New album alert! Featuring Australian works for solo cello, and cello with electronics.
Release date: September 22
This one has been a long time in the making. My initial conception for this album dates back to 2020, prior to the pandemic. Since then, however, the album concept has undergone several transformations, owing in large part to all the extra time I have had to sit with the music throughout the ongoing lockdowns. So while the initial goal was to record the album in mid 2021, this had to be postponed a number of times - four in total - of course due to pandemic complications. It was only in November 2022 that I was finally able to finish recording the album, well over a year after the initial scheduled date! Suffice to say this was a major achievement, considering all the difficulties and major setbacks of the previous year. Having to revisit and re-work a lot of the same repertoire over and over again—with the same energy, commitment, and musical integrity—was quite a challenge; as such I am proud of finally being able to see this process through to completion.
With all that said, here is the final track list, with some explanations further below:
Sculthorpe Requiem for Cello Alone, mvt I: Introit
Kate Moore Whoever you are Come Forth (with electronics)
Sculthorpe Requiem for Cello Alone, mvt II: Kyrie
Steve Stelios Adam, Emergence (2020 commission) - electroacoustic
Sculthorpe Requiem for Cello Alone, mvt III: Qui Mariam
Elena Kats Chernin Wild Rice
Sculthorpe Requiem for Cello Alone, mvt IV: Lacrimosa
Tilman Robinson, Qua Resurget ex Favilla… (2020 commission) - electroacoustic
Sculthorpe Requiem for Cello Alone, mvt V: Libera Me
Huw Belling - Bourrée echo (2015 commission)
Sculthorpe Requiem for Cello Alone, mvt VI: Lux Aeterna
Ross Edwards Prelude and Laughing Rock
Traditional arr. Richard Narroway: Variations on Waltzing Matilda (performed live at the Sydney Myer Bowl, Feb 2023)
Sculthorpe’s Requiem forms the centrepiece of the album, with each movement being paired with another Australian piece reflecting its spirit and essence. The idea here is that a progressive kind of intensity is built up throughout the album in line with the musical structure of the Requiem. Thus, the movements of the Requiem which reflect the more objective, spiritual quality of the plainchant mass (Introit, Lacrimosa, and Lux Aeterna), are complemented by the more melodic and predominantly tranquil works by Kate Moore, Tilman Robinson and Ross Edwards; while the other movements which capture the more personal, increasingly urgent music of Sculthorpe (Kyrie, Qui Mariam, Libera Me) are coupled with the more volatile and chromatic works by Stephen Adam, Elena Kats Chernin, and Huw Belling. A palpable tension is created as a result of the alternating musical material, with the recurring plainchant acting as a kind of spiritual grounding point as the other music becomes increasingly complex and urgent. This build-up of intensity gains considerable momentum towards the latter half of Tilman’s work, qua resurget ex favilla…accelerating to a wild climax, with edgy, high-register sul-pont cello timbres soaring over a percussive backdrop of heavy-metal electronics. Immediately capitalising on this build up of energy is the climactic fifth movement of the Requiem, Libera Me, which is paired with Huw Belling’s Bourrée echo, a work built upon the same C-D-Eb motive that is heard repeatedly throughout the Libera Me. Rounding off the album is Ross Edwards’ Prelude and Laughing Rock, which signifies a kind of cathartic release in the form of a spiritual and upbeat celebration of Australia’s magnificent landmark, Uluru. Thus, while the general mood and atmosphere of this album is quite dark and contemplative, the prevailing message is one of hope and optimism.
With many thanks to the Freedman Foundation for making this project possible; to Jamie Mills (producer) and Jack Montgomery-Parkes (sound engineer), for their extraordinary expertise throughout this process; to Elaine Armstrong, an amazing manager and radiant human being, who has assisted at all stages along the way; to Genevieve Lacey, for her wisdom and guidance in helping me shape and formulate my ideas; and to Tilman Robinson and Steve Stelios Adam for contributing their phenomenal compositional talent to the project by means of two exceptional electroacoustic works that I have come to adore.
You can pre-order at the following link: