Devonté Hynes, aka Blood Orange, was nominated for two 2021 GRAMMY Awards for Fields, his late 2019 modern classical collaboration with Third Coast Percussion. The categories they’re up for are Best Engineered Album, Classical and Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance.
Fields was entirely composed by Hynes and was his first fully classical record. He had hinted at composing with the score for 2013 feature film Palo Alto and has since scored Queen & Slim and We Are Who We Are. Fields is also his debut solo album since the other three are film/television scores.
— Pitchfork (@pitchfork) November 24, 2020
Hynes started out in briefly-lived rock band Test Icicles, released a few albums as Lightspeed Champion and rose to fame with the Blood Orange moniker he changed to in 2011. As Blood Orange, he’s released four indie R&B records, Coastal Grooves, Cupid Deluxe, Freetown Sound and Negro Swan. This year, Blood Orange has appeared on collaborations with electronic musicians Park Hye Jin and The Avalanches.
The other nominees for Best Engineered Album, Classical are all musicians/orchestras that have been playing classical music for a long time. JoAnn Falletta, James K. Bass, Adam Luebke, UCLA Chamber Singers, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus were nominated for their recording of The Passion of Yeshua, composed by Richard Danielpour. David Robertson, Eric Owens, Angel Blue and Metropolitan Opera Orchestra & Chorus were nominated for their recording of George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. Gustavo Dudamel and Los Angeles Philharmonic were nominated for their recording of composer Charles Ives’ Complete Symphonies. Lastly, Riccardo Muti and Chicago Symphony Orchestra were nominated for their recording of Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 13, “Babi Yar.”
In the Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance category, Pacifica Quartet were nominated for their collaboration with Otis Murphy, Contemporary Voices, featuring compositions by Shulamit Ran, Jennifer Higdon and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich. Brooklyn Rider were nominated for Healing Modes, with compositions by six different composers, including jazz musician Matana Roberts, Ludwig van Beethoven, Reena Esmail, Gabriela Lena Frank, Du Yun and Caroline Shaw. Ted Hearne, Steven Bradshaw, Sophia Byrd, Josephine Lee, Isaiah Robinson, Sol Ruiz, Ayanna Woods & Place Orchestra were nominated for Place, a classically-influenced pop album written by Hearne. Dover Quartet were nominated for The Schumann Quartets, featuring the complete string quartets of Robert Schumann.
There were a lot of other interesting picks for GRAMMY Award nominations announced earlier today. For the first time in GRAMMY history, all nominees for Best Rock Performance were women. Notably, The Weeknd and Bob Dylan were missing from the nominations in spite of both artists having a very successful year.
Photo credit: Sharon Alagna