SOLO tour Fall 2019
about the album
Anything Chartreuse (2019) is the debut EP and solo project of vocalist, composer and roving academic Majel Connery. Co-created with drummer Dylan Greene, producer Chris Botta, and lyricist Brad Balliett, Anything Chartreuse features vocoder sonnets that elevate Connery’s classical influences with spacious electronic production. Her one-hour set includes the full EP, selections from her full album, Orphea, and from her upcoming full-length album.
Connery's "crystalline voice" (Chicago Reader) is the centripetal force on the EP, unifying four experimental tracks that range from lush duets with a TC-Helicon vocoder (“giving the impression of a full choir,” SF Classical Voice), to icy electronic anthems. The album, called “dreamy art pop” by Second Inversion, includes a cameo by Oracle Hysterical, Connery’s NYC-based composer collective, recorded in a reverb-drenched church in Utica, NY.
With past lives as an actor, opera singer, and academic, Connery approaches songwriting with an open embrace of diverse influences. Most recently, she wrote songs about porn, periods, and sad fish for 5 episodes of Radiolab’s “Gonads” series, including a Radiolab Live performance at NYU Skirball Center. While Connery holds a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, and a composition degree from Princeton, her writing is deeply influenced by classical piano lessons, and her parents' eclectic cassette tape collection circa 1984, which explains a compositional style that sounds simultaneously like Schubert and Elvis Costello (Wall Street Journal).
Former New York Times critic Steve Smith favorably compared her voice to Shara Nova/My Brightest Diamond and Joanna Newsom, while Peter Margasak, writing for Bandcamp Daily, describes her vocals as “expertly drawing upon a wide swath of approaches—British folk, madrigal, art rock.” In opera circles, Connery is best known as co-founder and director of Chicago-based opera company, Opera Cabal (2007-2018), whose premiere of G.F. Haas’s ATTHIS at The Kitchen was described as “one of the most … searingly painful and revealing operatic performances in recent times (New York Times).
Connery left academia following a stint as Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Berkeley in 2015 to launch a career as a solo artist. Since then, as Mohr Visiting Artist at Stanford (2017), she commissioned and performed Pulitzer Prize winner Caroline Shaw’s “Contriving the Chimes,” written for Connery and the St. Lawrence String Quartet, and staged by opera director Christopher Alden. In 2016, as Mellon Visiting Artist at Wellesley, she commissioned and performed Aeolus, a throat-singing rock opera by Rome- and Berlin Prize-winning composer Ken Ueno. Connery is currently co-teaching at Princeton with poet & collaborator Jeff Dolven. She is bi-coastal, based in Brooklyn, NY, and Berkeley, CA, where she lives with her partner, neuroscientist Matt Walker.
Sept 19-28 CHICAGO
Sept 17 Arts Club of Chicago
Sept 19 Hyde Park Salon Series
Sept 20 Richard Gray Gallery/Chicago EXPO
Sept 22 Constellation
Sept 26 Private event, Lincoln Park
Oct 18-28 NYC/UPSTATE NY
Oct 19 Zingara Vintage, Far Rockaway
Oct 20 Private event, Soho
Oct 24-25 Utica & Syracuse
Oct 26 Private event, Upper West Side
Nov 7-17 BAY AREA
Date TBD Red Door House Concert, SF with LOUIZA
- DOWNLOAD PHOTOS -
“…dreamy art pop with the sensitivity and nuance of classical music…”
“uninflected and vibrato free … borrowing from the interpretive sophistication of jazz … and the deliberate naivete of folk-rock.”
- Wall Street Journal
“...singer Majel Connery expertly draw[s] upon a wide swath of approaches—British folk, madrigal, art rock.”
- Bandcamp Daily
“Connery has achieved the practically impossible: she makes contemporary opera feel both accessible and hip.” - KQED
“Connery’s smooth, sultry vocals flow in long, legato lines …”
- Second Inversion
“Majel Connery … has the temperament of a lion tamer”
- SF Classical Voice