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Goss, Stephen: Northern Lights (FMR)

An album of beautiful and impressionist musical landscapes: 3 large works in several movements drawing on mythology, visual imagery, and a work for Charles Jencks Garden of Cosmic Speculation.

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product information:

UPC: 786497304325

Label: FMR
Catalog ID: FMR 303-0311
Squidco Product Code: 14403

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2011
Country: Great Britain
Packaging: Digipack
"Northern Lights" recorded at Coombehurst Studio, Kingston University, London in 2010 by Ebby Acquah.


Susie Hodder Williams-flute, alto flute, piccolo

Chris Caldwell-bass clarinet, C clarinet, soprano saxophone

Graham Roberts-guitar

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Artist Biographies:

"Chris graduated from the Guildhall School Of Music & Drama in 1986 having studied with Stephen Trier. As a performer he's been involved with some of Britain's leading contemporary composers and ensembles including The Mike Westbrook Orchestra, BCMG, Steve Martland Band, London Saxophonic, Michael Nyman Band and The Delta Saxophone Quartet.

Chris has also performed with many of the UK's leading orchestras including the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, CBSO, Royal Opera House, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and the Philharmonia. He has worked in the West End for the last fifteen years playing in many productions including Les Miserables, Cats, Chicago, Follies, City Of Angels, Guys and Dolls and La Cage aux Folles.

His commercial work has seen International tours with the London Concert Orchestra (Anton & Erin from Strictly Come Dancing), Shirley Bassey Orchestra in Russia, Lebanon, Turkey, Cairo and the UK plus tours of Asia, Japan and Europe with the Michael Nyman Band, Grahamophones, and for a variety of theatre groups.

Since 2009, Chris has been exploring and developing a new area of improvisations and compositions with Susie Hodder-Williams, inspired by the natural history of Dartmoor. The Mariner's Way CD is the first result of this fruitful partnership which was launched at the Greenaway Barn Gallery as part of the Devon Open Studios. In 2010, he set up a performance series, in Devon, called Music on the Edge which has found its first home in the engaging Long Room, Drewsteignton."

-Delta Saxophone Quartet Website (

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track listing:

1. Echoes Of Silence 7:03

2. Revontulet 2:35

3. Nocturn In Blue And Silver 3:47

4. Valkrior 3:16

5. The Sea Of The Edge 5:56

6. David Of The White Rock 1:37

7. The White Rose Of Summer 1:26

8. Fair Lisa 2:00

9. Lullaby 3:12

10. Hunting The Hare 0:52

11. The Autumn Song 9:58

12. Quark Walk 3:30

13. The Snail Mound 4:14

14. Soliton Gates 1:04

15. The Nonsense 0:35

16. The Symmetry Break Terrace 2:21

17. Octagonia 1:21

18. The Snake Mound 2:56

19. Two Ways To Paradise 4:14
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"This album is a collection of musical landscapes. "Northern Lights" and "The Sea of the Edge" were commissioned specially and the other pieces have been arranged and freely adapted by the musicians. In Norse mythology the 'northern lights' or 'aurora borealis' were thought to be reflections from the shields of the Valkrior (maidens who take dead warriors to Valhalla). In Finland, they were named Revontulet (literally 'fox fires'), after an ancient Finnish fable, in which the lights were caused by a magical fox sweeping his tail across the snow, spraying it up into the sky. The music begins with "Echoes of Silence" a timeless meditation that places the listener in a vast open space.

"The Sea of the Edge" is one of the oceans of the moon. While much music depicts the moon romantically from the safe distance of the Earth, here, the cold, desolate lunar landscape is placed in the foreground. The Welsh folksong settings are followed by "The Autumn Song", which is based on various ancient Chinese poems about the parting of lovers. Specifically, this is due to the male partner having to go and serve in the building or guarding of the Great Wall of China. The music evokes the melancholic character of loss - in particular, that quality of ambiguity caused by the fact that neither partner knows if the loss is temporary or permanent.

"The Garden of Cosmic Speculation", created by Charles Jencks, is one of the most original and important gardens of the 21st century. Through large-scale sculptures and earthworks, it illustrates many concepts central to modern science. The music moves through the physical space of Jencks' garden exploring its sensuous surface. Originally for violin, cello, bass clarinet and piano, the music has been completely reworked by the musicians for this recording - sometimes (as is the case with "Quark Walk") only taking the tiniest fragment of the original piece as the basis for improvisation."-from the liner notes

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