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Rhiannon Giddens Releases Audible Original, Announces 4-Book Children’s Publishing Deal with Candlewick Press

July 22, 2021

Rhiannon Giddens Releases Audible Original, To Balance on Bridges, Out Today

Shares Details On 4-Book Children’s Publishing Deal with Candlewick Press

Watch the Video For “Si Dolce è’l Tormento” From New Album They’re Calling Me Home

Following the release of her latest album They’re Calling Me Home (Nonesuch), Rhiannon Giddens has revealed the debut of her Audible Original, To Balance on Bridges, and a 4-book children’s publishing deal, both of which continue to illustrate Giddens’ artistic growth not only as a beloved musician but a storyteller, podcast host, composer of opera and ballet, actress and beyond.  She has also shared a new music video from They’re Calling Me Home, which was recorded in lockdown in Ireland last year with multi-instrumentalist Francesco Turrisi and deemed “a near perfect album…her finest work to date” by No Depression.  The video was filmed while Giddens and Turrisi were making the album, and was shot by Laura Sheeran at Hellfire Studios in Dublin. Watch the video for the 17th century Italian composition “Si Dolce è’l Tormento” here:


Giddens’ Audible Original debuted today, as part of the Words + Music series, exclusively on Audible within the US. The 1.5 hour audio-only memoir follows Giddens as she examines the multitude of influences and identities that have led her to a life “nestled in the nexus”—defined and further made whole by the sum of her parts. She recounts the celebrated artist’s life from childhood to present and explores her discovering many different types of music – classical / opera, folk / contra, Irish / gaelic, traditional string band music, historical music and beyond.  Throughout To Balance on Bridges, she performs tracks from several of her acclaimed albums, and leads listeners through a journey of musical styles, lyrical patterns, and instrumentation while confronting questions on race, culture, appropriation, and class with searing precision. Audible’s signature Words + Music series has recently featured top recording artists such as Common, Tom Morello and Patti Smith.


Giddens’ recently announced publishing deal with Candlewick Press includes four books, beginning with two picture books.  The first book, due in fall of 2022, Build a House is based on the song of that title, which Giddens wrote in 2020 for the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth and originally performed with Yo-Yo Ma. Amid the 2020 demonstrations for racial equity and drawing on and conveying Black history, Build a House emerged as an important new protest anthem. The picture book, to be illustrated by Monica Mikai, illuminates for young readers the song’s message of Black courage and perseverance in the face of enslavement, violence, and appropriation. Build a House will be supported by a coordinated international marketing campaign.


Giddens will also tour with Francesco Turrisi this fall.


Tour dates:

August 3 – Hamburg, Germany – Elbphilharmonie

September 3 – Wellfleet, MA – Payomet Performing Arts Center

September 4 – Lowell, MA – Boarding House Series

September 5 – Charlestown, RI – Rhythm and Roots Festival

September 8 – Northampton, MA – Academy of Music

September 10 – Ridgefield, CT – Ridgefield Playhouse

September 17 – Ojai, CA – Ojai Music Festival

September 18 – Ojai, CA – Ojai Music Festival

September 19 – Ojai, CA – Ojai Music Festival

October 24 – Rotterdam, Netherlands – Lantaren Venster