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Experimental Rock Group Carbonworks Releases Jazz Fusion Single 'Athena' From New Album, 'Vanishing Act,' Out April 21, 2023

Experimental Rock Group Carbonworks Releases Jazz Fusion Single 'Athena' From New Album, 'Vanishing Act,' Out April 21, 2023

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Neal Barnard
Who are we? Where do we come from?

Avant-garde rock group CarbonWorks ponders these theoretical unknowns in their jazz fusion single “Athena,” out now on all music streaming platforms. Led by composer and guitarist Neal Barnard, the experimental group questions the complexities of the world and human purpose with an international flair provided by singer-songwriter Lara Lotz (Ben & Lola). Sung predominately in French with a touch of Latin to close out the track, “Athena” is from the group’s second studio album, Vanishing Act, out April 21, 2023.

Written and composed by Barnard, “Athena” is a reflection of the songwriter’s philosophical worldviews. Providing insight, the musician shares “I woke up one day at 4am, and a bluesy saxophone sound came out of nowhere. If I went back to sleep, it would be gone. So I got up and wrote it down. Barnard continues, “The lyrics speak of life as the whim of an impulsive deity who launches mortals on their trajectories of joy and tears. The image is Athena, the goddess of war, mathematics, and other dangerous things… the final lyrics take a tongue-in-cheek turn on the Beatitudes. Blessed are the meek. Will they inherit the Earth? Dream on, buster. Blessed are the merciful. Will they be repaid in kind? Not likely. But to have been merciful is enough. In fact, to be kind and compassionate is the most important thing we can do.”

The soulful saxophone (Bobby Read) is answered by guitar (Barnard) and violin (Allegra Havens).

Check out “Athena” (below), the new single by alternative rock band CarbonWorks—out now! Stay tuned for the band’s upcoming album, Vanishing Act, out April 21, 2023.

More about Neal Barnard

Raised in North Dakota’s cattle country, Neal Barnard grew up studying piano and cello. Barnard started composing and recording songs in the 80s. With a penchant for the avant-garde, Neal constantly writes songs that defy any genre categorization. He chooses unconventional time meters as well, in order to “tilt the song ever so slightly and give you that little jolt between the ears,” as he puts it.

Barnard launched CarbonWorks at a 2016 event at New York’s Metrograph, hosted by Alec Baldwin and Maggie Q. Its line-up included singers from Italy, France, and the U.S., with rock and classical instrumentalists. While this is Barnard’s fourth album, following Pop Maru, Verdun, and CarbonWorks’ 2016 release, he is better known as a medical pioneer who formed the Physicians Committee in 1985 to rally for prevention, nutrition, and higher ethical standards in research. In 2006, funded by the National Institutes of Health, Barnard used a low-fat vegan diet to revolutionize the treatment of type 2 diabetes and has used similar approaches to skewer weight problems, women’s health issues, and other medical challenges. “In music or medicine, we have to look out of the box,” he says. Michael Friedman wrote in Psychology Today, “Neal Barnard has never been one to accept the status quo.”

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