LUMSDAINE, DAVID White Dawn. Songs and Soundscapes. Lesley-Jane Rogers, John Turner, Peter Lawson, Gemini / Martyn Brabbins. Metier 2cds

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Lumsdaine David White Dawn Songs Gemini Martyn Brabbins Metier 2Cds

WHITE DAWN – SONGS AND SOUNDSCAPES by DAVID LUMSDAINE

WHITE DAWN – SONGS AND SOUNDSCAPES by DAVID LUMSDAINE

CD1:

Soundscape I

A Little cantata in memoriam Tracey Chadwell (words by Lumsdaine)

Soundscape II

Blue upon Blue for solo cello

Soundscape III

Six Postcard Pieces for solo piano

Soundscape IV

A Tree

Telling of Orpheus (voice and ensemble - poems by Denise Levertov)

CD2:

Soundscape V

Metamorphosis at Mullet Creek for solo recorder

A Norfolk Songbook - soprano and recorder (poems by Lumsdaine)

Cambewarra for solo piano

Lesley-Jane Rogers (sop)

John Turner (recorder)

Peter Lawson (pno)

Gemini

Martyn Brabbins

Logically, musicologically so to speak, the works on this pair of discs might have been arranged chronologically. They are all fairly late Lumsdaine, progressing from Cambewarra of 1980 to the magical sound canvases recorded between 1984 and 2004. Lumsdaine’s music has its own highly personal, compelling logic, however, and the sequence devised enables the compositions to be heard as components of a rich, vital and varied, and yet surprisingly consistent, organic musical structure. The discs could be said to form a diptych, presenting first a broad focus and then a close-up of his musical landscape. A pair of fine early Monet paintings, Le Jardin de l’Infante and Quai du Louvre are brought to mind, hinting at an illuminating parallel.

David Lumsdaine has been making soundscapes since 1983. The five on these discs are late ones, and presented chronologically could be made to sound like the outcome of the notated music. In reality, however, the reverse is the case. In the mid-1960s, he would at the right time of the year head off to, say, the Solent to record the flocking of waders. Those amazing gestural sounds, of flocks rising and calling, slowly began to affect his musical language. Consequently on these discs there is an interactive rhythmic flow, back and forth between soundscape and human music. Initially the latter appears to live in the soundscapes, but by disc 2 it has absorbed their quality of spaciousness and broad rhythm into its own aural landscape. All the soundscapes are in their own way compositions in any case, since they are not simple, passive recordings but carefully-edited assemblages.

His mature compositions tend to form trilogies, widely-spaced in time though each constituent work may have been. The soundscapes, however, follow a rule of their own, yet as will be heard on these discs, are an integral part of Lumsdaine’s strikingly original compositional vision.

Metier 2cds MSV28519

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