Sheppard (The) Diver in the Crypt

In his second CD of electronic cello music, Sheppard creates imaginative soundscapes inspired by diverse subject matter

Record and Artist Details

Composer or Director: Philip Sheppard

Label: Blue Snow

Media Format: CD or Download

Mastering:

DDD

Catalogue Number: BSNCD2

Tracks:

Composition Artist Credit
Dark Blue Philip Sheppard Composer
Philip Sheppard
Rain, Steam and Speed Philip Sheppard
Philip Sheppard Composer
Penitential Psalm Philip Sheppard Composer
Philip Sheppard
(The) Diver in the Crypt Philip Sheppard Composer
Philip Sheppard
Mechanical Waltz Philip Sheppard
Philip Sheppard Composer
Clear Blue Philip Sheppard
Philip Sheppard Composer
Via Dolorosa Philip Sheppard
Philip Sheppard Composer
Philip Sheppard’s previous disc of self-composed music for his five-string electronic cello, ‘The Glass Cathedral’, was warmly received in these pages (3/99) for its integration of technology into a spontaneous and persuasive musical experience. The follow-up features seven tracks contrasted in mood and inspiration.
Clear Blue pursues its undulating melodic course through alternating modal harmonies, creating an expectation left purposely unfulfilled. Penitential Psalm, inspired by Galileo’s correspondence with his daughter, has a gently mystical aura, Sheppard’s extemporising of each verse-like section never seeming calculated. Rain, Steam and Speed, after Turner, depicts a journey which passes through eerie, almost sculpted harmonic formations, on its way to a dematerialised end. In The Diver in the Crypt, Winchester Cathedral is saved from sinking to a superimposition of ostinato patterns and subterranean drones – a video realisation beckons. Via dolorosa, evoking the Jerusalem street that witnessed the stations of the cross, has a curiously neutral air that seems intent on objectifying the centuries of significance generated by the locality. Mechanical Waltz much more graphically complements its setting of the Kew Bridge Steam Museum, with a waltz-motion of palm court-like insouciance. Dark Blue, a nocturnal revisiting of the opening track, takes the latter’s musical substance and atmosphere through to a restful ‘resolution’.
With the proviso that Sheppard’s approach may be best suited to extended improvisation rather than individual numbers as here, this disc can be warmly recommended for its distinctive and accessible approach to contemporary music-making.'

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