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MP3 Cliff Ridley - Outward Voyage

A compilation of Art Songs written for the performers by the Canadian composer Christopher Ludwig, featuring the setting of Ken Cathers book of poetry, this recording is the result of a delicate thread linking poet, composer, singer and pianist.

9 MP3 Songs in this album (57:03) !
Related styles: CLASSICAL: Contemporary, AVANT GARDE: Modern Composition

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Cliff Ridley, baritone
Danielle Marcinek, piano
Chris Ludwig, music

In 2009 Cliff and Danielle released their third CD, Outward Voyage which is a compilation of Art Songs written for the performers by the Richmond, British Columbia composer Christopher Ludwig. It features a near complete setting of Ken Cathers’ book of poetry, Outward Voyage published by Oolichan Books in 1980. Set in five Parts the poems flow seamlessly in a continuous musical drama, a break from the Art Song tradition of setting poems individually.

Danielle had earlier worked with Chris on his piano CD, Expressivity, and when that project came to completion, Chris offered to write an Art Song for Cliff and Danielle together. One Art Song soon materialized into many as the performers and composer became more excited about the project. Cliff chose the poet Ken Cathers from a long remembered and favorite set of poems, Ladysmith, that he had encountered as a young man, reminding him of his childhood on Vancouver Island. Chris particularly liked Ken’s Outward Voyage poems which were set around the Gulf Islands. He knew the landmarks himself as he explored these same waters as a youth. Taking a 25-year-old clue as to where this man Ken Cathers lives, a phone number was tried in Ladysmith BC where we found him still residing. Ken was surprised but receptive to this group of Art Song enthusiasts breaking into his life so intently. He confessed after the premier a year later (the first time we actually met in person), “I didn’t know what to expect” but we could tell that he was deeply moved.

This recording is the result of a delicate thread linking poet, composer, singer and pianist through time, place, memory and desire, culminating in a lasting creative bond. There is a parallel with the poems and Cliff sums up the recording in this way: “Through the flux of life and the shifting sea, the Outward Voyage poems are also an inward voyage, coming to anchor in a present time and place – the Gulf Islands of British Columbia.”

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