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Directed by Craig Hella Johnson
In the 2007 season, Conspirare captivated audiences with concerts of works by the phenomenally gifted (and award-winning) young composer Tarik O'Regan. Now the Grammy-nominated choral ensemble is set to captivate audiences across the globe with a recording of those same works by O'Regan. This is a recording worthy of attention. A single listen confirms the impression from last year's concerts that this choir and composer are exquisitely matched. Conductor Craig Hella Johnson and his company of voices have the skill to voice all the colors in O'Regan's richly varied musical palette: the densely clustered voices that pull at one another in tense dissonance here and resolve in sumptuous harmonies there, the rhythms that rocket a song along or ease it into a blissful peace. Moreover, they have a feel for the material, for its drama and intensity and the deep spiritual dimension at its foundation. O'Regan, a 30-year-old British composer now living in New York, crafts his own truly original style. Yes, this music is essentially tonal, but hardly could you characterize it as traditionally melodic. O'Regan's music layers voices with brilliant intricacy. Voices cluster seamlessly in full choir, then emerge in delicate solos. He deftly combines airy melodies with only short moments of subtle dissonance to a powerful effect.
Listen to Had I Not Seen The Sun in RealAudio.