Wikio - Top Blogs - Religion and belief

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Music update: Stephen Hough, James Morrison, Floating Points and Spiritual Jazz

'Catholicism was central to all the composers in the recital [Schubert, Franck and Lizst], which included the pianist himself. [Stephen] Hough’s own third sonata, subtitled Trinitas, here received its premiere. It is a striking contrast with its more restless but equally idiomatic 2012 predecessor, carefully structured around the number three, moving confidently and always articulately through major and minor thirds from austere to perky and affirming. Hough played it from the score and it more than held its own in such exalted pianistic company.' (Martin Kettle, The Guardian)

'“I got demons” wails the voice, before the 2007 Brit Award-winner [James Morrison] attempts a confession of St Augustine proportions: “I close my eyes and talk to God / Pray that you can save my soul.”

It may be the sound of someone desperately trying to stay positive in the post-Ed Sheeran era, but actually, desperate positivity is a good sound for him. Higher Than Here is almost Nashvillean in its godly striving, as reflects an epiphany that Morrison had after three deaths in his family.' (Richard Godwin, Evening Standard)

'As a young boy, [Sam] Shepherd was a chorister at Manchester Cathedral and went on to study piano at Chetham’s School of Music. His father is a vicar and the family vicarage turned into a studio for musical experiments: “I could set up cellos in the kitchen, drum kits in my sister’s room,” he says mischievously. A teacher gave him some jazz records and it was then that he “stopped thinking of classical and jazz as two different things”, and started seeing them harmoniously. “Kenny Wheeler is so beautiful that [his music] could have been Rachmaninov,” he enthuses. “And Bill Evans is similar to the colourfulness of Debussy.”

Like his favourite spiritual jazz records, Elaenia is improvisational and designed to be heard in one go. But Shepherd says he “finds it difficult to reconcile not being religious with being into spiritual music”. Instead, he admires the genre architecturally. “Spiritual jazz, for me, feels like building a space out of nothing and within that space [the musicians] build their house, their city, their entire universe through music,” he says excitedly. “They exist in this black hole and they create an amazing place without form, without structure, without harmonic beginnings …”' (Kate Hutchinson, The Guardian)


Stephen Hough - Born In Bethlehem.

No comments: