Lliam Paterson: Say it to the Still World

Multi-award-winning Sean Shibe, widely recognised as the leading guitarist of his generation, joins Delphian regulars The Choir of King’s College London in these beguilingly conceived works by Shibe’s friend and compatriot Lliam Paterson, for the rare combination of choir with electric guitar.

Say it to the still world casts Shibe as Orpheus with his lyre, in a work which draws fragments of text from poetry by Rilke to meditate on language, loss and the transcendent power of song. Elegy for Esmeralda is a rawer, angrier response to grief, while poppies spread – composed especially, like the other two works, for the performers who bring it to life here – is a further testament to art’s ability to reflect and transform the outer world.

"Two exceptional Scots musical talents – composer Liam Paterson and guitarist Sean Shibe – rekindle their Aberdeenshire schoolboy friendship in this thought-provoking album ... The combination of Fort’s evocative choir and Shibe's moody though equally ecstatic electric guitar (symbolising Orpheus and his lute) is as novel as it is sensitive to the essence of seamless choral writing, and a central guitar solo throws the spotlight on Shibe’s poetic virtuosity. The rawer expression of Elegy for Esmerelda (based on music from Paterson’s 2020 opera The Angel Esmerelda) is soon assuaged by the shadowy a cappella subtleties of Poppies Spread, a gorgeous lockdown partner-piece to the title track"

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

"That the composer can convert such a spare, economically arranged text into music which emerges as simultaneously luminous and epic is a notable achievement. Add to that the seamless interpolation of Shibe’s demanding, yet never showy-for-the-sake-of-it guitar part and you have two extended spans of fresh, invigorating work which impress mightily on first acquaintance and continue to do so during repetition ...This exceptional disc suggests that the praise which has been lavished upon Lliam Paterson’s output to date is not undeserved. It’s worth hearing for the outstanding ensemble of King’s College Choir’s as well as for Sean Shibe’s poised amplified contributions, which are quite possibly unprecedented for a choral piece on the scale of Say it to the Still World"

read the full review here

"This recording gains much from a deeply committed performance from The Choir of King’s College London under Joseph Fort, who also acquit themselves admirably in the other two works, Elegy for Esmeralda (based on an interlude from Paterson’s opera The Angel Esmeralda), and the much shorter cycle poppies spread, where the composer sets texts by his late mother, Flora Paterson. Circling around everything is Shibe’s guitar, which acts as a kind of musical magnet, drawing the choir’s sound into its own orbit, while simultaneously radiating the sense of hope that lies behind Rilke’s words and Paterson’s poignant setting of them"

Release Date: 15 October 2021
Catalogue No: DCD34246
Total playing time: 73:10

Recorded on 3-5 June 2021 in the Dutch Church, Austin Friars, London
Producers/Engineers: Paul Baxter & David Lloyd 24-bit digital editing: James Waterhouse,
David Lloyd, Paul Baxter
24-bit digital mastering: Paul Baxter & David Lloyd With thanks to Lost Oscillation Studios, Edinburgh

Design: Drew Padrutt & John Christ
Booklet editor: Henry Howard
Cover photograph (choir): Nick Rutter;
(Sean Shibe): foxbrushfilms.com
Session photography: foxbrushfilms.com
Singing In Secret: Clandestine Catholic Music by William Byrd CD Delphian Records


Say it to the Still WorldPart One

Composer Lliam Paterson

Lliam Paterson was born in Ellon, Aberdeenshire in 1991. After studies at the Aberdeen City Music School and St. Mary’s Music School, Edinburgh he read music at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge University, where he graduated First Class. He had private compositions lessons with Errollyn Wallen while at Cambridge. Lliam subsequently studied as a piano accompanist with Eugene Asti and as a repetiteur at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, completing his studies with Distinction. During his time at the Guildhall, he studied privately with Judith Weir.

'Paterson is a name to remember ..."



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