April 21, 2018 (physical)
Oliver Coates’ new arrangement of Pulitzer Prize-winning US composer John Luther Adams’ 2007 piece Canticles of the Sky appears for the first time in recorded form as a limited vinyl edition from RVNG Intl.
In March 2017, Coates conducted 32 cellists in the UK premiere of the composition, displaying its intimacies after deeply communing with the trajectories of Adams’ fictional suns and moons, the guiding characters and carriers of the piece.
This recorded interpretation, performed by Coates for multi-layered solo cello, takes Canticles of the Sky to wondrous, dizzying new heights, envisaging Adams’ parallel dimension as an idealised construction. Marrying extra-musical studio techniques and meticulous arrangements to Coates’ fascination with early electronic synthesis (especially the work of Laurie Spiegel), the result offers an ultra-sensory take on classical string instrumentation.
“Making this recording was not only about creating the most finely tuned interpretation of the piece in terms of frequencies and dynamics, but was also a chance to do something I have always wanted to do; to make a study in colour,” Coates says. “Inspired by paintings by Hilma af Klint and Agnes Martin, I had a chance to build an overall image using different playing techniques and microphone combinations.”
Coates has released a handful of solo records under his own name, including the acclaimed 2016 album Upstepping, and in 2017 Remain Calm, a collaboration with Mica Levi. As an artist and performer, he is frequently commissioned by world-renowned orchestras, choreographers and visual artists to compose or curate integral new works.
John Luther Adams’ Canticles of the Sky is a limited LP release, preempting Coates’ debut full-length for RVNG Intl., and will be available on vinyl exclusively on April 21, 2018 for Record Store Day. This edition will not be repressed.