A space to pause and reflect on the themes of love, loss hope and peace…
Concert of Meditations by The Suoni Ensemble
Christian Kirke Copenhagen
Music by Siobhan Lamb
Trumpet Soloist Gerard Presencer
Meditations is an evocative and explorative mix of different and distinctive sounds written to four poems around the themes of Love, Loss, Hope and Peace. Siobhan wrote this piece in 2007 inspired by the desire to draw an improvised sound into a classical setting.
Siobhan Lamb creates the musical dialogue by weaving together the lines of a string quartet, a vocal group specialising in medieval chant, a harpist, a percussionist from the world music tradition, as well as for one section the pure sound of a children’s choir. This comes to life with the interaction over the top of trumpeter Gerard Presencer’s improvising mastery, as he responds with his world class playing.
Siobhan wanted to infuse the classical tradition with the jazz world in an acoustic setting to allow the sounds their fullest expression. Siobhan also embraces silence within her piece to add further dimension to the landscape and to open up the space to everyone within in.
LONDON PREMIERE – 2007
Meditations received glowing reviews following its premiere at the London Jazz Festival in November 2007. The Guardian described it as “unmissable,” “tantalising,” and “expansively beautiful.” – The Guardian
Meditations was recorded in April 2008 at the Royal Academy of Music and was produced by Jeremy Summerly, the award winning producer of many Early Music releases.
It has been released internationally to critical acclaim on the Proprius Naxos label in 2012.
The Copenhagen based Suoni Ensemble was been formed to perform this project.
Some reviews of The Suoni Ensemble CD Meditations:
“the blending of different traditions, and the introduction of the spirit of improvisation into a classical setting, works beautifully. ‘My Love Is Like a Red, Red Rose’ – based on the Burns poem – has real lyrical charm and a hint of folky ecstasy about it, as well as some wonderfully luminous passages courtesy of Presencer. ‘Hope’, meanwhile, a setting of the famous lines by Emily Dickinson, works itself into a fine hypnotic-minimalist froth before drawing to a majestic conclusion. “
– Jazzwise October 2012
“Meditations, premièred at the London Jazz Festival in 2007, is a beguiling mix of poetry (Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Robert Burns, Emily Dickinson), early-music vocals (Uncloistered), a children’s choir (a touching version of ‘My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean’), a harpist, a percussionist ,a string quartet and Presencer, but Lamb deploys these apparently disparate forces with great aplomb, transforming what could easily have been a somewhat unwieldy, cluttered affair into an elegant suite in which the neat, precise but pleasingly ebullient Presencer is allowed just enough space to focus the music, while the other elements are woven skilfully into an intriguing and original soundscape that sets off the poetry beautifully.”
– London Jazz Review September 2012
“…solemn choral textures, subtle tonal blends, references to jazz, classical and European church music, and trumpet improvisations by the virtuoso Gerard Presencer. Meditations, which threads poetry (by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Robert Burns and Emily Dickinson) through the sounds of adult and children’s choirs and a chamber-strings ensemble, is the less jazzy of the two. Its changing shapes, from phrase-swapping vocal repeats on My Bonnie to strings over rumbling drums, often push the silver-toned Presencer into more intriguing improvisational corners…these are ambitious syntheses, and beautifully delivered.”
– Guardian August 2012