Isolation Songbook | Delphian DCD34253

Isolation Songbook


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Label: Delphian

Cat No: DCD34253

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Vocal/Choral

Release Date: 26th March 2021



The feeling which many of us experienced in spring 2020 as, country by country, the world went into lockdown – a sense of life gone into standstill – was especially acute for musicians, deprived suddenly of both their livelihoods and the human connections that give their work meaning.

For singers Helen Charlston and Michael Craddock, it was not only their art that they could no longer express publicly: they had been due to marry in April. Forced like so many to put plans of any kind on hold, Helen began to find ways of redirecting her creative postponed wedding date, and the composer Owain Park, a friend of the couple, set it to music.

Helen began to contact other composers and poets, and unexpectedly but quickly a project took shape that would both fill the empty time and bear witness to it. The project chimed with Delphian’s determination to maintain the flow of album releases while live music was in abeyance, and so – with music again proving its ability to build connections across physical distance – the Isolation Songbook swiftly found a home on disc; recorded during the summer relaxation of restrictions, its release marks the anniversary of the beginning of lockdown in the UK.

“performed with commitment and even a frenetic bout of staged hand-sanitising” – The Guardian


Some of the songs are settings of new poems; other poems are already known. Richard Barnard sets three Early Stroll tweets by Ian McMillan, each in contrasting mood. Ben Rowarth makes merry theatre out of AA Milne’s The King’s Breakfast; Derri Joseph Lewis conjures a miniature out of Mary Elizabeth Coleridge’s A Moment. Héloïse Werner, Elliott Park and Gerda Blok-Wilson are included in this lovely, accomplished miscellany of composers, poets and moods.  Fiona Maddocks
The Guardian March 2021

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