Ellen Andrea Wang’s latest musical venture, “There is a Place,” stands as a captivating testament to the creative fusion of jazz and classical choral artistry. Released alongside the broader Magnificat album, this original single introduces a profound depth to Wang’s repertoire as she embarks on her journey as a choir composer, vocalist, and bassist.
The collaboration between The Women’s Choral Society of the University of Oslo (KSS) and jazz virtuosos Ellen Andrea Wang and Hanna Paulsberg adds a groundbreaking dimension to the choir’s discography. Magnificat, a choral work by Wang, draws inspiration from the Gospel of Luke and Catholic Church liturgy, delving into the poignant emotions of Mary as she anticipates giving birth. “In the course of music history, there has been a long line of composers who have set the Song of Mary to music. But remarkably few female composers have written music to this text, despite its portraying the experiences of a woman,” expresses Wang, shedding light on the unique perspective she brings to this timeless narrative.
The album, premiered at the 2021 Molde Jazz Festival, features Wang’s intricate arrangements for choir, bringing together the melodic prowess of saxophonist Hanna Paulsberg and vocalist contributions. The result is a musical odyssey that transcends genres, uniting the rich tradition of choral music with the innovative spirit of jazz. Wang’s debut as a choir composer has not only redefined the sonic landscape of The Women’s Choral Society but also serves as a landmark contribution to the canon of compositions inspired by the Song of Mary. “There is a Place” is a sublime piece that encapsulates the power of collaborative artistry, where jazz and choral music coalesce to create a harmonious and deeply moving experience.