Simon Mayo, (Scala Radio)
Album by The Apex Singers
Ollie established 'The Apex Singers', to create a vocal ensemble for which he could write and produce arrangements specifically for the vocalists in the group. Formed of 8 young vocalists, this Manchester-based ensemble push the boundaries of a cappella music through their unique and innovative arrangements. Since their premiere in June 2019, they have gone on to headline at The Irish International A Cappella Festival; run workshops inspiring the next generation of vocalists; raise money for charities and created several music videos, available on YouTube.
Hiraeth is The Apex Singers' debut album, released on 13th March 2020. It brings together original arrangements of folk-tunes from different cultures representing every continent, from an African lullaby, to a vocalised Irish jig.
‘Hiraeth’ – Welsh word meaning ‘nostalgia’. A deep longing for home.
The album was launched at the newly renovated Hallé St Peter's. Since then the ensemble's recordings have been featured on Scala Radio as Simon Mayo's Album of the Week, streamed over 20,000 times across streaming platforms, and played regularly on national radio, including Scala, BBC Radio Cymru, Sunshine Radio & Lyric Fm.
Stuart Overington, (Hallé Youth Choir)
Ollie writes music which brings out the best in his ensembles
This is an original setting of three beautiful haikus by Matsuo Bashō, a Japanese poet from the 1600s, recognised as the greatest master of haiku.
Falling, falling, falling now...
Dewdrop, let me cleanse,
In your brief sweet waters
These dark hands of life.
In a world of one colour
The sound of the wind.
This piece was premiered by The Manchester Singers, with subsequent performances including The Exon Festival & Leeds Guild of Singers
Matthew Dougall, (Number 9)
Crystal clear melodies and flowing, inventive harmonies
Valediction - Roses
For Orchestra & Mezzo-Soprano
"It was the second week of October, 1956 and the second week of my first term at University. I had a garden room at the front of the house looking out onto a garden of roses in full bloom. I had recently made friends with a history undergraduate and the day before he showed me some poetry he had written. I remember thinking that if he could write poetry, why not me. I jotted a few words down and moved them around and within 10 minutes I had written ‘Roses’" - Ian Gallon, poet
The world is now full of song
And the garden full of roses
And I am at peace with the world
At peace in the garden
Surrounded by roses.
Their random perfection
Instils within me
Long sought tranquillity
May I be as I am now
When I die
Surrounded by roses.
Words by Ian Gallon
Mezzo-Soprano - Chelsea Burns
Conducted by Alex Robinson
Premiered on Thursday 12th October by The RNCM Brand New Orchestra.