An email from Rhian Sheehan pondering an upcoming collaboration is the type of email you look forward to… knowing that you’re about to embark on an incredible musical journey and have the pleasure of exploring his masterpieces from within. In short, the guy is a bloody legend. The way he evokes emotion and explores texture and colour within music is something I greatly admire.
It was a year ago, September 2017, when we started working on the first track. Co-arranging and orchestrating the strings for what is now is latest album, ‘A Quiet Divide’. Over a few months we tweaked the arrangements, added layers, subtracted layers, lengthened, shortened, rewrote endings over and over until they hit the mark. Finally comes February 27th this year when we recorded in Wellington with some of NZ’s finest string players as part of Stroma FilmWorks.
Later Rhian recorded pianos in Auckland with his wife Raashi and the wonderful Justin Bird.
Depth of colour, textural clarity and control of phrasing were themes in these charts. Here’s two examples of how this was achieved:
This type of arranging/orchestration work is so rewarding. Working with such talented musicians and, with the strings, bringing out the magic that lies within their creations.
Fast forward to today, October 5th, and the album is released. And it’s pretty stunning. This is music for the soul. There’s been some good write ups on the album already. This from Drifting, Almost Falling I particularly enjoyed, which gives thoughtful insight on the inner musical elements:
Take a listen below and then buy a copy for yourself! Our string collaborations are tracks: 3. Lost Letters, 4. Soma Dreams, 5. Between Us and the Dying Starlight, 6. We Danced Under a Broken Sky, 10. Someplace and 12. April.
And if that wasn’t enough, Rhian is performing live shows around the country to celebrate. Dunedin was last week. But coming up there is:
12 October, Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington - TICKETS
20-21 October, Nelson Theatre Royal (Nelson Arts Festival) - TICKETS
…and in Auckland you might just find a special guest in the viola section.