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Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Andrew Gourlay conductor
Lucy Goggard, mezzo-soprano & Simon Whitley, bass
scapegot • Elias String Quartet

NMC D219

D219 Cover DeBut Disc logo
• Debut Discs is a new series in collaboration with BA (Hons) Graphic Design students at Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design.

• The work of new designers showcased alongside the music of a younger generation of composers highlights the emerging talent and connections between the two arts forms.

• The cover designs were exhibited at the series press launch event on 7 June.

• The finals designs for the 12 releases in this series were selected by a judging panel including composer Colin Matthews, cover designer for 4AD Vaughan Oliver and Guardian/Radio 3 journalist Tom Service.

• Debut Discs has the ambassadorial support of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies.

Emily Howard's degree in maths and computer science has informed her work, but, as she stresses, “I'm a composer, not a mathematician.   My compositions embrace a diverse range of extra-musical influences including science, mathematics, philosophy, poetry, sport and chess, often simultaneously.”

Magnetite (2007) was Howard's first major orchestral commission for the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.   Magnetite is the oldest known magnetic substance and Howard describes this piece as “a journey deep inside one of these crystals.”   Continuing a similar theme, Solar (2010) creates a musical image of our sun, using luminous, resonant sonorities and bursts of energy.

Mesmerism (2011) for piano and chamber orchestra is one in a series of works inspired by Ada Lovelace, the pioneering mathematician and daughter of Byron.   This piece won a British Composer Award in 2012 with the BASCA judges commenting that ‘the harmonic language of the music is lucid and beautiful, sustaining at the heart of the piece a great sense of stillness.   This is an original voice.’

Works for smaller forces on this album include Afference (2014) for string quartet; Leviathan (2014-15) for baritone saxophone and percussion and Threnos (2015), a three-part song for bass and soprano voices (including the bass voice in falsetto).


1. Magnetite     10'04
     Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra,
     Andrew Gourlay, conductor

2. Threnos     7'36
     Lucy Goddard, mezz-soprano
     Simon Whiteley, bass

3. Mesmerism     18'07
     Alexandra Dariescu, piano
     Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra,
     Andrew Gourlay, conductor

4. Levithan     13'01

5. Solar     6'21
     Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra,
     Andrew Gourlay, conductor

6. Afference     23'15
     Elias String Quartet

     Total timing     79'09

NMC Recordings are distributed in Australia by
Rockian Trading, P.O.Box 44, Briar Hill, Vic, 3088, Australia
Telephone (03) 9432 4149 ~ Facsimile (03) 9444 6879