It's finally ready for official release. Physical CDs won't be available until November and right now, the recording is available currently on mainstream download and streaming platforms. You can get to those from here: richardthill.hearnow.com and you can also listen to 30 second samples of each movement. If you have iTunes, Spotify or Amazon Music you can listen to the whole thing. It's in 12 movements and it runs about 42 minutes long. I'm very proud of the incredible job done by the "virtual chamber orchestra" that was never in the same room at the same time. The upside to The Pestilence was that many musicians very quickly learned how to do remote recording. The engineers at Morningstar Studios (Dave Schonauer & two-time Grammy Award-winning engineer-producer Glenn Barratt) worked some amazing magic constructing this recording from individual parts recorded from as far away as Bulgaria! Not only making sure it matched the written score but in fine tuning it to sound so cohesive and coherent as if it were recorded live in a concert hall. The singers, soprano Rachael Lipson, alto Javvieaus Stewart, tenor Shane Tapley, baritone Jordan Barrett under the direction of John Walthausen, who very experienced in performing Sacred Music, really understood what I was trying to accomplish with this work. It's a centuries-old Sacred Music form that is using "profane" text from an early 20th century horror writer H.P. Lovecraft, about an apocalyptic cult centered around an alien deity who resides in the depths of the Pacific ocean, asleep and dreaming of his return in which he basically destroys our world. Fun stuff, right? It was 2020, how much cheerful music was going to be written that year? The work was also scored for 3 saxophones (all performed by William Conn, Jr.) 3 trombones (Chris Mele), drums (Ritchie DeCarlo) and a string section consisting of four violins, four violas, four cellos and a double bass doubling on electric bass. Additional electric bass was provided by Andrew Nelson. Fiddle on the sea shanty was played by Mollie Ducoste which is where you'll find my lone contribution on the acoustic guitar. The remaining instruments heard throughout are sampled and the performances derived from the music notation software where I created the score and parts. All of this is brilliantly produced to sound like a live ensemble. I will eventually sell mp3 downloads on my site but I wanted to give the modern standard outlets some time to see how this work is received by the general public. It's definitely not an easy marketing task. 21st century "serious" music works are quite the niche and so is H.P. Lovecraft. I would note that this is, I believe, the first time Lovecraft's work has received a "classical music" treatment. Since I will also make the score and parts available for sale, you too can stage your own performance of the Cthulhu Cantata.
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