Oliver Searle: Pilgrim of Curiosity

A key presence in Glasgow’s musical life as composer and teacher, Oliver Iredale Searle is revealed in this first album devoted to his work as a poet of place and of sensation.

Three works for wind ensembles vividly evoke journeys and their destinations, in a panoply of sights and sounds stretching from (and sometimes forging unexpected connections between) Chicago to Italy, the Baltic and Southeast Asia.

The wind principals of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra provide performances of exceptional calibre, while Carla Rees’s passionate commitment to building a contemporary repertoire for Baroque flute shines through in a solo piece that she commissioned and premiered.

'The Scottish composer Oliver Iredale Searle (b.1977) has a clearly defined line in evocative, often exotic titles, which give his unfailingly accessible postmodern music a pleasingly personal tone ... the expert wind players of the RSNO, plus flautist Carla Rees, are recorded with a vividness that adds greatly to the atmospheric effect ... Best of all, Snowbirds has an almost Janáček-like spontaneity and energy, with an appropriate range of moods and motifs convincingly linked together over its nine minutes ... the trajectory of Searle’s music charts a satisfying progression from initial agitation to ultimate calm'

"This new album from Delphian showcases not only the breadth of the composer's music, but also his versatility with a few instruments ... In a similar manner to Malcolm Arnold there is a cheekiness and charm which could easily be brushed ooff as 'wit' - however if you place close attention, there is cleverness working in the background ..."

★ ★ ★ ★


'The first complete album by the Glasgow-based composer features works for wind ensemble, all of which are colourful and vivid. Faith, Hopes and Charityperformed by Carla Rees, shows the vast potential of contemporary repertoire played on period instruments'

"Oliver Iredale Searle runs the composition department at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. That he can practise what he preaches is on full display in this exciting album of his wind music ... Pilgrim of Curiosity refers to Searle’s penchant for travelling, then reflecting his experiences in music that combines characterful allusion, crystalline textures and quirky humour ... juxtapositions abound, expressed in performances that ooze personality and snappy precision"

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Release Date: 24 September 2021
Catalogue No: DCD34270
Total playing time: 1:13:45

Recorded on 14-17 December 2020 at the RSNO Centre, Glasgow Producer/Engineer: Paul Baxter
24-bit digital editing: Jack Davis
24-bit digital mastering: Paul Baxter
Design: Drew Padrutt
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