Italian, and Americana sounds.” – No Depression
“There’s an intellectual thrill in hearing how the lyrical and musical themes intertwine - but it’s also a visceral album, equally enchanting and eerie.” - AllMusic