Bill Murray is an enigmatic celebrity presence, with a beyond-successful acting career and with fan encounters abounding of hilarious encounters with the Hollywood legend (“No one will ever believe you”). The breadth of Murray’s acting work is already impressive, but according to The New York Times, Murray is formally stepping into the world of music, with a full-length debut album of classical music on the way. The album, titled New Worlds, explores “themes of American history and identity,” tapping cellist Jan Vogler, violinist Mira Wang, and pianist Vanessa Perez, and others for the collection.
Over the classical music, Murray reads poetry and literary excerpts by Walt Whitman, Ernest Hemingway, and Mark Twain or sings songs by Van Morrison, George Gershwin, Stephen Foster, and from the musical West Side Story. While this may seem like a bizarre project, New Worlds has been in the works since 2013 following a shared plane ride between Murray and Vogler, and two years later, Vogler accompanying Murray on the Poets House annual Brooklyn Bridge poetry walk. Vogler, a respected and accomplished cellist, adds legitimacy to the project that might be dismissed as a bizarre stunt by the comedian and actor. However, it’s clear Murray is taking his role as front man seriously and that he believes in the project, telling the Times, “When they start playing, the demand is so great that if you are attending to who you are right now, it brings out something that you couldn’t have visualized or planned for . . . You hear all those other voices saying, ‘That didn’t sound like Tony Bennett,’ or, ‘That B flat’s not going to break a light bulb.’ But they’re receding. They’re gone.”
In addition to the album, which plans to be released in August, Murray will be hitting the road with the ensemble. On July 20th, the tour kicks off at Festival Napa Valley. Not much more is known about the tour except for an October date on the 16th at Carnegie Hall in New York and an October 13th show at The Royal Conservatory in Toronto. To get ready for terrrrr, you can watch Bill Murray sing “Gloria” below.
[H/T Consequence of Sound]