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Skylark Vocal Ensemble Release New Album ‘Crossing Over’

By Shane Jordan s.jordan@classicalite.com on Feb 28, 2016 03:12 PM EST

Sono Luminus announces the March 25, worldwide release of Crossing Over featuring the lustrous voices of the Skylark ensemble, led by Artistic Director Matthew Guard. The album explores the dream state at the end of life, and takes the listener on a musical and emotional journey, featuring music that illuminates the mystery of the end of mortal life and the possibilities of a life beyond.

Sono Luminus' album package for Crossing Over includes both CD and Pure Audio Blu-ray with 9.1 Auro-3D and 5.1 Surround Sound versions, as well as the mShuttle application containing FLAC, WAV and MP3 audio files.

The album booklet includes a page for each piece with a full-color original photograph selected to mirror the emotions of the music. Some pages provide translations for the texts, while others offer simple poetry that helps place the vision of the piece in the context of the album.

Crossing Over includes the first U.S. commercial recording of English composer Sir John Tavener's 2003 work "Butterfly Dreams;" American composer William Schuman's rarely recorded "Carols of Death," based on the poetry of Walt Whitman; rising-star Icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir's setting of an ancient Icelandic psalm, "Heyr þú oss himnum á;" the first U.S. commercial recording of iconic Icelandic composer Jón Leifs' "Requiem," written upon the death of his teenage daughter; plus two pieces by young American composers -- Robert Vuichard's "Heliocentric Meditation," inspired by the poetry of John Donne, in its world premiere recording; and Daniel Elder's "Elegy," based on the military tune "Taps."

In a recent press release celebrating Crossing Over's debut, Skylark Artistic Director Matthew Guard describes the Jacob's Ladder concept of the a cappella ensemble's new album:

"People who have had near-death experiences have described vivid images of what they saw and felt as they approached what could have been the end of life.

"The pieces we have assembled on this album are musical meditations and visions on what that experience of 'crossing over' could be for each of us.

"Some pieces recall memories from the past, some offer visions of what may be to come. There are moments of denial and angst set against moments of simple prayer.

"The album ends with an ethereal psalm followed by a moment of reverent remembrance and celebration."

Pre-order your copy of Skylark's new album, Crossing Over, from Amazon today.

The track listing for Crossing Over is as follows:

1] "Elegy" by Daniel Elder (b. 1986) [4:16]

[2-9] "Butterfly Dreams" by John Tavener (1944-2013) [12:13]

[10] "Otche Nash" by Nicolai Kedrov (1871-1940) [2:03]

[11] "Requiem" by Jón Leifs (1899-1968) [4:41]

[12] "Heliocentric Meditation" by Robert Vuichard (b.1985) [9:12]

[13-15] "Carols of Death" by William Schuman (1910-1992) [9:42]

[16] "Heyr þú oss himnum á" by Anna Thorvaldsdottir (b. 1977) [4:27]

[17] "Funeral Ikos" by John Tavener [5:55]

Total time: 52:23

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TagsSkylark Vocal Ensemble, Skylark Ensemble, Skylark, New Album, Crossing Over