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One Thousand Birds Symphony
(2021 -  Hungersleep Records - UK)

A majestic program of partial symphonic compositions mixed with not only actual field recordings of various birds and other nature sounds, but also brilliant electronically created sounds, then arranged around the melodies and songs from the original 'One Thousand Birds' release GRICE made in 2019. This masterpiece entailed quite a sum of patience (9 months of collecting bird calls/songs around the clock) and intellectual creation in the formation of an entirely new project, with even the theme fully changed from that of the initial album.

It would be a cruel act to leave out the identification of the many winged creatures who performed so angelically, and who sound as if they knew they were needed to give their voices to the world, at this time. Although the Bandcamp link above gives this info, I am proud to list them in my review as well (being a bird lover as I am). The Birds (in order of appearance):

Robin (Erithacus rubecula)
Blackbird (Turdus merula)
Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos)
Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs)
Dunnock (Prunella modularis)
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
Coal tit (Pariparus ater)
Long tailed tit (Aegithalos caudatus)
Blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Gold finch (Carduelis carduelis)
Cockerel (Gallus)
Tawny owl (Strix aluco)
Pigeon (Columbidae)
Carrion Crow (Corvus corone)
Woodpecker (Picidae)
House Martin (Delichon urbicum)
Raven (Corvus corax)
Magpie (Pica pica)
Jay (Garrulus glandarius)
Starling (Sturnidae)
Bittern (Botaurus stellaris)
Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)
Buzzard (Buteo buteo)
Red Kite (Milvus milvus)

 The music is far from simply a nature recording, so lets us grasp some of that. The music begins with a lush orchestrated piece, but each title moves across terrain not alien to early Mark Isham, Rain Tree Crow, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Jon Hassell, and Jansen/Barbieri (to give you a cache of similar artists). The layout of score is exemplary, and moves beautifully as an eagle across the pale blue morning sky. Just as intended. The listener is served with powerful (but not intrusive or ever overpowering) strings, which most striking are the cello of Eliza Carew. The rest of the musicians are :  GRICE - acoustic & electric guitars, keys, piano, percussion, vocals, programming, sound design, bird mangling / Duncan Chave - sound design, bird warping / Al Swainger - bass guitars, pedals, french horn / Fred Ehresmann - piano and /Luca Calabrese - trumpet. Each artist makes this the best it can be, with many playing multiple instruments, as you can see. Additional credits are listed on physical CD and Bandcamp link.

Ten pieces filled with comeliness and transient tones, and deliverance of stress - this is only a portion of what comes in 'One Thousand Birds Symphony'. Of course this was forwarded in the Covid shutdown when the sweet birds were still allowed to roam free, so thus Grice Peters used his clever mind-set to take advantage. We are the lucky ones rewarded by his, along with all the other musicians skills.HIGHLY RECOMMENDED (and listed on TOP CHOICES of 2021 here at Big Beautiful Noise).   
   ©Reviewed by Lee Henderson  2 - 2 - 2022
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