Audible announced that Oscar, Grammy, Emmy, and Golden Globe-winning artist, actor, activist and two-time New York Times best-selling author Common, and Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter and composer Rufus Wainwright will create deeply personal musical narratives to be released as Audible Original productions in 2020 for millions of listeners.
The two audio-only musical narratives will be created and produced in distinct ways – Common’s Bluebird Memories: A Journey Through Lyrics & Life is set to record over the course of three nights of live performances at Audible’s Minetta Lane Theatre in New York, and Wainwright’s Road Trip Elegies: Montreal to New York will blend field recordings from the road that reflect on his relationship with his family with musical performance from intimate shows at the legendary McCabe’s Guitar Store in Los Angeles. These projects follow critically acclaimed musical storytelling original productions from Patti Smith and Tom Morello.
In Bluebird Memories: A Journey Through Lyrics & Life, Common invites listeners to experience an intimate expression of art, culture and verse. Introduced as a young artist to the work of literary icons from James Baldwin and Gwendolyn Brooks to Rakim and Melle Mel, Common looked to their oeuvres for motivation and as a high-water mark for what would become his life in words. His Audible performance evokes the spirit and legacy of the artists, the thinkers and the heroes who inform his artistry and personal philosophy.
Rufus’s Road Trip Elegies: Montreal to New York will take listeners on a journey he took many times with his beloved late mother, Canadian folk singer, Kate McGarrigle, from Montreal to New York City. The route represents both a physical and metaphorical life journey for him, one that oscillates between the emotional poles of his divorced mother and father living in Canada and New York, respectively. A coming-of-age journey from childhood to adulthood, Road Trip Elegies will weave together new field recordings of this road trip with live song recordings and samples from his extensive catalogue to create an innovative take on musical storytelling that is part memoir, part documentary and part intimate performance.
“Common’s inspiring work has called attention to the inequalities and injustices in our society, and Rufus Wainwright is a true original whose versatility spans musical genres and styles,” said Audible executive chairman and founder Don Katz. “We’re thrilled to be bringing these truly distinctive performances by two gifted artists to our many millions of listeners around the world, and it’s been gratifying to behold the groundswell of elite talent who want to create to the Audible aesthetic. These powerful narratives punctuated by virtuoso musicianship deserve to be heard.”
Following the announcement of James Taylor’s highly anticipated Break Shot, Bluebird Memories: A Journey Through Lyrics & Life and Road Trip Elegies: Montreal to New York, are next in a robust slate of Audible Originals featuring exclusive audio entertainment created by celebrated storytellers from the worlds of entertainment, theater, journalism, comedy, literature and more. Audible Originals offer powerful performances created specifically for listeners by award-winning musicians, actors, writers and comedians, spanning every genre and length. Other critically acclaimed Audible Original performances include Tom Morello at the Minetta Lane, Patti Smith at the Minetta Lane and The Queen, all released exclusively from Audible.
Tickets to Common’s live performances from January 10-12, 2020 at Audible’s Minetta Lane Theatre are on sale beginning January 2, 2020 at 9:00AM PT / 12:00PM ET HERE.