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Almost Blue & Andy Massey | Music to Mend the Heart

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Spiritual: Inspirational Classical: Choral Music Moods: Type: Lyrical
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Music to Mend the Heart

by Almost Blue & Andy Massey

Choral compositions by Angela Reith with haunting melodies and harmonies that come from the heart
Genre: Spiritual: Inspirational
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. This Night
Almost Blue & Andy Massey
3:09 $0.99
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2. Come, Come, Whoever You Are
Almost Blue
1:42 $0.99
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3. Let Yourself Be Silently Drawn
Almost Blue
1:42 $0.99
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4. Because of You
Almost Blue & Andy Massey
3:06 $0.99
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5. A Bethlehem Lament
Almost Blue
3:45 $0.99
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6. I Am Tired
Almost Blue
3:30 $0.99
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7. Open My Eyes to See
Almost Blue
2:09 $0.99
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8. Into the Woods
Almost Blue
2:53 $0.99
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9. O Lord, Hear My Cry
Almost Blue
5:06 $0.99
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10. I Place My Hands in Yours
Almost Blue
1:39 $0.99
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11. Awaken Me, Lord
Almost Blue & Angela Reith
1:03 $0.99
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12. Dreams & Nightmares
Almost Blue
1:02 $0.99
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13. Urban Mass: Lord Have Mercy
Almost Blue & Andy Massey
0:46 $0.99
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14. Urban Mass: Glory to God
Almost Blue & Andy Massey
2:40 $0.99
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15. Urban Mass: Holy Lord & Blessed Is He
Almost Blue & Andy Massey
1:12 $0.99
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16. Urban Mass: Christ Has Died
Almost Blue & Andy Massey
0:30 $0.99
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17. Urban Mass: Blessing and Honour
Almost Blue & Andy Massey
0:39 $0.99
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18. Urban Mass: Our Father
Almost Blue & Andy Massey
2:05 $0.99
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19. Urban Mass: Lamb of God
Almost Blue & Andy Massey
1:02 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
MUSIC TO MEND THE HEART (2019)
It is thirty years since I started composing music for choirs and to celebrate this I have recorded nineteen choral works that span those thirty years. The album features the beautiful voices of Almost Blue, a choir founded by Rick Leigh and James Murray in 2017. The choir was conducted for the recording by experienced orchestrator, conductor and MD, Mark Warman, with Andy Massey providing sensitive piano accompaniment where required.

The album was recorded over one day in Angel Recording Studios, Islington, London, UK. Mark Warman edited and mixed the album in Carleton Studios, adding his signature magic dust to the end result. Designer Simon Gunn created lovely artwork for the album.

Half of the funding for the album came from over a hundred kind friends, relatives and musical colleagues who generously donated via a UK based crowdfunding site. I'm hugely grateful to everyone who contributed to this album in so many different ways.

My life in music has taught me that singing mends the heart - it reaches the essence of who we are; it can make us well; it can help us live. As Beethoven reputedly wrote, ‘I leave my music to heal the world’, and William Morris, ‘We are of one blood, you and I…and we shall go singing to the fashioning of a new world.’

THE TRACKS
THIS NIGHT was inspired by a poem from the Celtic collection, Carmina Gadelica. It was highly commended by the judges, including composer John Rutter, in the Bach Choir’s first Sir David Willcocks Carol Competition and the Bach Choir performed it in their Carols at Cadogan concert in December 2017 in London UK.
Next are two settings of short extracts from the ever-popular Persian mystic, Rumi - COME, COME, WHOEVER YOU ARE and LET YOURSELF BE SILENTLY DRAWN.
I composed BECAUSE OF YOU for the wedding of my niece Phoebe to Nick in 2018. The text is a traditional Inuit love poem.
A BETHLEHEM LAMENT was my response to news of the bombing of Bethlehem in April 2002.
A number of people have said they’d like I AM TIRED to be sung at their funeral, which I take as a compliment. It comes from 'The Guardian Angel', a poem in Carmina Gadelica, and is attributed to the 6th century saint, Columba.
OPEN MY EYES TO SEE is a call-and-response song, influenced by the music I heard in Zimbabwe as a child.
Author and poet Veronica Zundel’s poem INTO THE WOODS is a dark re-telling of Little Red Riding Hood in which she questions her grandmother who perished in Nazi Germany.
O LORD, HEAR MY CRY was inspired by words in Psalm 130.
I PLACE MY HANDS IN YOURS and AWAKEN ME, LORD are settings of Celtic prayers by David Adam.
DREAMS AND NIGHTMARES is a setting of words by Simon Parke, written for the church community of St George's in Tufnell Park, north London.
The album ends with URBAN MASS, a seven-piece setting of the Anglican ‘Rite A’ communion, composed for an inner-city church in London, UK. The complete setting is used in churches throughout the UK and abroad, and my setting of 'Our Father' has featured in a Tear Fund film.

Because the sound of voices singing in harmony is one of life’s greatest pleasures, I continue to lead singing groups of different kinds, and compose and arrange songs for choirs. I’ve been working as a musician all my life in different guises and genres - as a song-writer, TV composer, playing the piano, MD, singing world songs with vocal trio Anam Cara, and providing music for different community groups including leading Sing For Your Lungs at Whittington Hospital for people with COPD and other lung conditions. None of this work brings in much money but I do it because I love it, and because music - and singing in particular - goes to the heart of who we are.

RESPONSES TO MY MUSIC
‘Without fail it moves people’ (Candy Verney, singing leader)
‘…haunting melodies and choral arrangements…’ (Church Mouse CDs review)
‘Sensitive and emotive’ (Garth Hewitt, singer-songwriter, founder of Amos Trust)
‘Beautiful without being invasive’ (Malcolm Doney, writer and priest
‘I’ve been working and living to your Improvisations today. Wonderful’ (Simon Parke, writer)

ARTIST BIOGRAPHIES

ANGELA REITH
Angela has been making music since starting piano lessons at age 8 while living in Zimbabwe. As a teenage guitarist she performed in a folk duo with her sister, Meriel. After studying music at Birmingham University, she worked in TV and video, and now works as a choral and instrumental composer, songwriter, vocal arranger, singing leader, conductor, pianist, guitarist, music director and music therapist. She works in a variety of genres, mainly in a community context. Angela performed world and other songs with Anam Cara vocal trio for ten years along with Maggie Newlands and Judith Silver. The trio’s albums are Live at St George’s (2001) and Seize the Moment (2009). Angela has released three albums of her own music: Sometimes the Sun (1997), Improvisations - solo piano (2012) available online, and Behind Us! (2002) - songs from community musicals. All except the latter are available online.
Contact: angela.reith@mayton.demon.co.uk

ALMOST BLUE
Almost Blue is a small group of singers and friends based in London who perform a range of music from classical choral to contemporary folk and pop arrangements. Brought together by singer Rick Leigh and conductor James Murray in late 2017 they have been performing regularly together in North London.
Contact: AlmostBlueVoices@gmail.com

MARK WARMAN
A choral scholar at King’s College, Cambridge, Mark has enjoyed a long and successful career in the West End as Musical Director, conducting many of the world’s greatest musicals including Les Misérables, Chess, Sweeney Todd, The Lion King and Into The Woods. His orchestrations are best known from the hit TV comedy series May To December, the Oscar-winning documentary Anne Frank Remembered and the 1995 BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, starring Colin Firth. From 2003 Mark was MD to the legendary Scott Walker, conducting and orchestrating his albums, film and ballet scores, concert works and a major retrospective at the Barbican. He is a professor at the Royal Academy of Music, teaching orchestration and conducting to the next generation of Musical Directors.
Contact: markwarman@me.com

ANDY MASSEY
Andy studied at the Royal College of Music where he won major prizes as a pianist. His concert career took him throughout the UK and Europe as a soloist with orchestras and recital player. In 1996 he went to English National Opera and a year later joined the music staff at Glyndebourne Festival Opera, where he stayed for four years before moving into music theatre. Musical Director credits include: Guys and Dolls, Billy Elliot , Life of the Party, La Cage aux Folles. As player and/or conductor, credits also include: 42nd Street, The Lion King, Book of Mormon, Oliver! Mary Poppins, Billy Elliot, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Chicago, Bombay Dreams, Anything Goes, Wicked, The Sound of Music, The King and I, Beauty and the Beast, West Side Story, My One and Only, Marguerite and Sunset Boulevard.

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