“When nothing else makes sense,
music makes sense…” (Justin Sullivan)
One of 2023’s most astonishing albums:
SINFONIA – Out September 15, 2023
New Model Army are a band who continue to truly exist and thrive outside of any singular genre. Throughout their long and storied career, they have never taken the easy or safe choice, becoming notorious for shunning fame, and instead with each successive album pushing the boundaries of creativity.
It is the same principled, music-first approach that led to one of this year’s essential albums – “Sinfonia”. Recorded at Tempodrom, Berlin on July 15th, 2022, New Model Army and Sinfonia Leipzig, a full-scale orchestra, conducted by Cornelius During, may seem to some like an obvious evolution, however, in true New Model Army style they have broken down the barriers between band and orchestra in a new and exciting fashion. On “Sinfonia”, the band has redefined that relationship and defied expectation in a way that only they know how.
The show starts with a fully orchestral ‘Overture’, but from the opening notes of ‘Devil’s Bargain’ to the closing of ‘Wonderful Way To Go’, it is a complete journey across the time and space of a band who have always created vital, visceral music. The band and orchestra absorb each other alike and elevate the songs in both power and sensitivity.
All songs have been arranged for orchestra by long-time friend and guest violinist Shir-Ran Yinon, with whom New Model Army collaborated previously. However, this time they went above and beyond to create something unique, yet distinctly New Model Army.
Justin Sullivan states: “There have been many examples of rock bands playing with orchestras but not many good ones. We felt that the most important thing was that it must not sound or appear like a band with an added orchestra but had to be a unified 40-piece band.”
Shir-Ran Yinon continues: “It felt like a big responsibility. When the band and I started working on this project, we immediately agreed that it should not turn into ‘Justin Sullivan with orchestral accompaniment’ but must remain New Model Army. We all thought we had a unique opportunity to create something different and saw the orchestra as an integral and crucial part of it. The connection between the band, the conductor and the orchestra worked brilliantly.”
The result is an album that subverts expectation of a previously well-trodden path between rock bands and orchestras. New Model Army’s music lends itself perfectly to this new, fresh interpretation without losing its identity. Experimentation without compromise is the hallmark of New Model Army, and one of the primary reasons they are continually revered.
Dean White: “My enduring memory of it all was the spirit it was played with, one of camaraderie, willingness and joy and I think that comes through in the performance.”
Michael Dean: “What an experience this was! For me, the feeling of playing with such a massive sound was unbelievable. I remember in rehearsals, even before we started playing with the orchestra, just listening from the balcony I was absolutely blown away.”
Ceri Monger: “The Sinfonia concert and the rehearsal days leading up to it were like going on a really cool, intense and adventurous holiday, a really special experience that was over before you knew it.”
Cornelius During: “Music connects people. This has been known for a long time. For me personally, however, it has rarely been more noticeable than during the days we spent together with New Model Army and the Sinfonia Leipzig. There was an incredible atmosphere from the very first moment. The desire to push each other and to really put something special together” (…) “I look back on an unforgettable concert evening at the Tempodrom in Berlin – full of enthusiasm, passion and joy of playing.”
“Sinfonia” will become available as a Double-CD Hardcover Mediabook, Triple 180g-Vinyl Gatefold and Digital. All live album’s first print CD and Vinyl LP Editions will include the full show on DVD.
A Strictly Limited earBOOK Edition with Double-CD, DVD, Blu-ray, 80-page book and an exclusive Bonus CD with 8 songs from the band’s SO36 show in Berlin on July 17th, 2022, as well as various bundles will become available via an exclusive direct to consumer web shop.
Pre-Order “Sinfonia” here: