Sea to the West classical album review: Layered sounds for solo soprano

Wed, Jan 18, 2017, 16:15

   
 

Album:
Sea to the West

Artist:
Elizabeth Hilliard; Christopher Fox; Linda Buckley; Gráinne Mulvey; David Bremner

Label:
Métier

Genre:
Classical

The works here by Christopher Fox (Sea to the West, Magnification), Linda Buckley (Númarímur), Gráinne Mulvey (Phonology Garden, Eternity Is Now) and David Bremner (logic ballad #2: The guarded tourist makes the guide the test) are all for solo soprano.

But the overall effect is anything but solo, with electronics providing independent background as well as accumulations of Elizabeth Hilliard’s pure voice, variously processed and thought of in different ways: as memory (Fox), as ensemble-like layerings (Buckley), as a kind of garden, or with the simpler enrichment of overtone singing (Mulvey).

Bremner’s piece, the longest work at more than 20 minutes, is naked by comparison, just voice working with a pool of 25 words.