My Brightest Diamond's endlessly busy and enigmatic singer, songwriter, composer and multi-instrumentalist is a dizzying blur of creativity. A one-time member of The Decemberists, Shara Worden has collaborated with David Lang, Sufjan Stevens, Matthew Barney, yMusic and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus. She also recently completed You Us We All, a Baroque opera, and her new album as My Brightest Diamond, This Is My Hand, came out this week.
For this episode of Q2's Spaces, we visit Worden's home, located minutes from the heart of downtown Detroit. Within a striking landscape of burned-out buildings and vacant lots thrives a small community of artists and urban farmers. Empty buildings are colored with pastel murals; lush gardens tumble over the lots behind revitalized homes. A few blocks away, vinyl records and mounds of trash and broken furniture have been re-purposed into the Heidelberg Project, an open-air art installation.
Dressed in a bold red shirt and surrounded by artwork of friends and former bandmates, the bright-eyed Worden has a quality that's as mystical as her surroundings. Like her music, her home balances charming antiquity — old records, a wood-burning stove, food she grows herself — with modern, urban perspective. While taking us on a tour of the gardens that line her block, Worden tells us about her studio, the importance of the color red to her writing process, and keeping one foot in the classical world and one foot in the club.
Video: Kim Nowacki, Hannis Brown; Executive Producers: Alex Ambrose, Mike Rinzel
- My Brightest Diamond, "We Added It Up"
- My Brightest Diamond, "High Low Middle"
- My Brightest Diamond, "Be Brave" (recorded live in the Greene Space at WQXR)
- Nadia Sirota, "From The Invisible To The Visible"
- yMusic "A Whistle, A Tune, A Macaroon"