Sean Shibe: Lost and Found review – bonkers but brilliantly curated | Classical music
HHere’s another crazy-at-first-sight album, brilliantly curated by guitarist Sean Shibe. He describes Lost and Found as “an emporium of curiosities”, and all exhibits are for electric guitar. This does not mean that all music is modern. Two tracks are Shibe’s interpretation of Hildegard of Bingen’s 900-year-old melodies. O Viridissima Virga sounds as if it were played on a church organ, the notes loud and strong, enveloped in fluctuating harmonics. By contrast, much later in the playlist – and you play with the order of the tracks at your own risk – O Choruscans Lux Stellarum keeps its melody swirling in the ether.
Much of the music is meditative. Some of it borders dangerously on chill-out, or would if Shibe let it: instead, whenever we could be lulled into idle listening, Shibe delivers something subversive.
The spellbinding Nightfall by Meredith Monk and Peace Piece by Bill Evans are followed by the disturbing harmonies of O Sacrum Convivium by Messiaen! then the unique, long and violent crescendo that is Venus/Zohreh by Shiva Feshareki.
Chick Corea’s children’s songs are lullabies with an undercurrent of unease, and a similar mood runs through Daniel Kidane’s brief and scintillating new piece, Continuance. Moondog, a songwriter who slept rough on New York’s Sixth Avenue dressed as a Viking, lets Shibe unleash his inner rock god in Sea Horse, and also delivers two numbers whose quiet campfire splendor is first. disturbed by Corea, then by Pushing My Thumb by Oliver Leith. Through a Plate – a long run involving tight and loose strings, which works if you assume that it expresses in sound the impossibility of moving molecules out of their pattern.
Finally, there’s Julius Eastman’s monumental Buddha, plunging like a slow siren, ending on a major chord that sounds defiant. You won’t know what hits you.
The other choice of the week
That in itself is a bit of a curiosity: no more children’s songs, but miles away from Corea’s. The Education Act 1870 established music in the British curriculum, so schools needed songs. One of the composers who took over was Charles Villiers Stanford, and Somm’s new version features 38 of his songs, many of them recorded for the first time, performed by the very adult voices of Gareth Brynmor John and Kitty Whately , all with pianist Susie Allan. . Some feel like fodder for historians; others are skilfully written, especially those to words by 14-year-old Helen Douglas Adam, and there is a particularly lovely lullaby by Whately.