The Louth Contemporary Music Society proudly announces a bold initiative for these uncertain times. A series of recordings put together under the exceptional conditions of the pandemic, “out of silence” lets listeners eavesdrop on music-making of extraordinary care and intimacy. The recordings feature world-renowned composers attuned to the intricacies of silence as much as sound. Performances are by musicians of equal sensitivity and expertise.
The first “out of silence” release is “Meadow”, by Linda Catlin Smith, who was born in New York but has long been resident in Canada. Perhaps her music required a move away, a quieter environment, a different pace, another view. It is not city music. Rather, in its tuning and in its atmosphere, it suggests natural landscapes.
“A meadow”, the composer has said, “is a simple place, with elements that are there quite naturally; it’s not a spectacular garden, but if you look closely there are many different types of plants and tiny flowers. It is a place of infinite variation.”
This is how the music goes, weaving a meadow, weaving through a meadow, in stray fragments of tune that will be repeated until they dissolve or give way to something else, through chord sequences that move slowly but inexorably. Listeners are drawn into this gentle but alert music by three outstanding Irish string players: Mia Cooper on violin, Joachim Roewer on viola and Bill Butt on cello. There is no hurry, no need to hurry. To quote Linda Catlin Smith again, “I like to sit with things for a while, to dwell in the material, to have a chance to listen.” This is the kind of experience she provides in Meadow.
On the cover of the album is a striking image by the Irish artist Alice Maher.
The cd is available online and physical from Proper Music from 11 December 2020.
Meadow on Bandcamp
Future releases will present music by the composer Valentyn Silvestrov and the Swiss master of unexpected simplicity Jürg Frey, with whom the Louth Contemporary Music Society has over several years developed a close relationship.
Funded by the Arts Council and financially supported by Create Louth
Meadow features on Tim Rutherford-Johnson’s Rambler Releases of 2020 List
Linda Catlin Smith: Meadow (Louth CMS)
Any new recording of Linda Catlin Smith’s music is to be welcomed, but this issue of Meadow, released by Louth Contemporary Music Society near the very end of the year (launch event on 11 December here) feels very special. A 30-minute string trio, Meadow scrapes a little deeper into the influences of early music that frequently run beneath the surface of Smith’s music: like a Dufay motet it conveys an atmosphere of melody and polyphony without constraint, but also of contemplation and extraordinary warmth. If Höstman caught the end of the pre-pandemic world, maybe her Canadian contemporary points to a future after it.