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Following the success of Orchestra of the Swan’s outstanding Timelapse recording (over a million streams – Classic FM and Scala Album of the Week) a new album, Labyrinths, will be recorded in April and released on the Signum Records Label in November 2021.Timelapse was recorded in January 2020, on the cusp of the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns; the new album, by contrast, has been conceived and will be recorded at a moment when we can finally see some light at the end of the tunnel.
The recording will take place at Saffron Hall in Essex and the album will feature guest appearances from tenor Nicky Spence, saxophonist Trish Clowes, percussionist Guy Schalom and folk singer Jim Moray. Labyrinths includes music by Respighi and Max Richter, Purcell and Joy Division, Britten and Syd Barrett and Buxtehude and Brian Eno amongst others.
Labyrinths is an extraordinary collection of works connected by ideas of pilgrimage, contemplation, exploration and enlightenment. As with Timelapse, the joy is to be found in discovering the surprising and delightful connections between culturally disparate and musically contrasting time periods. Themes of isolation, distance and a longing for human connection are filtered through beautifully atmospheric and exquisitely rendered sound worlds.
Labyrinths have been an important part of humanity’s cultural landscape for thousands of years; from the Ancient Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur to the intriguing stories of Jorge Luis Borges and Umberto Eco. Our overwhelming desire to find patterns and ‘the hidden truth’ is perhaps nowhere more evident than in the subversive and complex vistas of music.
This new recording also reflects the brave new world of online streaming and joyfully embraces the idea of ‘the playlist’ whilst challenging the 21st century listener to take time out to listen to the whole album in sequence, as originally intended. Statistics show that during 2020 we enthusiastically reconnected with recorded music in the digital sphere and rediscovered the art of concentrated and attentive listening.
This last year has been one in which we have all been confronted by the spectre of isolation and have certainly felt the need for face to face communication. Labyrinths invites the listener to immerse themselves completely in a sonically rewarding and wholly unexpected musical experience.