Seattle, WA – Monkeywrench Records released today the premiere live recording of the 2015 Sonic Evolution concert at Benaroya Hall. The star-studded concert on January 30 featured Music Director Ludovic Morlot and the Seattle Symphony, Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready, members of Mad Season and other Seattle rock music legends.
The concert program included a world premiere and Seattle Symphony commission of a new symphonic work by Mike McCready; orchestral arrangements of Mad Season originals by members of Mad Season including McCready, Soundgarden’s vocalist Chris Cornell, Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan and Pearl Jam drummer Matt Cameron, who were joined by special guests saxophonist Skerik, local singer Kim Virant, Walking Papers vocalist and guitarist Jeff Angel, guitarist Tim DiJulio and Alice in Chains drummer Sean Kinney. The concert concluded with a surprise Temple of the Dog reunion as Cornell, McCready and Cameron were joined on stage by unannounced guests Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament and guitarist Stone Gossard. The recording, entitled Mad Season / Seattle Symphony: Sonic Evolution / January 30, 2015 / Benaroya Hall, is available on CD, vinyl and digital formats through www.pearljam.com, in stores (via ThinkIndie), digital retailers and streaming services starting today. Proceeds will benefit the Seattle Symphony’s education and community programs and Vitalogy Foundation.
Complete information about the concert is available through the below press release:
CTI BioPharma Corp. is the presenting sponsor for the 2015 Sonic Evolution concert.
Sonic Evolution is also generously sponsored by The Mitrovich Family, Brittni and Larry Estrada and Ben Kolpa.Photo credit: Brandon Patoc Photography
Mike McCready is the lead guitarist for and one of the founding members of the rock band Pearl Jam. He was also a member of side project bands Temple of the Dog, Mad Season and The Rockfords. In addition to Pearl Jam, McCready currently plays with friends in Flight to Mars, a UFO tribute band who does charity events. When not performing live, McCready scores TV and film projects, which have included The Glamour & the Squalor, Shameless, Fat Kid Rules the World, Hawaii Five-O, Fringe and The Westsiders.
Formed by Mike McCready (Pearl Jam), Layne Staley (Alice in Chains), Barrett Martin (Screaming Trees) and bluesman John Baker Saunders (The Walkabouts), Mad Season made one seminal album in the history of Seattle rock. That album, Above, was released in 1995 and immediately struck a resonate chord with the public that sent the album into gold status within a few weeks. It is the only complete album of Layne Staley's introspective and mystical lyrics, which were highlighted by additional vocals from Screaming Trees vocalist Mark Lanegan and Seattle-based saxophonist/percussionist Skerik.
In 1996 work began on a second Mad Season album with Mike, Barrett and Baker writing and recording the basic tracks for 15 new songs. Unfortunately, because of declining health, Layne wasn't able to make any of the recording sessions and the album was shelved. Fate subsequently took each musician in a different direction: Mike back to Pearl Jam and Barrett back to Screaming Trees. Tragically, both Baker (1999) and Layne (2002) passed away.
Rock icons Chris Cornell and Duff McKagen joined original members Mike McCready and Barrett Martin on stage on January 30. Cornell is a multi-Grammy winning, multi-platinum singer/songwriter, both with his bands Soundgarden, Temple Of The Dog and Audioslave and throughout his diverse solo career. He was one of the pioneers of the ‘90s grunge era and has been described as one of the best voices in music history. Duff McKagan is best known for his twelve-year tenure as the bassist of the hard rock band Guns N' Roses, with whom he achieved worldwide success in the late 1980s and early 1990s. After leaving Guns N’ Roses in 1997, Duff has played with Velvet Revolver and Jane's Addiction and currently plays bass in Walking Papers, a band that also features Barrett Martin.
French conductor Ludovic Morlot is Music Director of the Seattle Symphony. During the 2015–2016 season Morlot and the Seattle Symphony will present a wide variety of works in concert and release several more recordings on the Orchestra’s label, Seattle Symphony Media. He was Chief Conductor of La Monnaie for three years (2012–2014). During this time he conducted several new productions and concert performances.
During the 2015–2016 season Morlot will return to the LA Philharmonic and New York Philharmonic as well as the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C. He has also conducted in Cleveland and Philadelphia and has particularly close relationships with the Boston and Chicago Symphony Orchestras. In Europe, Morlot will this season make his debut with the Geneva Camerata conducting a Homage to Ligeti and will also return to the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. He has also conducted the Czech Philharmonic, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Staatskapelle Dresden.
Morlot studied conducting in London and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music in 2014 in recognition of his significant contribution to music. He is Chair of Orchestral Conducting Studies at the University of Washington’s School of Music in Seattle.
The Seattle Symphony is one of America’s leading symphony orchestras and is internationally acclaimed for its innovative programming and extensive recording history. Under the leadership of Music Director Ludovic Morlot since September 2011, the Symphony is heard live from September through July by more than 300,000 people annually. It performs in one of the finest modern concert halls in the world — the acoustically superb Benaroya Hall — in downtown Seattle. Its extensive education and community-engagement programs reach over 100,000 children and adults each year. The Seattle Symphony has a deep commitment to new music, commissioning many works by living composers each season, including John Luther Adams’ recent Become Ocean, which won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Music. The orchestra has made nearly 150 recordings and has received 18 Grammy nominations, two Emmy Awards and numerous other accolades. In 2014 the Symphony launched its in-house recording label, Seattle Symphony Media.