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DCD34244-CD

HERE WE ARE

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With over sixty commissions to its credit after just six years of existence, The Hermes Experiment has already proved itself a force to be reckoned with in the creation and advocacy of new music.

Now, nine of those commissions are brought together on the ensemble’s debut album release, showcasing its deliberately idiosyncratic line-up of harp, clarinet, soprano and double bass in a compelling survey of styles and individual voices.

Buzzing with energy, irresistibly plural, HERE WE ARE is a portrait of our times and an unignorable statement of identity and purpose.

"This British group have released a most enticing calling card, advertising the skills of individual musicians and the liveliness and variety of Britain’s composing scene ... Héloïse Werner pounces on individual notes and words with a tiger’s tenacity and a kitten’s glee. The other musicians are equally crucial in the album’s tapestry of sounds: the harpist Anne Denholm, marvellously incisive; Marianne Schofield, growling beautifully on the double-bass; Oliver Pashley, mercurial monarch of the clarinet ... As for the music, nothing is arid, much is juicy ... No part of this album slips into a rut; none of the music-making either"

"new commissions, vivid, spirited and highly individual, by nine composers born between 1946 and 1991, writing for the Experiment’s aurally fertile lineup of harp, clarinet, double bass and soprano

...

Misha Mullov-Abbado’s The Linden Tree conjures melancholy folk colours; Errollyn Wallen’s Gun gun gun, opening with a splash of harp, quickly reveals itself as a compressed monodrama; Oliver Leith’s Uh huh, Yeah is as languid and laid-back as its title. Freya Waley-Cohen, Joel Rust, Josephine Stephenson, Anna Meredith, Giles Swayne and Emily Hall each contribute distinctive, witty, arresting songs. An imaginative first disc that mirrors our current musical landscape"

"[HERE WE ARE] will surely be representing Delphian, alongside guitarist Sean Shibe’s Bach set, on many “best of” lists come the end of this year ... There are many startling things about The Hermes Experiment, beginning with the group’s line-up of soprano voice, clarinet, harp and double bass, which blends so well its singularity ceases to be relevant ... Crucially, however, it all sounds of a piece, and that is down to the collective, with Oliver Pashley on clarinets and Anne Denholm’s harp, in which frontwoman and vocalist Heloise Werner has no monopoly on exuding an irresistible charm"

Read the full review here

"witty and imaginative readings of chamber works by contemporary British composers ... Misha Mullov-Abbado completely transforms Schubert’s The Linden Tree into gorgeously abstract piece of medieval jazz, which manages to make an irregular time signature dance; Oliver Leith’s deliciously woozy Uh Huh, Yeah sounds like an operatic La Monte Young, while the two pieces by Emily Hall that bookend the LP are, respectively, joyous and heartbreaking"

"as delightful an encounter as the ensemble is in real life ... so many delights on their album, you never know what’s going to happen - it’s great hearing such a variety of composers finding interesting ways of using this ensemble’s unique resources ... a uniquely engaging ensemble"

BBC Radio 3 Record Review

"The rather unusual combination of harp, clarinet, soprano and double bass proves to be quite astonishingly versatile on this rich, strange programme of new commissions by nine composers ... Josephine Stephenson’s Between the war and you packs a real emotional punch, and Giles Swayne’s French-language elegy to tinned sardines is another highlight (John West’s marketing board may disagree)"

EDITOR'S CHOICE

"The 10 works here are compelling—buzzing with invention and shimmering with colour ... for a taste of the group’s sheer playful abandon, head for Giles Swayne’s irrepressible Chansons dévotes et poissonneusescomplete with music-loving fish relaxing to the sounds of an underwater casino piano"

Release Date: 24 July 2020
Catalogue No: DCD34244
Total playing time: 1:17:45

Recorded 9, 10, 13 October 2019

Recording Venue: Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh

Producer: Paul Baxter
Editor: Matthew Swan

 

PREVIEW

Emily Hall I am Happy Living Simply

Featured Gallery

 

Recording Session photos

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The Hermes Experiment record HERE WE ARE in Greyfriar's Kirk in the heart of Edinburgh's Old Town.

 

Date: 9, 10 and 13 October 2019

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