OCTET's inaugural album, recorded over the past few years with renowned engineer John Kilgore, will be released in June by Naxos on the Belarca label. The album features the music of William Susman and includes two song cycles, Scatter My Ashes and Moving in to an Empty Space (performed by soprano Mellissa Hughes), as well as Susman's Piano Concerto (Elaine Kwon, soloist) and the ensemble work Camille.
OCTET takes the instrumentation of the American big band and scales it down to a brass section of saxophone, trumpet, and trombone and a rhythm section of piano, electric piano, double bass and drums plus vocals.
OCTET gathers together a stellar cast of artists who have worked with eighth blackbird, SIGNAL, Alarm Will Sound, Victoire, and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Their repertoire, which features music by composer and founder William Susman, includes the live performance of the film score to Native New Yorker (Best Documentary Short award, Tribeca Film Festival).