Past presence: Dead Space Chamber Music and Kate Arnold

Two brilliantly-timed records that for me sum up the word ‘spirit’: both in the eerie, evocative atmospheres they conjure up, and the sheer inventive brio with which the music was created. * Dead Space Chamber Music are an intriguing collective from Bristol, UK, who seemingly belong to all genres or none. Within the first few…

Alleviate – Simon Templeton

I have found myself drawn more and more, as both player and listener, to the kind of post-Classical ambient piano music which Simon Templeton writes, and never more so this year when I have felt a certain estrangement from the kind of classical music I usually enjoy hearing in concert. Ambient is a misnomer, for…

‘Owen Wingrave’. A Family at War

For its Interim Season, Grange Park Opera is offering several new filmed operas to the public. Owen Wingrave, filmed in September of this year, is a rarely performed work by Benjamin Britten and was originally conceived as a TV opera. It was broadcast on BBC2 in 1971. For this reason alone I was very curious to see it.  For…

Boakye’s Show at Tate Britain Alluring and Enigmatic

    The Matters 2016   Of Ghanaian descent, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye was born in London in 1977. Now into her fourth decade, she has already achieved so much as an artist. Her oil paintings are to be found in museum collections across the world and since 2015 she has had solo shows in London, Munich, Basel…

From Novichok to Neophyte

The horrendous poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury city centre on the 4th March 2018 was the inspiration for Sergei Lebedev’s latest novel Untraceable. Set in the opaque world of Russian Intelligence, it covers a particularly sticky period in Russian history, from the 1930s right up to the 1990s.  Three people power the story: Professor…

The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2020

Guest review by Sarah Mulvey Featured: Nijdeka Akunyili Crosby, Blend In-Stand Out, Mixed Media, 243 x 314cm From July this year social life for gallery-goers returned almost to normal as many museums and galleries opened their doors to visitors. So, we re-inhabited the streets and met friends indoors, our smart phones tracking our movements around…

Divine Debussy and Messiaen

Photograph by Jasper Grijpink Regards Sur L’Infini was recorded by soprano, Katharine Dain, and pianist, Sam Armstrong, during the first lockdown of this year and is a remarkable tribute to Claude Debussy and Olivier Messiaen. In many respects this musical project is a quite a feat for Dain. Both Debussy’s and Messiaen’s vocal work is…

Tenor Dmytro Popov hitting high notes of his career

The Ukranian opera tenor Dmytro Popov might not be someone you will have heard of. Now entering his forth decade and therefore relatively young in opera years, he has spent much of his time outside the UK, singing lead roles in the world’s most prestigious opera houses. His stupendous vocal abilities were noticed very early…