BRC015: Various: anthem (2022)

RELEASE DATE: April 22 2022
CD: £12.99 | MP3: £7.99 | FLAC: £8.99


anthem brings together new live recordings from five composers who make striking and unconventional music. Each track on this diverse compilation deals with the liveness of music: that powerful experience of witnessing musicians on stage, in person, in the present.

Defiantly odd

Ben Harper, Boring Like A Drill

The slow-burning title track from Emily Abdy presents a quietly vulnerable sound world that is equal parts haunting and powerful, drawing influence from the unlikely combination of classical violin training and local open mic nights. Following this intense opener, composer-performer Andy Ingamells joins forces with veteran experimental ensemble Apartment House to channel stand up comedians in a light-hearted performance that drags audience members up on stage to manipulate the hands of the musicians as they play.

Ryan Latimer’s work has been described as “anarchic and cartoonishly fun” (BBC Radio 3), “deliciously playful” (Classical Music Magazine) and “irresistible in its tongue-in-cheek irreverence” (International Society for Contemporary Music). His Gorilla and Orange Sun, commissioned by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra for their 25th anniversary, is inspired by the gently surreal stories of author and illustrator Anthony Browne, who depicts gorillas strolling the streets in cardigans and raincoats, and the sun as a giant floating orange. Genevieve Murphy frequently bases her interdisciplinary performances around psychology and disability. She has collaborated and performed with visual artists, free improvisers, choreographers and producers and has toured internationally with Turner Prize-winning artist Martin Creed. Her epic 5-movement piece F.I.N.E is inspired by perseverance, parody and connection.

The final track is from Corey Mwamba, a musician who publicly retired from live performance in March 2019 as a protest against experiences of racism and objectification in the British jazz+ scenes. Since then he has maintained an output of compelling new recordings of music using vibraphone, dulcimer, electronics and small instruments. He is the current presenter of Freeness, a weekly show on BBC Radio 3 that plays adventurous jazz and improvised music from across the globe.

Whether embracing performances that can only happen in person, or rejecting live performance altogether, the music collected on this album is more that just a document of something that happened: it’s a celebration of the vitality and variety of musical performance today.