When not working as a composer, Ralph Farris performs in the pioneering string quartet ETHEL.
The group’s new album, Documerica, takes inspiration from the Environmental Protection Agency’s 1971 Project Documerica, which commissioned photographers across the United States to capture images of the environment and it’s impact on society. The album features new compositions by ETHEL members as well as music commissioned from acclaimed composers Mary Ellen Childs, GRAMMY®-winning jazz drummer Ulysses Owens, Jr., Chickasaw Nation’s Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate and James “Kimo” Williams. Each of these composers brings their own voice, regional and generational background to a collection of pieces that explores uniquely American music: the blues, jazz, Native American and Bluegrass.
Documerica is out this Friday on Innova. The New York Times is streaming the entire album this week. Check it out here.