Stelle Lucenti is a collaboration with early music ensemble La Sfera Armoniosa and the amazing singer Claron McFadden, and presents some of the most beautiful compositions by 16th and 17th century composers such as Monteverdi, Luzzaschi and Kapsberger. Claron and Nora have been singing these duets together for years, letting their voices swim and fly around each other’s in these magical pieces of music. They were delighted to record a few of these songs with the wonderful theorbist Mike Fentross and his ensemble La Sfera Armoniosa.
Following several exciting collaborations on theatrical and concert pieces, the world-renowned composer Louis Andriessen (1939-2021) wrote one of his last pieces for Nora and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. The song cycle The Only One premiered in May 2019 at the Walt Disney Concert Hall under conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen. Set to intense and unsettling texts by the Flemish poet Delphine Lecompte, this piece is a whirlwind of inner voices: tender, flamboyant and malevolent.
Andriessen has long been known for working with jazz / pop singers for his compositions, with view to radically shifting the traditional singing style in contemporary classical music. It made him the perfect composer for Nora – in Andriessen’s words, he wanted ‘everything Nora can do to be included in this new piece’!
Falling Out Of Time is a breathtaking new work by composer Osvaldo Golijov, written for the Silkroad Ensemble. Based on award-winning Israeli author David Grossman’s hauntingly beautiful book Falling Out Of Time, this piece explores the unspeakable emotion of grief. Part play, part poem, part fable, the book describes a journey “out of time” as parents grieve the death of their child, a quest to comprehend a loss with no name.
Composed by the amazing Argentinian composer Osvaldo Golijov, Ayre is a breathtaking ode to various styles of folk music ranging from Sephardic tunes to Eastern European music and Christian Arab traditions. It is both a celebration of worldwide sound colours, and an attempt at building bridges between painfully separated and opposed cultures. Ayre was recorded live at TivoliVredenburg, Utrecht, in collaboration with the wonderful Asko|Schönberg Ensemble.
Especially for the 2018 record store campaign of Deutsche Grammophon NL, Nora recorded the mini-album FOLK. This disc is all about the meeting point of ever-inspiring folk music and the multi-layered vocabulary of classical music. Composers such as Ravel and Bartók have been inspired by various folk music traditions, and have combined them with their own vocabulary as ingenious composers. The combination of these simple, pure and beautiful melodies, with many added layers of compositional qualities, amounts to wonderful new crossroads of two worlds that appeared to be so far from one another. When these two worlds meet, it is a playground of possibilities for vocal expression, giving way to the playful, the vulnerable, the intensely intimate or ecstatic joy.
Nora’s debut album HUSH was released on Deutsche Grammophon in April 2018, and has toured the Netherlands in 2018/19 and worldwide in 2019/20. The album won an EDISON award in October 2018!
Working alongside celebrated guitarist Marnix Dorrestein, one of Nora’s long awaited dreams finally became reality: the redefinition of early music songs. 17th Century composers such as Monteverdi, Purcell and Dowland have provided songs with an incredible beauty that are extremely close to the pop music of today, only with a performance practice that is usually far away from the ears of this generation. With this project, Nora & Marnix place these songs in our time. Stripped of mannerisms, sung in a lower key and performed in the purest version: simple, timeless and intensely beautiful. Sometimes groovy and soulful, sometimes silent and soul piercing. Approached with the creativity of songwriters in the 21st century.
Initiated by saxophone player Ties Mellema, Nora has featured in a project based on the work of rock musician Beck Hansen. Beck released an album called Song Reader consisting only of sheet music instead of his own recordings, inviting people to interpret the music in their very own way. Ties and Nora have taken the challenge to create whole new versions of Beck’s songs. Thanks to the craftmanship of brilliant composers such as Ian Wilson, Morris Kliphuis, Konrad Koselleck, Rob Horsting, Tini Thomsen and Maarten Ornstein, the variety is huge and the result is a bizarre mix of styles and sounds…
Nora’s musical career usually doesn’t mix with her father’s (conductor Iván Fischer). But as he started composing his own works, their musical worlds crossed paths and Nora started singing his compositions. It grew into a very special collaboration, and resulted in Iván Fischer’s first composition CD. The style is eclectic: a result of many different musical inspirations finding their way into a collage-like composition style.
Together with composer Morris Kliphuis (Kapok Jazz Trio, Kytopia), text writer Lucky Fonz III, the Ragazze String Quartet and drummer Remco Menting (Kapok), Nora has created a new genre-defying project. The Secret Diary of Nora Plain – darting between the borders of pop, jazz and classical – tells the story of the young Nora Plain, trying to live as an individual in the increasingly monitored society of today. Through her diary entrances, we hear her struggles with the watching eyes all around her that try to penetrate her personal space more and more.
The Secret Diary of Nora Plain is an intimate, personal and unsettling song cycle about the relationship between society, privacy, and paranoia. Created by writers and performers from classical, jazz, pop & folk backgrounds, defying all musical boundaries.