Gabriel Kahane Releases
New Digital EP Haircuts and Airports
Available As A Free Download At Playbill.com
For A Limited Time Starting October 31st
Kahane Teams Up with
John Tiffany for Staged Version Of The Ambassador
At BAM, UCLA, and Carolina Performing Arts
A follow up to The Ambassador, hailed by Rolling Stone as "one of the year's very best albums," the Haircuts & Airports EP is a continuation of Gabriel Kahane's musical exploration of Los Angeles. It is available as a free download for a limited time at Playbill.com starting on October 31st. On November 4th it will be available for purchase at Itunes and all other DSPs.
The EP contains 3 new songs linked to architectural landmarks in the city of Los Angeles - including LAX and The Westin Bonaventure Hotel, as well as a cover of the Jerome Kern/Oscar Hammerstein II classic gem, "The Folks Who Live on the Hill," which Gabriel sees as an expression of the post-war optimism that drove architectural innovation in Los Angeles in the 1940s and 50s. The EP also includes the haunting track "Veda (1 Pierce Dr.)" which appears on The Ambassador.
The songs on Haircuts & Airports are included in the staged version of The Ambassador, whose world premiere on October 22 at Carolina Performing Arts Center (Chapel Hill, NC) was met with rave reviews. Directed by Tony-award winner John Tiffany (Black Watch, Once, The Glass Menagerie) and designed by Tony-award winner Christine Jones (Spring Awakening, Queen of the Night), The Ambassador-at once a theater piece, song cycle, and musical dreamscape- arrives in New York December 10-13 at Brooklyn Academy of Music's Harvey Theater as part of the Next Wave Festival and in Los Angeles February 27-28, 2015 at UCLA's Freud Playhouse.
Kahane was born in Los Angeles and raised on the East Coast and in Northern California. "Starting in my late teens," he writes, "I began to spend more time in LA. I found myself chasing its soul- its aspiration, its spirit, its sadness- and wanted to express that. I've always had a preoccupation with buildings, and the relationships we form with them. The songs on this album have varying narrative approaches: In 'Bradbury (304 Broadway)', I take on the role of Rutger Hauer as Roy Batty in the seminal neo-noir film Blade Runner, much of which was shot at the Bradbury Building. In 'Empire Liquor Mart (9127 S. Figueroa St.)' I tell the tragic story of Latasha Harlins- a fifteen year old African-American girl shot and killed in 1991, just a year before the LA Riots- from the perspective of the deceased. It is my hope that in this multitude of voices, something new about Los Angeles is said."
Director John Tiffany began his career developing and directing new plays in Scotland, which quickly brought him to international attention. In the National Theatre of Scotland's first season, he directed Black Watch, which won multiple Olivier and Critics Awards. For Once, which was created in the basement of a church, Tiffany won the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical. Recent projects include The Glass Menagerie on Broadway, which was nominated for seven Tonys.
The Ambassador is an extension of Kahane's creative trajectory in recent years. His musical, February House, which was commissioned and produced by the Public Theater in New York, devoted an entire evening to a short-lived World War II-era commune at 7 Middagh Street in Brooklyn. More generally, Kahane has found inspiration in sources as varied as Craigslist (Craigslistlieder) and the American Guide Series, published by the WPA during the Great Depression (Gabriel's Guide to the 48 States).