Shara Worden received a BA in Opera from the University of North Texas. After moving to New York, she began studying composition with composer/performer Padma Newsome (Clogs, The National). During this time she composed music for several off-Broadway theater productions. In 2004, she assembled a band, My Brightest Diamond, and released Bring Me The Workhorse (2006), A Thousand Shark’s Teeth (2008) and All Things Will Unwind (2011) and the upcoming This is my Hand (2014) on Asthmatic Kitty Records. Recent years have found Worden in the role of composer as much as songwriter. She recently composed a baroque opera, You Us We All, that was co-produced by Hamburg International Summer Festival and deSingel International Arts Campus and will be performed again at the Holland Festival in 2014. She has also received commissions from yMusic, Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Young New Yorkers’ Chorus, Brooklyn Rider, and Nadia Sirota. Additionally, many composers, songwriters and filmmakers have sought out Worden’s distinctive voice, including David Lang, Sarah Kirkland Snider, Sufjan Stevens, The Decemberists, David Byrne & Fatboy Slim, as well as Matthew Barney & Jonathan Bepler. In 2012, Worden was the recipient of the Kresge Artist Fellowship in the performing arts.
Worden’s “Whoever You Are” was originally composed for the Brooklyn Youth Chorus and was released on My Brightest Diamond’s 2014 EP None More Than You. The song began as a study of dance music, particularly the music of Skrillex, but Worden accidentally veered the tune toward art song by setting the poetry of Walt Whitman at 140 beats per minute. Composed for the American Songbook Series in 2011, Worden’s arrangement for “We Added It Up,” originally scored for the sextet yMusic, was released on the third My Brightest Diamond album, All Things Will Unwind. The text was inspired by President Obama’s Congressional midterm election press conference in 2010 in which he said “we’re going to need to … disagree without being disagreeable.” Recently obsessed with the American marching band as a symbol of collective music making and folk, Worden placed the snare drum-driven “Looking at the Sun” as the centerfold statement of the most recent My Brightest Diamond album, This Is My Hand, released in September 2014 on Asthmatic Kitty Records.