Published Feb 04, 2016Amanda Palmer and her Grand Theft Orchestra collaborator Jherek Bischoff are among the many to be impacted by the death of David Bowie last month. To cope with the devastating loss, they've prepped an EP's worth of covers called Strung Out in Heaven, which they release tomorrow (February 5).
A statement from Palmer explains that she and Bischoff had discussed the project shortly after Bowie's passing, with Palmer opting to fund the collection using her ongoing crowd-sourcing campaign through Patreon. The money is intended for Palmer to keep producing art, such as this covers project.
Of the impact of Bowie's music, Palmer explained:
Music is the binding agent of our mundane lives. It cements the moments in which we wash the dishes, type the resumes, go to the funerals, have the babies. The stronger the agent, the tougher the memory, and Bowie was NASA-grade epoxy to a sprawling span of freaked-out kids over three generations. He bonded us to our weird selves. We can be us. He said. Just for one day.
The collection found Bischoff scripting string arrangements for various tracks pulled from Bowie's back catalogue. This includes classics like "Ashes to Ashes" — the collection takes its title from this song's lyrics — up to "Blackstar."
The pair also reached out to a few friends for help, with Anna Calvi adding to "Blackstar," Hedwig and the Angry Inch writer John Cameron Mitchell appearing on a pair of tracks, and Palmer's partner Neil Gaiman popping up on a modified "Space Oddity." You'll find the details in full down below.
A number of visual artists have also pitched in to produce pieces for the project: Cassandra Long ("Blackstar"), David Mack ("Ashes to Ashes"), Sarah Beetson ("Space Oddity" and the EP cover), Félix Marqués ("Life on Mars?"), HA-HA ("Helden"), and Bill Sienkiewicz ("Heroes").
The EP is streaming now, and goes on sale for $1 tomorrow through Bandcamp. Proceeds will be delivered to Bowie's publisher and towards cancer research at Tufts Medical Center.
Strung Out in Heaven: A Bowie String Quartet Tribute:
1. Blackstar (ft. Anna Calvi)
2. Space Oddity (ft. Neil Gaiman)
3. Ashes to Ashes
4. Heroes (ft. John Cameron Mitchell)
5. Helden (Single Version) (ft. John Cameron Mitchell)
6. Life on Mars? (instrumental)