My Brightest Diamond
Wealthy Theatre, Grand Rapids
Nov. 12, 7 p.m.
$15 advance/$18 doors/$12 CMC Members
From psychological anthropology to tribal dance rituals, there isn’t much that doesn’t inspire Shara Worden. Since forming My Brightest Diamond in 2006, Worden has blurred the lines between classical, pop, cabaret and folk, while drawing upon wide-ranging themes. But to her, genre is irrelevant. Worden simply puts anything and everything she enjoys into her music.
“Instead of all of us sitting around playing the same Beatles songs, what if everyone just brought out their dusty saxophones from high school marching band and started playing music together?” Worden said.
Worden’s music certainly represents a unique amalgamation of elements that could not be replicated by simply studying the popular American songbook. Her band’s live stage setup includes drums, computers, trumpets, guitars and even a ukulele, and she loves including her own orchestral string arrangements on her albums.
While Worden admits to learning phrasing aspects and other tricks of the trade from the crooners of the fifties and sixties, she attributes much of her musical prowess to experience gained at an early age. The multi-instrumentalist’s parents served as her first musical idols and she began singing in church as a child—her mother was a church organist and her father was an acclaimed classical accordion player.
“We all need mentors on some level. My first public performance was when I was six—music was my family, and it was just what I did,” said Worden, who grew up in several small towns across the Midwest, where she spent her time exploring aspects of music and nature. “Boredom is actually very important to the imagination.”
Worden's latest album, This Is My Hand, is the culmination of her recent literary ruminations. Daniel Levitin’s bestselling book, The World in Six Songs, provided the foundation for the themes included on the album.
“Levitin touched many of the most important themes of human history,” Worden said. “And if the concert experience is the gathering of a modern tribe of some type, we should all feel comfortable singing and dancing together.”