Moshi Moshi – August 17th
Also available as a binaural recording, allowing the listener to experience the space in the composition, Anna Meredith’s latest release is a collaboration with Scottish Ensemble, a famed string collective whose genre-bending performances effortlessly blur the boundaries between styles and periods of music. Anno sees Meredith’s new compositions interspersed with Antonio Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Each season is split into a number of pieces, with evocative titles indicative of the landscape. Summer, for example, combines Vivaldi’s newly named ‘Heat’ and ‘Thunder’, and Meredith’s ‘Haze’, where soaring string progressions, rich with warmth, convey the shimmering heat of high summer air. Anno is a complex listen that demands absolute attention from the listener in its frantic strings and dramatic crescendos. Meredith’s contemporary workings blend effortlessly with the Vivaldi originals, despite being composed centuries apart. Initially, the classic twangs of the harpsichord are the key indication you’ve moved from one composer to the next. With Scottish Ensemble on board and the original Four Seasons written as a four violin concerti, it’s not until ‘Bloom’ that Anno feels contemporary, with rippling electronic keys that signify the leaves falling, beginning to furl as Summer turns to Autumn. Delicate ‘Stillness’ sees Meredith conveying the crisp quiet of the year’s later months, before the grandeur of Vivaldi section ‘Chase’ feels more ballroom dance than Autumn’s day. Staccato strings in Winter’s ‘Embers’ make way for chiming synths and a stretched-out, dissonant diminuendo in ‘Solstice (Light Out)’ as Anno comes to a close, the pale winter sun melts below the horizon.
Buy: Anna Meredith – Anno