Simon McCorry – Song Lines

song linesThe sense of calamity that has historically come with turns of the century began, when it came our turn, in the form of an overhyped computer bug. Y2K was a fitting emergency for our time. It was of course digital, it was the result of short-sightedness and it reminded us how small the world we live in is. It was a threat of global proportions.

Subsequent crises have tested our confidence in both economic and political institutions. One of the few things there should be consensus regarding – our endangered climate – is a source of profound disagreement and mistrust.

In various ways, it feels the world is on fire.

And so music that soothes, that instills in us a sense of hope and optimism, is arguably more important than ever. Simon McCorry’s latest Song Lines strikes precisely the right note.

The Stroud, Gloucestershire-based cellist and composer writes music for theatre, dance and film. He has partnered with visual artists, producing soundscapes to accompany their work.

His recordings include new classical work and – under the name Amonism – improvisational music featuring electronics and field recordings.

Song Lines is mostly a traditional work built largely around McCorry’s delicate touch on the cello. If you were to ask what peace of mind sounds like, this would be as good an answer as any.

These five pieces exist in stark contrast to the world around us. While we race from emergency to calamity, this music stands still. “The Third Stone” is perhaps the most organic, peaceful drone work we’ll ever hear. “Whisperer” has the power to lower pulse rates. “The Stars in the Firmament” is every bit as uplifting as it sounds.

McCorry’s genius is of the less-is-more variety. That lends these works a timeless quality seldom associated with new classical music. This is one you won’t tire of soon.

Kevin Press

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