“…the painful purity and fierceness of CN’s voice was almost alienating in its smooth intensity…Toby’s rapid, delicate fingerwork was similarly deft, enhancing the vocals and rippling into several nuanced solos startling in their sophistication…These songs of desire, pain, longing and memory lulled the listener into calm, carrying the audience away and then snatching them back from reverie with a challenging, provocative note.” Marylebone Journal
If you’re here there’s a good chance you already know who we are – for everyone else: guitarist Toby Carr and I met two years ago at Trinity College of Music and have been performing together ever since. Dark Angels is the first in our concert series to feature modern classical music, rather than early repertoire. There’s not a huge amount written for mezzo-soprano and guitar – but we’re lucky that what there is is pretty special. From the dramatic intensity of the eponymous Maxwell Davies of the title to the jarring sweetness of Philip Lawton’s settings of Roz Kaveney’s words - 60 years of art song in English in just over an hour - Peter Maxwell Davies, Benjamin Britten, Jonathan Kulp and Philip Lawton. We premiered Dark Angels in May 2012, and have been touring/perfecting it throughout the summer. It seems the right time, now, to record it.
What we need
So, this is the part where we ask for your help. Recording classical music can be super expensive – we’ve done our best to keep costs as low as possible.
£800 to pay for recording engineer and producer Jack Byrne (who did such a beautiful job on Ashes)
£250 to hire a super quiet country church for five days
£380 to produce 200 CDs
£300 (approximate) royalties to composers
£100 for the launch night
£140 contingency – just in case
If, by some miracle, we go over our target, the money will go towards the expenses we’ve taken on ourselves: guitar strings, travel, coaching.
Four good reasons to give us your money
You care about music, art and cultural diversity
Worried about a music industry that cares more about making money than making art? Dislike homogeneity? Think that art should challenge its audience? Then put your money where your mouth is and help make a record full of interesting, different, clever, stimulating music.
You care about young musicians
Opportunities for young musicians are few and far between – so we’re making our own. That has to be worth supporting.
You care about us
If, over the past couple of years, you’ve ever enjoyed one of the free concerts Toby and I have given, or one of the many free/cheap gigs/fundraisers I’ve performed/organised, or any of the free downloads, then maybe you’d like to give a little something back? You scratch my back…
You care about yourself
Study after study have shown (probably) that people who listen to modern classical music are smarter, sexier and just plain better than their contemporaries. If you’re the kind of person who’d spend £10 on an art exhibition, cinema ticket or museum pass, then why not spend £10 for an album that’ll give you something to think about, something to feel – and that you can use over and over again.
We can’t wait to see you at the album launch
“It wasn’t long before we were mesmerised – literally entranced – by the sounds emanating from CN and Toby. Who knew a guitar could sound so enchanting, so ethereal?...The music ignited a heightened sense of beauty. It was magical. It was like the opposite of watching X-Factor. It cleared the mind…CN’s charismatic performance captured the drama of these pieces perfectly. The vocal talent was unquestionable, and the staccato highs and lows helped shake the hypnosis after Toby’s guitar solos by Maxwell Davies and Benjamin Britten.” Gay Times
Vocalist, general organiser, in an absent-minded kind of way.