Watch Now: Dogs of Desire’s Hot, w/Mustard

Dogs of Desire, the Albany Symphony‘s self-described new “electrifying genre-bending” ensemble, has come together virtually during these times of great pandemic uncertainty to bring a showcase of great music to your ears.
“Hot, w/ Mustard”, a series that brings contemporary composers to the comfort of your own screen.

For their week three release, composer Annika Socolofsky brings you the orchestral & vocal arrangement of Dolly Parton’s “Light of a Clear Blue Morning.” For the listeners, this arrangement is soulful and energetic, if even a little chaotic at times—but never in a negative way. The chaos is merely a vibrant echo of Parton’s original. The lead vocalist’s hammer vibrato and animation are respectful of the Dolly original vocals, but without trying to be a carbon copy. 

The viewing experience, if you’re watching the video (as opposed to just listening), the energy is just as loud. Rainbows swirl, and the colorful Progress Pride Flag sits as a backdrop. These images are beautiful and poignant to not only current events, but Dolly’s long-standing stance as an LGBTQ icon, and more recently as an outspoken advocate of the Black Lives Matter movement. However, the background vocalists are considerably more demure than their leader and some of the accompanying musicians, so this juxtaposition of wildly colorful imagery and more subdued performance leaves me feeling a bit disconnected from the video. After all, the song is beautifully bouncy. 

That all being said, Annika Socolofsky’s arrangement of the Dolly Parton classic is one worth listening to. It’ll brighten your day, even if you don’t have the light of a clear blue morning outside.

Hot, w/Mustard compositions and release dates

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