From the 8BC to Carnegie Hall: The improbable journey of composer Rain Worthington by Photographer/Journalist Bob Krasner.
Composer’s Studio Podcast: Rain Worthington – Tapping into the pre-verbal Language
“There is a deep interiority to this music . . . Worthington has an instantly recognizable sound, an austere sensuality not quite like anyone else . . . a composer of considerable imagination, emotional expressiveness, and poetic sensibility.” – American Record Guide
“She has the ability to state her compositional case to us directly, as it were, in absolutely concrete if mystical terms. She somehow makes clear to us how we experience the transitional, impermanent and ever shifting quality of a later modernist world.” – Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Reviews
Self-taught in composition, impulses for new pieces have ranged from the sounds of NYC trucks backing up late in the night, to the two-note expression of a sigh, to a dream of a careening bike ride through dark fog.
Performances of Rain Worthington’s compositions have spanned the globe from Brazil to Iceland to Armenia, with premieres in Tokyo, Oxford University, and Delhi Music Society in India. Her work takes “. . . ideas of American musical style to a new place – like a walk in a familiar, yet very different park” – Chamber Music magazine. Her catalog includes works for orchestra, mixed chamber ensembles, violin duo, solo marimba and even a miniature for oud.
Beginning with a deep childhood memory of Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du printemps, an affinity for Satie’s piano music, and the allure of Middle-Eastern modal music that led her to travels in Greece, Egypt and Turkey, Rain has always followed her own musical instincts. She first began composing solo piano pieces, before learning music notation, and performed her works from memory in fellow artists’ lofts in Soho and at The Kitchen. With the downtown NYC club scene serving as her conservatory, Worthington led two bands and performed at CBGB’s, the Pyramid, Roulette, and PS 122.
Inspired by the energy of the contemporary classical scene, she pursued her love of orchestral music and taught herself notation and orchestration. Her orchestral writing has been described in the IAWM Journal as “a fusion of styles—ancient, medieval sounds expressed via modality and open sonorities, modernist minimalist ostinato, and classical approaches to basic ideas—to capture components of the human experience.”
2020 performances of her orchestral works include Still Motion performed at Carnegie Hall February 2020 on the DCINY concert series and Yet Still Night at the TUTTI Festival at Denison University. The World Premiere of Shredding Glass was performed by the Orquestra Sinfonica de Limeira, June 2019 in Brazil. She was guest at Missouri State University 2016 and 2017 for MSU Symphony orchestral world premieres of Tracing a Dream and In Passages. Subsequent orchestral premieres of In Passages were presented in Italy and Brazil in 2018.
2020 commissions include a new violin/piano work from violinist Audrey Wright and a work for string orchestra from the Portland Youth Philharmonic. Worthington has received the American Prize-Ernst Bacon Award, a Global Music Award and grants from Meet the Composer, ASCAP, American Music Center, NYFA, and American Composers Forum.
Navona Records has released Worthington’s chamber and orchestral music, with a 2020 release of Shadows of the Wind and Within Deep Currents scheduled for 2021. Recent 2019 Navona Records’ releases include In Passages – violin soloist and string orchestra and Full Circle – cello soloist and orchestra. Her 2016 solo orchestral album DREAM VAPORS received wide critical acclaim.
She serves as Artistic Administrator and Composer Advocate for the New York Women Composers.
(The composer has directed that all proceeds from the purchase of the Dream Vapors album to be donated through PARMA Recordings to the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund (a research 501(c)(3) public charity).