Essie Jain presents “All Became Golden,” an album that’s not just a new collection of her beautiful songs, it’s a new idea of what an album can be. “All Became Golden” is as much a film (embedded below) as it is an audio experience. Instigated by filmmaker Natalie Johns, who wanted to help revitalize her friend Essie Jain’s songwriting, the album was recorded in a large mid-town Manhattan studio, and performed in the anachronistic method of great recordings by performers such as Frank Sinatra, with singer and orchestra performing together. The orchestra of top young New York musicians were arranged and conducted by Nico Muhly, who adds exquisite instrumental colors to Jain’s songs of yearning and hope.
Composer/singer Essie Jain, filmmaker Natalie Johns, and arranger Nico Muhly join David Garland to talk about how this ambitious project was born from the ashes of Jain’s career frustrations, how it all came together, and the pleasures and challenges of creating “All Became Golden.” In addition to playing some highlights from the album, Essie Jain performs one of her songs in the WNYC Studio with pianist Ellis Ludwig Leone.