Track Premiere: ShoutHouse Performs “Shiny Objects” by Will Healy

The strumming acoustic guitar and swelling strings that open “Shiny Objects” establish a clear sonic mood that is instantly subverted by the beat drop about 15 seconds in, and the surprises just keep coming from there. At 1:30, we’re met with blocky, vertical syncopations that suddenly drop out to reveal a minimalist, Brubeck-like piano motif. A scorching saxophone solo ushers in belting vocals at the apex of the tune, before everything gently unfurls to the final tender lines: “Lift up high / Whatever shines most.”

Today, we’re excited to premiere “Shiny Objects,” the latest single from ShoutHouse, a collective of hip-hop, jazz, and classical musicians based in New York City. ShoutHouse founder Will Healy wrote the music and lyrics at the beginning of the pandemic when collaboration and connection were scarce. The track was recorded remotely by 18 musicians from around the world in June and July 2020, but Jack Gulielmetti’s slick producing recreates the energy of a live jam session, led by singer Hannah Zazzaro and saxophonist Connell Thompson.

Will Healey -- Photo by Jenny Davis

Will Healy — Photo by Jenny Davis

Here’s what Will Healy had to say about writing “Shiny Objects” in 2020:

 At the time, I was quarantined in a house in the woods, dreaming of making music with my friends and collaborators, spending more time than I should have scrolling on social media, reading alarming conspiracy theories being reposted by my conservative relatives.

Channeling the energy of that moment into a creative outlet, I wrote “Shiny Objects,” incorporating some quotes from these posts into the lyrics, and sent the sheet music to the members of ShoutHouse and some far-away instrumentalist friends. They sent back audio of each instrument, which was then painstakingly compiled, aligned, and edited by me, then brought to life in the years since by producer Jack Gulielmetti and mix engineer Chris Connors. 

About ShoutHouse

ShoutHouse is an NYC-based collective of musicians, bringing together complex grooves, poetic hip-hop, high-octane vocals, and instrumental solos in a way that is distinctly their own. Their core group includes two emcees, a singer, and a band of a dozen instrumentalists from hip hop, jazz, and classical backgrounds.

The brainchild of composer/pianist Will Healy, ShoutHouse’s sound is an “absolutely unique blend of postrock, art-rock, and indie classical” styles (New York Music Daily), with a roster of a dozen musicians from many corners of the NYC music scene. Recent projects include a 30-minute symphonic piece for ShoutHouse, emcee, and choir, premiered at Roulette Intermedium in May 2022. ShoutHouse’s first full-length album, Cityscapes, was released on New Amsterdam Records in 2019, and called “one of the most creative projects you’ll hear all year” by Ted Gioia, author of “The History of Jazz.”

Recent highlights include performances at The Kennedy Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Kimmell Cultural Center, National Sawdust, and (le) Poisson Rouge. Their music has been featured on radio programs around the world, including WNYC’s “New Sounds” with John Schaefer, WBAI’s “Making Music” with Jordan Maclean, and “44 Charlton” with Julian Fleisher. Since its inception, ShoutHouse has received support from New Music USA, The Juilliard School’s entrepreneurship program, the Brooklyn Arts Fund, Jerome Fund for New Music, the Queens Arts Council, The Sparkplug Foundation, and others.

About Will Healy

Will Healy is a composer, pianist, and improviser, whose work across genres is characterized by textural richness, thematic depth, and vibrant experimentations. Based in Brooklyn, Healy composes music drawn from the musical traditions of New York City and the collaborations it inspires.

Healy is the founder and artistic director of ShoutHouse, a collective of hip-hop, jazz, and classical musicians. Recent ShoutHouse performances have taken place at the Kennedy Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and (le) Poisson Rouge, and their music has been featured on WNYC’s “New Sounds,” among other radio programs. Their debut album, Cityscapes, was released in 2019 by New Amsterdam records, and Healy’s recent 30-minute piece for chorus and ShoutHouse, Orbits, was premiered at Roulette Intermedium in 2022.

As a pianist, he has performed solo recitals in the United States and abroad, including programs of original music, world premieres of pieces by other composers, and a wide variety of works from the classical repertoire. Healy has performed the works of J.S. Bach extensively, including the complete Goldberg Variations. Healy is currently the pianist in Pathos Trio, an award-winning chamber group that has premiered dozens of new works.

Healy’s awards include the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Charles Ives Scholarship, two ASCAP Morton Gould Awards, Vassar College’s W.K. Rose Fellowship, a J-Fund commission (now ACF | create), and residencies at the Bogliasco, Willapa Bay AiR, and Brush Creek Foundations. Healy has written pieces for the New York Philharmonic’s Bandwagon and YPC Concert series performances. He holds an M.M. in Composition from the Juilliard School, where he studied with Samuel Adler, John Corigliano, and Steven Stucky.


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