Listening to classical cross-over brings me as much pleasure as sitting in my office with the ear piercingly high pitched band saw gradually melting my brain through a single glazed window from the building works over the road.
So it was with a certain degree of trepidation after I saw ‘classical music’ as an influence that I pressed play to hear the music of The Shadow Orchestra. It is with a great degree of jubilation that they are no Katherine Jenkins.
I was contacted by the Band’s harpist Kat Arney. Yes, you read that right – Harp – and it features heavily on their new Remaker EP. The Shadow Orchestra though was originally the solo work of cellist and producer Chris Bangs – and his 2006 eponymous release received airplay on BBC Radio 1 and 3.
Despite the record’s success Bangs decided to rely less on his laptop and assembled, alongside Arney, drummer Dave Oliver, guitarist Nick Siddall and singer and multi-instrumentalist Mary Erskine.
The expansion of The Shadow Orchestra seems to have worked wonders. Remaker still has plenty of hints towards the experimental electronica of Aphex Twin or even composer Jonathan Harvey. But with the added forces you can appreciate some exquisitely performed instrumental layers which have been crafted together to make ethereal soundscapes, whilst Esrkine’s vocals float elegantly above.
You can buy Remaker for what you like. Before you decide how much you want to pay, have a listen to my favourite track from the EP. Thanks to the band for this song – cause it’s helped take some of the edge off that saw.