Voice and harp make sensual and mysterious music

Soprano Veronica Milroy and harpist Rowan Phemister. Photograph: Peter Hislop

Music / “Fountains of Pleasure”, Luminescence Chamber Singers, SoloSeries. At Drill Corridor Gallery, November 18. Reviewed by ROB KENNEDY.

COMBINING solo soprano with a harp introduced forth because the title of this live performance instructed, “Fountains of Pleasure” in a divine pairing of musical voices.

In a live performance sequence that shines a highlight on every of the core artists of Luminescence, the performers for this one had been soprano Veronica Milroy and harpist Rowan Phemister.

Starting with Andrew Ford’s “Little Star”, he wrote this for his daughter. A variation on the lullaby “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, like a tender dream, the music floated up and down on the harp as Milroy sang the equally dreamy lyrics. 

The prolonged work, “Fons Laetitiae”, by Danish composer Per Nørgård adopted. Lasting 20 minutes, this meditative piece washes over a listener, though it has some fairly excessive notes for the soprano. 

The voice half floats between the harp music; out and in it drifted, making a tranquil expertise. Whereas it was tonal music, the important thing centre was a thriller; seemingly crossing tonalities. The music flushed with a way of stillness in its distinctive development.

“Stolen Youngster”, by Canadian singer and composer Loreena McKennitt, was sung with a lot animation. Sounding like a Celtic tune in a story a couple of misplaced baby, maybe misplaced in a lake. Milroy’s voice fitted this beautiful little tune with an exactness close to perfection.

A conventional work titled “My Lagan Love” got here subsequent. Mild, warming and stuffed with undertones, this was a tune of the center’s need.

Miriam Hyde’s “Tone Poems of the Sea”, in 5 elements, revered a theme. It by no means veered removed from its drifting, refined model. It had an actual really feel for harp composition.

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The mixture of the human voice with the harp makes for sensual and mysterious music. Neither overpowered the opposite. Each articulation was clearly heard and felt by these two stylish performers.

Then one other conventional work titled “She Moved Via the Truthful”.

Yet another work by Loreena McKennitt, “Moon Cradle”, was a dreamy folktale. Related in model to her first piece, this fairly quick work, yielding however not sentimental, sat completely within the ear.

English people singer and songwriter Lisa Knapp’s “Transport Music”, was stuffed with arpeggios on the harp. A easy tune that was about English transport lanes. It had a bouncy model for the soprano, but in addition lyrical. A fairly distinctive setting that slowly drifted off into silence.

Don McLean, who’s coming to Canberra in 2023 to have a good time 50 years of his iconic tune and album, “American Pie”, his tune “Vincent” (Starry, Starry Evening) arr. Patrick Baker completed the evening. It had a extra fluid and folky model than the unique, although it held quick to the well-known setting by this American songster. Milroy said she adored this work, it confirmed.

This was enchanting music beguilingly carried out in an intimate live performance the place this splendid mixture of voices just isn’t heard wherever close to sufficient.