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Sean McCann (he of Great Big Sea fame), has assembled a great number of friends and associates (including Ian William Craig, Graham Lambkin, Cameron Stallones, Spencer Grady…) to perform his piece Music for Public Ensemble. The work is a fairly beautiful and gently experimental thing, giving off an air of friendly co-operation. Double LP release with a pamphlet of program notes, on Recital.

Double LP £29.99 R22

2LP on Recital. Limited Edition of 500 copies - includes a 12-page pamphlet with texts, program notes, & artwork..

  • Includes download code.
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Music for Public Ensemble by Sean McCann
1 review. Write a review for us »
9/10 Laurie Staff review, 08 December 2016

Heads up everybody, chill experimental composer man Sean McCann is taking his fragmented acoustic (ish) music out of the drawing rooms of King Recital III and into the places that the riff raff of the public can enter. Hmm, maybe he’s actually talking about the ensemble itself rather than the audience; there’s a massive list of personnel per track on the back of the sleeve that makes it look like he’s just recruited everyone for this. Oh, and Ian William Craig’s on it.

If you haven’t already clicked ‘buy’ or whatever, then I guess I’ve still got something to do here. Music for Public Ensemble is a massive statement, and not just because of the number of people involved. Keeping it cohesive and as beautiful as those first couple of tracks is an unimaginable task which definitely explains why it took 3-4 years to make, but it’s a fine piece of craft, with real care gone into its writing, recording and production.

Throughout the 83 minutes and 14 seconds of its runtime, you’ll hear plaintive neoclassical themes played by an assortment of traditional instruments collide with mangled field recording mush, subtle and tasteful atonal freakouts, spoken word sequences and the occasional electronic/tape drone. It sways brilliantly between major and minor keys, pure beauty and challenging texture, and density and sparseness, all executed with the care of a master composer. Can’t get more lofty than that, huh?

If you’re still not convinced, just give up 12 minutes of your life to ‘Lurida’.


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