New Releases of the Week (20 November 2020)
Chamber Choir Ireland – Letters
Letters is the new CD by Chamber Choir Ireland (CCI), conducted by Paul Hillier and featuring the Irish Chamber Orchestra. The album consists of four works, the 35-minute cantata A Letter of Rights by Tarik O’Regan and librettist Alice Goodman for chorus, strings and percussion, and three a cappella works (under the title Triptych) by Irish composer David Fennessy. A Letter of Rights was commissioned by Salisbury Cathedral to mark the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta. In eight sections, the work explores the text of clauses 39 and 40 concerning due legal processes. O’Regan and Goodman write ‘…something comes before the text, before the pen curves through the air to form the first capital. That is the ground on which the letter is set: the parchment. Since the making of parchment requires the shedding of blood, this is where we begin.’ Fennessy’s Triptych consists of Letter to Michael, Ne Reminiscaris and Hashima Refrain. In her review of the premiere of Ne Reminiscaris in 2017, Anna Murray wrote in the Journal of Music, ‘The effect was like a group emerging from a dreamy haze, with each individual member finding their own place in a brand new world of colour, with increasing wonder and growing confidence.’
To purchase the CD, visit www.chamberchoirireland.com/recordings/letters/.
Irish Women in Harmony – Together at Christmas
Irish Women in Harmony, a group of musicians including songwriter RuthAnne, Erica Cody, Emma Langford, Imelda May, Róisín O and more, have just released their Christmas single, ‘Together at Christmas’. The song was written and produced by RuthAnne, with all parts recorded remotely by thirty of the group’s musicians. The song also features a choir of eighteen young female singers and the proceeds of the song will go towards Childline. Earlier this year, the group released a cover of ‘Dreams’ by the Cranberries, and raised money for Safe Ireland, a charity working with women and children who are dealing with abuse. To purchase the single, visit: https://orcd.co/togetheratchristmas.
Paddy McKeown – The Good Step
Paddy McKeown, who has just released his debut album The Good Step, is a guitarist, composer and visual artist based in Belfast. He is best known as a multi-instrumentalist and session musician, who has performed at festivals including Isle of Wight, Celtic Connections and The Trip To Birmingham TradFest. This album is a collection of his own tunes, including jigs, reels, waltzes and more, played with layered guitars. Visit: https://thegoodstep.bandcamp.com/releases.
Clare Sands – The Blessing
Fiddle-player and singer-songwriter Clare Sands has just released a new single, ‘The Blessing’, inspired by the traditional song ‘An Irish Blessing’. Sands recorded and produced the song herself, performing all instrumentation. Commenting on the track, she said ‘I first heard the mighty Maura O’Connell singing it, and I think it is a song completely apt for the times we are living in at the moment. Although there is a darkness running throughout, reflecting in a way the change of the seasons, I feel there is great hope and resilience to be found within it too…’ Visit: https://claresands.com/.
Speckled Doves – EP ONE
Consisting of multi-instrumentalists Marc Aubele (Nanu Nanu/Join me in the Pines) and John Haggis (Band of Clouds/Emperor of Icecream), Speckled Doves create experimental electronic music with hints of dark pop. In January, the pair spent time recording in a studio in Wexford, composing almost thirty songs, four of which feature on EP ONE. The EP is accompanied by four music videos created by the duo. Visit: https://speckleddoves.bandcamp.com/releases.
NDR Chor – nine(birds)here
Following the release of composerIan Wilson’s Wild is the Wind on the Diatribe label earlier this month, the Es Dur label in Germany have now released nine(birds)here by NDR Chor in Hamburg that contains three works by the Belfast composer as well as compositions by English composer Ivan Moody. The most substantial works on the CD by the composers – Little red fish and Moons and Suns – are both for choir and saxophone quartet, featuring the Raschèr Quartet. These are complemented by works for a cappella choir, in Ian Wilson’s case nine(birds)here and i carry your heart (both settings of poems by E.E. Cummings), and He who clothed himself with light and Aflame by Moody. To purchase the CD, visit www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/nine/hnum/10322247.
Pedro Rebelo – Listen to Me
Released in September on the Crónica label in Portugal, composer, sound artist and performer Pedro Rebelo’s Listen to Me developed out of a residency in 2017 at the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory in Braga. It allowed Rebelo, also Professor of Sonic Arts at Queen’s University Belfast, to discover the world of nanotechnology research, in particular through following researchers working on a project in the area of food safety. The album contains two works, Listen to me #1 and Listen to me #2. Visit https://cronica.bandcamp.com/album/listen-to-me
Christy Moore – The Early Years 1969-81
This new record by Christy Moore is a comprehensive retrospective of his early works, comprising a selection of songs from his catalogue of albums and live TV appearances from 1969 to 1981, including ‘I Wish I was in England’, ‘Raggle Taggle Gypsy/ Tabhair Dom Do Lámh’, ‘Little Musgrave’ and ‘The Cliffs of Dooneen’.
Commenting on the collection, Moore says: ‘This Early Years project has uncovered songs and recordings long since forgotten. Some tracks are rough and ready just as my life was back then, most bring back good memories of nights long gone, of songs long since sung. I am happy that these early works have been remastered, given a fresh context and a new lease of life.’ Visit: https://www.christymoore.com/uncategorized/early-years-today/.
To submit your music for inclusion, visit: https://bit.ly/38vquCn