Two years after the collaborative album with French ensemble astrïd, American pianist and composer Rachel Grimes announced the release of a new album. The Way Forth is out on November 1st via Temporary Residence. According to the press release, it encompasses lush layers of voices and orchestrations in an experiential, non-linear investigation highlighting perspectives of Kentucky women from 1775 to today. “Got Ahold of Me” is the first excerpt. Listen below.
Inspired by a treasure-trove of family documents, photos, and letters spanning several generations, Grimes began in 2016 to research some of the more vexing questions that came to the surface about these people, places, and events. Fueled by intuition, travel to visit family, photographing, and filming present day rural Kentucky life, the research led to many more questions: What is missing? What is not being said here? What did she really think and feel? Primary historical accounts routinely glossed over people without titles or voting rights, and dehumanized most others by referring to them as objects of desire, savages, or slaves. Further examination formed a framework for trying to reconcile her state’s history and how it relates to the westward expansion and settlement of the United States and ultimately how an era of domination, denial, and pain is reflected in the complex culture of today.