September 14, 2023

‘Crossing the Ocean’ – Bridget Kibbey’s Debut Album on Pentatone

Pentatone releases Crossing the Ocean, together with the harpist Bridget Kibbey, in October 2023.

Taking The Concert Harp Into Uncharted Territory

Harpist Bridget Kibbey, hailed as the “Yo-Yo Ma of the harp,” by Vogue Magazine, makes her Pentatone debut with Crossing the Ocean. Kibbey performs six solo works for harp commissioned from an international set of composers, including Kinan Azmeh’s It’s About Time (Syria), Du Yun’s The Ocean Within (China), Paquito d’Rivera’s Bandoneon (Cuba), Avner Dorman’s Three Butterfly Songs (Israel) featuring soprano Dawn Upshaw, Kati Agócs’ Northern Lights (Canada), and David Bruce’s Caja de Música (England).

With the harp as her muse, Kibbey explores the synthesis of past and present. Each composer was asked to write for the harp for the first time, using the music they grew up hearing as point of departure. The results are snapshots of cultural memories, a mash-up of traditional and contemporary genres, and an anthology of the composers’ surrealistic perspective on their pasts. From virtuosic soundscapes to driving grooves, Kibbey showcases the harp’s expressive potential as she takes on the role each composer has set.

This 14-track digital-only release will include four instant gratification tracks and singles, to be released in installments leading up to the worldwide release of the complete album on 13 October.

“Our origins are a source of constant supply. Oftentimes our creative output is a synthesis of these origins, and how they mix with our new surroundings and influences. Inevitably there is a beautiful merger of high art and folk art, as we honor the past while moving forward. I find this tension fascinating and rich — replete with an endless fount of soul, power and honesty, as we ask, ‘What is the rock from which I’m cut, and how does it resonate within my current surroundings?’

“Through this question, each composer has opened a world in which I swim, as we dialogue about their origins and effects on their writing today. It was a delight to curate a sort of memory-and-cultural playlist via the harp, by choosing composers from diverse backgrounds and musical styles. My musical neighbors—composers and performers—continue to bless me in countless ways, by broadening my perspective on the harp and the world. This record is my first ‘love letter’ to these communities and friends.”

Bridget Kibbey

Digital Release Date: 13 OCTOBER 2023

Released in digital formats for streaming and high-resolution downloads.