"I seem to crave every possible means of communication. I feel we're all expressing the same fundamentals but the true challenge is finding out which phrasing works at any given time. My goal is to be artistically multi-lingual," ~ Jess Pillmore.
"I Am Because We Are" is a vulnerable and empowering 4th album that's been five years in the making, gathering stories from across America while Jess was touring her critically acclaimed album "Reveal". "Reveal was an exciting departure from how I normally work," Jess explained. "With the help of my producer, Dan Phelps (Tori Amos, David Wilcox), I was able to go deeper into the theatrical realm of my music. It was a wonderful challenge and honor to work with music industry hard hitters Matt Chamberlain (Tori Amos, Fiona Apple, David Bowie) and Viktor Krauss (Lyle Lovett, Bill Frisell) and Craig Barnette (Donavon Frankenreiter, Mofro). That album, and its subsequent national tour, changed my whole creative process. I began looking deeper at collaborations, ensemble devised work in my theatre company and edgier ways to tell a story. 'I Am Because We Are' is an extension of that work."
"I Am Because We Are" is also an art collaboration with photographer, Dewin Anguas Barnette, making each song lyric sheet with an image collage to bring the stories to life in a new way. This free ebook is available at Jess Pillmore's website.
Over the past fifteen years, Jess has been an Off-Broadway choreographer, a national director/choreographer, an international teaching artist and Co-Artistic Director of the revolutionary arts education company, Creatively Independent. Her work has won awards, received national press and has been published in national magazines. International best-seller and marketing guru, Seth Godin, recently hand picked Jess to take part in his Impresario intensive in NY.
Jess is an interdisciplinary arts with many tools in her back pocket: a magpie collecting moments of brilliance that illuminate the unknown; bright and shiny jewels well buried in the shoulds, have to’s, and can’t’s. Through her music, you can tell Jess is enamored and challenged by choreographic patterns, theatrical storytelling, musical heartbeats and complex thoughts. She's a revolutionary who believes in one’s potential not one’s pas, digging deep, following arts’ roots to the source of humanity.
Jess's music requires you to constantly question assumptions, to empathize, to reflect, to create, to act and most importantly, to be. Being present and vulnerable in the moments of creation and expression allows these questions to arise. It also allows sparks of insight to be ignited. Poet Adrienne Rich beautifully stated, “Whatever we do together is pure invention/the maps they gave us were out of date/by years.”
The arts give me the tools and courage to create my own map of the unknown. "As an artist," Jess says, "It is not my job to create and hand out the maps to others. It is my job to inspire and taunt cartographers to navigate their own individual and yet global adventures.
WHAT THE CRITICS SAY ABOUT JESS:
"simultaneously innovative and accessible" Maverick Magazine (London)
"mellow and passionate" Impact Press
"She is a complex songwriter, stringing stories and thoughts into song... intelligently written, emotionally challenging, and sung in such a way to draw you in, just to see what is behind the strong front Pillmore attempts to erect. Yet, you can see the fragility lurking just behind it if you pay attention." Phantom Tollbooth
"Somber and deep" BuzzGrinder
"A smokier, less mainstream Norah Jones" Decapolis
"Biting observations... which owe as much to Gregory Corso as to Fiona Apple, with gritty tone selection and restrained virtuosity." Nashville Scene *Critics Pick for REVEAL*
"Dark chords, throaty vocals and the kind of lyrics that come from lots of philosophical pondering and very little reality-TV watching." Mountain Xpress (Asheville)
"Singer/songwriter Jess Pillmore's deep, husky alto, with its rich tonal quality is the ace card." Splendid e-zine