'softLOUD': 'Music for Acoustic & Electric Guitar'

By Yeoman, William | Gramophone, September 15, 2018 | Go to article overview

'softLOUD': 'Music for Acoustic & Electric Guitar'


Yeoman, William, Gramophone


'softLOUD' 'Music for Acoustic & Electric Guitar' Anonymous Eight Arrangements from Scottish Lute Manuscripts (a) D Lang Killer (b) MacMillan From Galloway (a). Motet I (a) Oswald Divertimento I (a) Reich Electric Counterpoint (b) J Wolfe LAD (b) Sean Shibe (a) gtr/ (b) elec gtr Delphian (F) DCD34213 (56' * DDD)

Following live festival performances last year, the talented young Scottish guitarist Sean Shibe brings this bracingly original concert programme featuring music for acoustic and electric guitars into the recording studio. The results, like the performances themselves, are spectacular.

'softLOUD' is certainly a departure from Shibe's last recording, the Julian Bream-inspired 'Dreams & Fancies' (9/17). But listening to these disparate pieces I thought of a work on the earlier album, Britten's Nocturnal. Something about cumulative effect. About taking the music of the past and transforming it. Or deconstructing it. Or dissolving into it. Or just plain smashing it.

Shibe's motivations are as much political as musical. 'It's a pointed and urgent probing of the question of national identity for Scotland in the age of the rise of the new right, nativist politics, Trump and Brexit', he writes in a note. …

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