The eclectic range of projects that Grammy-nominated, genre-bending, classical, klezmer and world music clarinetist David Krakauer and innovative composer, arranger, pianist and producer Kathleen Tagg have created is unified by a single mission: to foster human connection through music that transcends stylistic and cultural boundaries.
Krakauer and Tagg’s Breath & Hammer projects represent a highly personal confluence of many streams: the strong foundations of both performers as classical concert musicians, Krakauer’s years as a klezmer innovator, composer, band leader and avant-garde experimentalist, and Tagg’s multi-faceted career performing across a wide range of genres and creating and performing for the stage and theater, as well as her skills as a producer. As with all her previous albums, Tagg produced their upcoming 2020 album release Breath & Hammer, which Krakauer describes as “a medieval tapestry the size of an apartment, made up of fingernail-sized samples.”
In the words of Krakauer & Tagg: “Our sound palette for Breath & Hammer is a very particular one that has grown out of our lengthy collaboration. We have each brought everything of who we are and what we have worked on over many years into the mix. The music in these programs can be seen as very global in its scope, but at the same time is completely personal to us.” In addition to their own original material, each project includes music contributed by a global cast of composers in the form of lead sheets, giving the duo full license to bring each piece into their distinctive sound world. The entire undertaking reflects the larger context toward which all of their projects strive: the alchemical transformation of many genres and cultural expressions into one composite, respectful, non-appropriative, musical identity that speaks to an ever-growing cultural community.