I produced this album (and that was a task) but the story that rattles around in my head when I think about thorn had nothing to do with the production. I was originally slated to record on one piece (Involuntary) and…in fact…I did record it…or part of it. But during the session, something snapped in my throat – I remember feeling like all my tires just went flat – and I had to stop and cut the session short. That was a first for me as a recording artist and, as it turns out, it would be my last: what snapped turned out to be my pharynx breaching the muscle wall in my throat.
It turned out to be a complication with my pharyngocele – a congenital condition that I’d known about and even had surgery for – and that snap would ultimately spell the end of my trumpet playing days.
I bring this story up not to distract from the artistry on this record, but to explain just how charged the whole thing was.
from cantaloupe records website:

“thorn is flutist and eighth blackbird founding member Molly Barth‘s collection of short works by David Lang, and has been described as “…a varied yet consistent overview of Lang’s chamber music activities, a vital part of his output that deserves continued attention even as he moves into larger forms and more expansive concepts. The performances, by Barth and a small host of excellent associates (including fellow former blackbird Matt Albert on violin), strike just the right balance between nervous tension and technical security.” (Steve Smith, The Log Journal)

About the title piece, David Lang writes: “My first idea for thorn was to embed a single spike somewhere in the middle of a long, slow, quiet melody. I thought that the listener would then spend the first part of the piece in fear and the second part in shock, and this would change the ways that the tune would be perceived. The problem was that the spike turned out to be the most interesting part of the piece, and, ultimately, I couldn’t resist the temptation to add many, many more of them.”

Molly Barth – flute, piccolo
Zachariah Galatis – piccolo
Sarah Viens and Joshua Silva – trumpets
Melissa Peña – oboe
Matt Albert – violin
Jeffrey Zeigler – cello
David Riley – piano
Stuart Gerber – woodblocks and percussion

Brian McWhorter – producer”