The 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Sessions EP & Film 

These are the first orchestral recordings I’ve made in a decade.

As some might know, in 2004, I created a wine estate in Southern France, La Pèira.

With a lot of hard work, it began to do not so badly. “Easily one of the top estates in all of France,” the Wine Advocate (the wine bible for many) wrote of it. While I never left London and kept writing music, it took up a lot more time and money than I expected, leaving it difficult to find either to record.

This was a disappointing (and surprising) upshot. As was the discovery that France taxes small businesses even before they’ve made a profit.  But all character building (I suspect).

Anyone who watched the film Jean de Florette (or read Marcel Pagnol’s book) will have a good general idea of how things can work on occasion there.

Finally, in 2014, I had to throw caution aside, and make a recording regardless of the above. Or I knew I would never record again.

The sessions took place on the 31st of August, 2014 at Air Lyndhurst Studios with a 75-piece orchestra and 40-piece choir (London voices) conducted by James Shearman.

The name The 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time refers to the day it was recorded on. On the day of recording, I caught a cab from Mount Street to Air Studios in Hampstead and while reflecting it might be the last time I recorded if it went awry, I looked down at the leaflet in my hand entitled The 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time. 

“If it be now, ’tis not to come,” I thought. Which is an old-fashioned: “whatever will be, will be”.

As well as James Shearman (orchestrator and conductor) and the wonderful musicians and singers,  I was very fortunate to work with Jake Jackson (who recorded and mixed the orchestra and choir and the Air team), Rupert Cross (who programmed with me additional orchestral parts), Pete Craigie (further mixing), Marc Swadel  (who directed the film), Tom Kilworth (who was the copyist), and many more. A full list of credits with the video above.

Perhaps at some point, I’ll write some more about the different pieces: Frescobaldi’s Toccata, ‘The Return’, Vale (Ave Atque Vale) and A Drawing-Down of Blinds / Valedico.

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