Ms. Karpman’s music, melding Ivesian collage with club-culture remixing, morphed from one vivid section to the next in a dreamlike flow, with repeated phrases and motifs lending a strand of continuity...The audience thundered its approval
Carnegie Hall...reaches a climax with Laura Karpman’s new work
Audacious, mesmerizing…Schubert and others rub shoulders with hip-hop and bebop. Laura Karpman has the skill to shift musical genres with ease. And the array of soloists, from soprano Angela Brown and Roots drummer Questlove to the recorded voices of musical icons, could hardly sound more apt in illuminating the dual visions of Huges and Karpman.
A grand multitude of American voices...Ask Your Mama is not just a song cycle but an attempt to squeeze the entire country into a single piece of music.
....one of the most compelling pieces to rile ears this side of the twentieth century.
Ari Mintz for The New York Times Tracie Luck, left, and Jessye Norman in “Ask Your Mama!” at Carnegie Hall in 2009.
Fevered, restrained, super-lush in turns...always impressive.
Karpman speaks Hughes’ multifaceted musical language...she seamlessly melds musical styles...she makes powerful use of juxtaposition...[ASK YOUR MAMA] needs to be taken seriously
This is easily one of the most moving, respectful, and authoritative evocations of a narration-based symphonic setting you’ll hear anywhere.
Karpman’s musical setting breathes new life into Langston Hughes’ text, together referencing the entirety of the African American experience through a diverse range of musical genres and vernacular traditions. Karpman weaves all of these strands together into a compelling new work.
PBS Newshour: Jessye Norman, the Roots Team Up for Langston Hughes’ ‘Ask Your Mama’
words take flight, soaring to the rafters...both funny and prescient...playful and serious all at once.