Christopher Tin Announces September Release of New Album The Lost Birds
GRAMMY-Award winning composer Christopher Tin announces his latest album, The Lost Birds, featuring the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and VOCES8, out September 30 on Decca Classics.
Critically-acclaimed composer Christopher Tin announces his newest concept album, The Lost Birds, to be released on September 30 on Decca Classics. The album features the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and renowned vocal ensemble VOCES8.
> Stream the first single, “A Hundred Thousand Birds,” and pre-order the album.
Sprightly and magical, "A Hundred Thousand Birds" is a setting of Christina Rossetti's poem by the same name. It's a celebration of the nightingale: the bird most adored by Romantic era writers as a symbol of mother nature herself.
The Lost Birds is a soaring elegy for the loss of bird species due to human activity. The album is a memorial for their loss and a celebration of their beauty—as symbols of hope, peace, and renewal. But it also mourns their absence—through the lonely branches of a tree, or the fading echoes of distant bird cries. And like the metaphor of the canary in the coal mine, it's also a warning: that unless we reverse our course, the fate that befell these once soaring flocks will be a foreshadowing of our own extinction.
“To put their story into words, I turned to four 19th-century poets--Emily Dickinson, Christina Rossetti, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Sara Teasdale,” says Tin. "These women saw their world transform from a pastoral society to an industrial one—one in which humans, for the first time, began disastrously reshaping the environment. And the poems which I selected depict an increasingly fraught world: first without birds, and ultimately without humans.”
The Lost Birds is composed with a distinctly Romantic musical vocabulary: one based on the tunefulness of folk songs, with a string orchestra accompaniment that's both soaring and melancholic. Using the vernacular of folk songs helps place The Lost Birds firmly in the context of the late 19th-century: a golden age of ornithology, but also of folk music preservation, when musicologists in England and North America crisscrossed the countryside, transcribing and cataloging folk songs in towns and villages everywhere. It is this same era when rapid industrialization and the rise of cities first started reshaping the natural environment with disastrous consequences, leading us down our current path of widespread loss of biodiversity.
Tin explains, “As bird, fish, animal, and insect populations crash around us, we increasingly find ourselves in a silent world--one in which the songs of birds are heard less and less. We hope that the silence can be filled by more voices speaking up on behalf of these lost birds--for their sake, and for ours.”
Recorded in the historic Abbey Road Studios in London and co-produced by Sean Patrick Flahaven, Tin conducted the piece with critically acclaimed vocal ensemble VOCES8 and the renowned Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Founded in 2005 by brothers Paul and Barnaby Smith, VOCES8 is the flagship ensemble of the VOCES8 Foundation and has performed extensive repertory in notable venues throughout the world both in collaboration with other musicians and conductors and in a capella. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, which celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2021, is known for its inclusive appeal and musical excellence and has the most diverse worldwide audience of any other British orchestra due to its broad repertoire and 200+ performance dates each season.
The Lost Birds Track Listing:
- Flocks A Mile Wide
- The Saddest Noise
- Bird Raptures
- A Hundred Thousand Birds
- Wild Swans
- Thus In the Winter
- There Will Come Soft Rains
- All That Could Never Be Said
- I Shall Not See the Shadows
- In the End
- Hope Is the Thing with Feathers
> Further information on Work: The Lost Birds
Photo: Andy Wilkinson