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Audrey Riley With James Woodrow | Gavin Bryars: Tre Laude Dolce

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Gavin Bryars: Tre Laude Dolce

by Audrey Riley With James Woodrow

Solo' cello and 'cello with guitar duo versions of the piece composed for 'cellist Audrey Riley by Gavin Bryars
Genre: Classical: Contemporary
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Lauda Dolce I 'cello
7:56 album only
2. Lauda Dolce II 'cello
7:00 album only
3. Lauda Dolce III 'cello
6:54 album only
4. Lauda Dolce I 'cello and Guitar
7:38 album only
5. Lauda Dolce II 'cello and Guitar
6:20 album only
6. Lauda Dolce III 'cello and Guitar
6:54 album only


Album Notes
The latest release from Audrey Riley (‘cello) with James Woodrow (guitar). Gavin Bryars ‘Tre Laude Dolce’. Composed in 2007 for the ‘cellist. On CD, and Vinyl LP (with free mp3 download code). Mastered by Don C Tyler and with artwork by Toby Cornish of Jutojo, Berlin. This is the fourth release from AR Records, the small independent label set up by Riley for the release of special and personal recordings by herself and her associates.

‘On June 1st 2007 I wrote the first of the Tre Laude Dolçe as a gift to my friend and colleague Audrey Riley to provide her with repertoire for a recital of unaccompanied cello music that she was to give in a little place called Trancoso in Portugal. It is, in essence, an instrumental version of my first vocal lauda, “Venite a Laudare”, following its form in outline. However I add a good deal of ornamentation and use the full range of the cello, especially its range of natural harmonics. Like the vocal lauda, Lauda Dolçe I consists of, essentially, a solo melodic line, but uses the string instrument’s capacity to add other notes for harmonic implication or decoration.
When Audrey let me know that the piece had worked well in context, a few days later, on June 7th and 8th, I wrote two more cello pieces, taking the remaining two of my first three laude as source material, but with the original third lauda as the second of the instrumental versions and ending with Lauda 2. In each case I brought in new elements. With Lauda Dolçe II this involved a degree of chromatic wandering away from the modal quality of the original, and in Lauda Dolçe III bringing the previously background pizzicato drone notes into greater prominence by using both right and left hand pizzicato at the beginning and end.
James and Audrey have worked together with me as the key performers
of the music that I wrote for Merce Cunningham’s Biped (1999), which we performed right up to the end of the Cunningham Company’s existence in 2011. Now Audrey and James have brought this quality into the Laude Dolçe by creating duo versions of all three pieces. In these duo Laude Dolçe, the electric guitar is no longer just accompaniment but has become an equal partner – a strange hybrid bowed string instrument, and sometimes ensemble – thereby creating something that is almost orchestral in its richness and diversity and takes pieces that started out as simple melodic lines into a new dimension.’
Gavin Bryars 
Billesdon, 29 December 2014

Audrey Riley is best known for her work as an arranger and session ‘cellist. Beginning in the 1980’s with Virginia Astley, Test Dept and The Smiths, her work has been heard on numerous recordings over three decades, The Smashing Pumpkins, Coldplay and Muse begin the most well known, but also as a long time member of the Gil Norton production team with bands such as Feeder and the Foo Fighters, and for 4-AD with Lush and Hope Blister.
As a ‘cellist, focusing on contemporary and experimental performance, over 30 years Riley has commissioned new music for ‘cello, championed contemporary composers, collaborated in composition, and generally headed quite deliberately, and quite privately, towards a music world away from the main stream, towards experimentation and improvisation. She has worked extensively with dance companies, and in particular the Merce Cunningham Dance Company who she toured with for ten years between 2001 and it’s close in 2011, performing Cage, Wolff, and Bryars alongside James Woodrow her duo partner of 20 years.
Like Riley, the guitarist James Woodrow considers himself not an instrumentalist but a musician, and refuses to be bound by stylistic or genre types. A phenomenal jazz musician, with two of his own CDs to his name, he is also the guitarist and bass player of choice for many leading contemporary music ensembles. A superb classical guitarist he is equally at home in a chamber music recital as contributing electric guitar to a BBC orchestral Prom of new music. He has been the guitarist for the Gavin Bryars ensemble for many years, shaping the sound through his exploration of new techniques.

‘Tre Laude Dolce’ was written for Audrey Riley by Gavin Bryars in 2007 and has been performed many times since. The fluid nature of the melodic lines allow for the piece, while remaining contained, to expand and contract, thereby being different at every performance. This is not music that dictates a set interpretation, but each rendering is unique. Knowing quite quickly that she would like to record the piece, and with the composers approval, Riley then determined on a path that would allow a different way of recording, that of capturing a number of performances in a ‘happy place’. In 2008 Riley set about finding a place away from London and began to build this ‘working space’ in which to work. Recording took place between 2012 and 2013 in three separate sessions, completing all three duo Laude versions over one weekend. It was key to choosing takes for the album that they were as complete as possible, and that at every decision the piece would take priority over the playing. However bird song did make a regular appearance, and recording at night with the heating off, warmed by the woodstove, the cracking of a log meant a re-start, or editing out. But the decision was always taken that if that take served the music best then we would live with the addition of an occasional bird or floorboard creak.
During this time AR Records was started, a tiny, home-based label, embracing the opportunity of the new self-releasing, which in the meantime has released five other titles by Audrey Riley, or friends and associates, including the piece written for her in 2003 by Bryars ‘Lauda (con sordino)’, the first release from the label in 2010.

The composer has described it as ‘superb’. The recording is not just a recording of the piece, or of the two musicians. It captures moments in time, performance, careful consideration, the ensemble of two musicians who know each others playing like breathing, the simple release of sound into air, and the hope that in this way the beautiful and elusive nature of this composition by Gavin Bryars is heard.


Audrey Riley, 'cello
James Woodrow , guitar
Recorded in Rutland
Post Production, Asa Bennett
Mastering, Don C Tyler
Artwork, Toby Cornish

Produced by Audrey Riley



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