The exceptionally talented contemporary classical composer Lucy Claire has brought along some good friends for what is her second collaborative collection. Collaborations No.2 is a tiny collection, but it still makes for an essential listen. Besides, the running length of any given record shouldn’t negate or influence its importance. In daily life, we’re told to have and crave more of everything. Advertisements push something you don’t necessarily want or need until it becomes a desirable object. Society thinks that having more of something makes life (as well as your status) more meaningful and important, but this isn’t really true. Music speaks the truth.
Two violins, a viola, a cello and a double bass all contribute to this little gem. Included alongside are four remixes. Lucy Claire’s thoughtful piano playing goes hand in hand with Yuri Kono’s opening, warm vocals, and together they’re as pretty as cherry blossom petals fluttering in the breeze. As the strings rise, they start to shadow the piano. The piano then falls away, retreating into the distance. Here, the violin is allowed to occupy the centre of the spiral, but Alev Lenz’s singing is ever powerful, too.
‘Voices of the Sea’ (with Marie Schreer) is a haunting, sad piece of music that harbors a deep sensitivity. In this era, Collaborations No.2 is a relatively short listen at around thirty minutes in length, but it’s packed full of meaningful, highly emotional music, and that will always outstrip a longer record that carries less of an emotional hit; the album can become weaker the longer it is. This is precious music, and the high standards on display will in all likelihood leave you very impressed. Second by second, the music delivers.
The remixes tend to lean towards the electronic side of things as flittering beats are introduced, and as a collaborative work it’s impressive to hear just how smoothly everything gels together. The vocals are ghosted in reverb, its spectre hovering alongside a sprinting electronic pulse. Strangely, the music has the feel of a soundscape, despite the additional instruments in the mix. Like a pair of well-worn blue jeans, the instruments are a right fit for one another. As is so often the case, it’s the little things that mean a lot.