I am delighted that Anna Lapwood has included ‘Images’ on her debut album for solo organ. This luxurious programme, recorded at Ely Cathedral and including some of Lapwood’s world-premiere arrangements, showcases the softer, more subtle side of an instrument more generally regarded for its bombastic nature.
About the album, Anna writes: “One of my favourite things about being an organist is the exquisite feeling of practising in a church or cathedral late at night. The door is locked, the lights are often out, and time seems to flow differently. It’s at night that one really gains a sense of the history of the building, getting to know the creaking noises and clicks that make it seem as if the space is breathing. Sound seems to travel differently too, piercing the warm cushion of dark silence like a beam of light. On this disc I’ve tried to capture some of that magic, recording in a chilly Ely Cathedral after hours in January 2021.”
About the piece
The full title of the work is ‘Images of war and beauty in conversation over time’. This piece for solo organ was inspired by a passage from ‘Reconciliation’ in Drum Taps by Walt Whitman (1865): “Word over all, beautiful as the sky, Beautiful that war and all its deeds of carnage must in time be utterly lost…” The music aims to convey the ‘conversation’ between the voices through different colours and sounds.
Review by Jon Jacob, Thoroughly Good
“Calling on Owain Park for new music is benefitting not only Anna Lapwood but also the musical genre as a whole. New music can be original, unexpected, and compelling all in one, without pushing people away… an adept understanding of how to make something new within a familiar frame of reference.
“The seven-minute piece is a dramatic piece of musical storytelling full of contrasting colours and textures that are both intriguing enough to trigger the curious and sufficiently familiar in terms of musical language to delight the listener.
“Like Anna, Owain Park is quickly establishing himself as a multi-talented musician, concert promoter (and content producer). Perhaps in years to come both of them will be seen as examples of what musicians need to be thinking about as content creators across multiple platforms. On this album, Park provides the title track, “a creative and powerful exploration of the many tonal possibilities of the English organ” inspired by words by Walt Whitman.”
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