esperanza spalding returns to NPR’s Tiny Desk to celebrate her Grammy-nominated album Songwrights Apothecary Lab, which was also featured on several key Best of 2021 lists: two from the New York Times, NPR Music, Vulture, Variety, and even Barack Obama’s.
The performance brings viewers on a journey through time and space, unlike any Tiny Desk set you’ve seen before. Traveling from the NPR Music office to the pyramids in Sudan and beyond, "Formwela 3," "Formwela 4" and "Formwela 8" soundtrack a cosmic exploration. esperanza performs with a full band, accompanied by “loving presences” and a “magical dancing presence."
Watch the Songwrights Apothecary Lab album it in its entirety on YouTube.
Songwrights Apothecary Lab is a collection of 12 songs, or “Formwela’s,” that were crafted over the past year in a traveling creative space. spalding invited researchers, practitioners - including music therapists and neuroscientists - and musicians to make music designed to have a specific and intentional effect on the listener. The intended effects range from de-stressing and de-escalation, to finding the right words to say among loved ones and a reminder to respect and give time to our elders. She released the first lab results in April of 2021, and wrote/recorded the second half of the album during a residency in NYC in June.