Clarice Assad

“O” For Violin & Voices featured on NPR and Apple’s Classical Music Playlist

So excited that my piece “O” (Oxygen), commissioned by Cal Performances for violinist Johnny Gandelsman for Violin and voices, is featured on NPR. It has also been featured on Apple Music’s Classical Playlist this month. Also, All Songs Considered podcast features works by Clarice Assad and Anjna Swaminathan-Roper on their Best Music of July podcast! Not a bad list to be on, considering some of the other albums which dropped last month – Maggie Rogers, Lizzo, and Queen Beyoncé herself. Women sure do rule the world! Check it out here

Clarice Assad’s O, scored for violin and electronics, stands for oxygen – or lack of it, to be precise. Oxygen that was needed by nearly 400,000 Americans who died in 2020, gasping for breath from the coronavirus, and oxygen George Floyd was deprived of as he pleaded, “I can’t breathe.” Assad herself said, in the booklet notes, that she experienced panic attacks that year, feeling a “sense of entrapment in my own body.”


” “O” by Clarice Assad, Covid’s “suffocating moment” prompting Assad to ponder the nature of oxygen. Pre-recorded vocals are beautifully fused with solo violin, reminding us that “singing is the way of despair”. 

The Arts Desk

“O” For Violin & Voices featured on NPR and Apple’s Classical Music Playlist

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