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Commentary

05 Oct 2020

Murphy & Attridge celebrate performers' humanity with a creative response to lockdown

Duo Lewis Murphy (composer) and Laura Attridge (writer) have launched a charitable song project entitled Notes From Isolation. The resulting songs, featuring some of the UK's top singing talent, are being released online between August and October 2020 and can be enjoyed free of charge.

To create Notes From Isolation, Lewis and Laura interviewed performers about their experiences in lockdown, with the aim of bringing to life each person’s story in a bespoke song showcasing not only their artistry but also their unique humanity. The result is a series of beautiful and poignant new pieces, with each element of the creative process – text, music, piano track, vocal recording and visual material – created in isolation and brought together in a resulting video to be released online. Four of eight songs have been released thus far, and they are viewable online now via Murphy & Attridge's website and social media platforms (links below), with the next four being released across October.

Everyone participating in the project is donating their time, and each performer is nominating a charity to champion with their song. Charities supported to date include The Dumfries and Galloway Befriending Project, Help Musicians, The Pituitary Foundation, OperAffinity, The Fawcett Society and the Lebanese Red Cross.

Performers: Nicky Spence, Natalya Romaniw, Catriona Morison, Julien Van Mellaerts and Sofia Castillo (flute), Isabelle Peters, Marta Fontanals-Simmons, David Horton, Dame Felicity Lott
Pianist: Dylan Perez
Film & Audio: Jamie Hall
Music & Words: Murphy & Attridge

Lewis Murphy & Laura Attridge say -

We discovered early on in the interviews that however difficult the experiences of each performer, the conversation always turned towards moments of profound joy and hope - we wanted to honour that resilience and optimism in the face of great crisis and ongoing trauma; we therefore focused our efforts on bringing those particular moments to life in order to bring that same joy and hope to our audience members. Every piece is therefore really a note from isolation from each performer to say ‘we can get through this’.”

Lewis Murphy and Laura Attridge have quickly established themselves as one of the most exciting young creative partnerships on the opera scene today. They are particularly interested in making socially conscious work which responds directly to the modern world and asks questions of its viewers. Their ever-growing portfolio together already includes commissions from the Royal Opera House, Scottish Opera, Glyndebourne, the National Opera Studio, and Sound Festival. Lewis and Laura's latest commission is a new one-act opera for Leeds Youth Opera entitled ARC23, set to premiere in 2021.

Laura and Lewis have started their collaboration for Glyndebourne’s Young Composer-in-Residence scheme with Belongings, an impressive opera drawing its inspiration from deeply moving human experiences during the refugee crisis, a hot topic of the time and always valid in some part of the world. Belongings clearly shows how Laura and Lewis have worked closely and inspired each other. A very promising work that makes me look forward to their next projects together.”

Sebastian Schwarz, former General Director, Glyndebourne

Links:
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJvIGWqnYkbMEDlpt4H8nJA
Website: https://murphyattridge.com/portfolio/notes-from-isolation/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/murphyattridge
Instagram: @Murphy_Attridge
Twitter: @Murphy_Attridge

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