Into the studio with Owain Park

Owain Park imageThis autumn, Epiphoni began work on their follow-up to the acclaimed Sudden Light with a recording of works by Owain Park.

Bristol-born, Owain is a graudate of Trinity College Cambridge where he was senior organ scholar for three years (a post he also held at Wells Cathedral before that). He is a prize-winning composer published by Novello, and his music has been performed and commissioned by some of the world’s foremost ensembles including the BBC Singers, Aurora Orchestra and Tenebrae.

We performed Holy Is the True Light, which is set to feature on the disc, at St Peter’s Vauxhall earlier this year. Here’s the live recording, with soloist Sam Evans:

As with our debut Sudden Light, this recording inclines towards settings of secular texts — amongst them Shakespeare, Housman and Teasdale.

Of the venture Owain said:

“I have admired the sound of The Epiphoni Consort since I heard them for the first time four years ago, and so when they approached me with a project to record my music I was delighted. Most of the works featured are being recorded for the first time and will prove a useful resource for choirs when they are choosing programmes and learning the repertoire. I look forward to hearing how Epiphoni’s singers take to the music with their usual exciting blend of precision and flair.”

Owain’s alma mater Trinity Cambridge released a recording of his sacred music in 2018. In his introduction to the disc, John Rutter describes Owain music thus:

“The music is … often being split into many voices to create impressive kaleidoscopes and towers of sound, or left-right antiphonal effects, with semi-chorus or solo contributions at moments where these illuminate the text … Tunes, rhythms and harmonies are … used in fresh ways which often go beyond what is predictable at first hearing. “

In preparation we have found the music to be ‘immediate’ — highly enjoyable to sing — but also deeply challenging, perhaps our most challenging programme to date.

Indeed Rutter concludes his introduction to Trinity’s disc:

“A captivating sound-world awaits you … but don’t expect to hear much of it replicated by your local parish church choir. This is music unashamedly written for choirs at the high end of the spectrum … “

If you would like to support this project, the choir has launched a crowdfunder which runs until 1st November 2019. Rewards include a signed CD, recognition in the CD and in our other materials, and joining our Friends/Benefactor scheme and the various benefits that come with that.

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