It is a cool, rainy Sunday in the mid-Atlantic, a grey day just tinged by the last embers of fading fall colors – a perfect setting to turn inwards and cozy up to some contemplative modern and post-classical sounds. London-based boutique label Bigo & Twigetti has us generously covered in that regard. If that sounds good to you as well, here are a few of the latest offerings from their catalog you might not want to miss. Featuring VLMV, Brother Tree Sound, Tim Linghaus, and Garreth Broke.
VLMV – Flora & Fauna
In the liner notes of new EP Flora & Fauna, composer Peter David Lambrou of VLMV gives us a peek behind the creative curtain explaining that it was intended to be a single piece of meditative ambient music but over the course of its development, it evolved into something more progressive. This was not so much due to a shift away from the approach, but rather the composer following his own instincts for when and where he wanted to introduce change as opposed to conforming to expectations or a pre-conceived narrative.
Begun during the period of emergence from pandemic lockdowns, he describes it as his “hope-tinted re-emergence into the outside world”. Furthering the sense of re-establishing connections with others, the organic, unstructured beauty of the music is enhanced by the incorporation of a homemade “choir” consisting of vocal parts recorded by a group of friends as well as cello parts played by Fraser Bowles and contrabassoon played by Thomas Stone.
Flora & Fauna was my hope-tinted re-emergence into the outside world …The thread that was kept throughout was not to conform to a normal or typical structure; Not to change sections, chords, verses, when it felt correct to do so – but to sit there in the moment and be still.Peter David Lambrou
The album was mastered by Aneek Thapa and is available as a digital release with artwork by Jonathan Cenzual Burley.
Brother Tree Sound – Songs Without Words
Brother Tree Sound is a string quartet founded in 2017 by a group of like-minded musicians who had experience playing in some of London’s most renowned venues. In addition to performing traditional pieces and commissioned music, Anna de Bruin (violin), Thea Spiers (violin), Peter Mallinson (viola), and Julia Graham (cello) found time to create an intimate record featuring their own composition which highlights their considerable prowess as arrangers and performers as well. The album abounds in intimate, ethereal beauty while occasionally showing playful glimpses of their self-confessed “eclectic tendencies”.
Music has been passed down from generation to generation through song for as long as time. ‘We had the idea that we wanted to sing our music through our instruments, so with this in mind, we set about writing new songs as well as arranging two old folk tunes.
Tim Linghaus – Yurusu
As shown on his Memory Sketches recordings and semi-autobiographical triptych of albums presenting a child’s view of parental divorce, German musician & composer Tim Linghaus is capable of deftly blending electronics and pop motifs with neoclassical music. He is also quite capable of captivating listeners with musical stories told with nothing but a solitary piano as on this collection of quiet, contemplative waltzes exploring on the theme of forgiveness.
Yurusu invites the listener to reminisce and reflect, whilst traveling or at home. It serves as a companion for exploring personal experience with forgiveness and provides a colourful pallet of melancholia, bittersweet joy and hope.
Yurusu was mastered by Ben Wiffen and features artwork by Alex Hanke & Zum Heimathafen
Garreth Broke – Four Songs for Ralph Vaughan Williams
Frankfurt-based pianist & composer Garreth Broke presents a short, but very sweet collection of luminous solo piano interpretations of folk melodies collected and transcribed by beloved composer Ralph Vaughan Williams from his travels through the English countryside in the early 20th century. While they can be enjoyed purely in the listening, Garreth is offering the sheet music for download here.
Folk music evolves, it is organic. Best of all, that means we can engage in that process, we can make our own versions, adapt old melodies and make them our own.Garreth Broke