I think we were all hesitantly optimistic when actor and comedian Bill Murray announced that he would be releasing a full-length album due out in September. Murray has always been an impressive actor, with a diverse range of roles under his belt across his beyond-successful acting career. However, when he announced that he would be crossing over into the world of music with his debut album, New Worlds, it turned some heads. The album, according to The New York Times, has been in the works since 2013. New Worlds is a full-length contemporary classical album, also featuring cellist Jan Vogler, violinist Mira Wang, and pianist Vanessa Perez among others, and sees Murray reading poetry and literary excerpts by Walt Whitman, Ernest Hemingway, and Mark Twain and singing songs by Van Morrison, George Gershwin, Stephen Foster, and from the musical West Side Story.
However, given the nature of Murray’s eccentric and enigmatic celebrity presence, many were doubtful about the legitimacy of the project (despite the fact that the other musicians featured on Murray’s New World are accomplished and renowned in the musical world). On Sunday, Murray laid many of these doubts to rest, with the debut of his musical project at the Dresden Music Festival in Germany. Joined by Vogler, Wang, and Perez, the three collaborators backed Murray while the actor moved through reading literary excerpts and notably, a cover of Van Morrison’s “When Will I Ever Learn To Live In God?” off the 1989 album, Avalon Sunset. To close out the performance, in line with Murray’s frequent subversion of tradition, according to Consequence of Sound, Murray threw out roses to the audience.
You can watch fan-shot clips from the performance, including the Van Morrison cover, below, as well as the trailer for New Worlds.
New Worlds Trailer
Clips for Bill Murray’s Germany Debut
[H/T Consequence of Sound]