Jane Antonia Cornish
1. Memory of Time 6:20
Anna Elashvili, violin
Saeunn Thorsteinsdottir, Caitlin Sullivan, Claire Bryant, Hamilton Berry, cellos
2. Into Silence I 6:46
Vicky Chow, piano; Hamilton Berry, Claire Bryant, Caitlin Sullivan, Saeunn Thorsteinsdottir, cellos Anna Elashvili, violin
3. Scattered Light 4:34
Hamilton Berry, cello
4. Elegia 6:03
Anna Elashvili, violin; Caitlin Sullivan, Saeunn Thorsteinsdottir, Hamilton Berry, Claire Bryant, cellos
5.Into Silence II 2:39
Vicky Chow, piano
6. Luminescence 5:18
Claire Bryant, Saeunn Thorsteinsdottir, Caitlin Sullivan, Hamilton Berry, cellos
Time, silence, light, reflection, and transcendence are all explored in Jane Antonia Cornish’s new album, Into Silence. A breathless fragility on the precipice of liminal space imbues the album’s six over-arching linear meditations; each work an inquiry into the transitory beauty of the unknown, through self-reflection and the conscious reorientation of perspective. These hallmarks of Cornish’s aesthetic experience, along with the exquisitely balanced unfolding of her material, all contribute to a highly expressive and brave musical narrative that is unafraid, and, once heard, cannot be unheard.
The six works featured here are not only unified conceptually, but also through their instrumentation; each features a subset of an aggregate ensemble of violin, piano, four ‘cellos, and electronics. Throughout, Cornish brilliantly uses a carefully planned unveiling of instrumental sonorities to actuate and propel the over-arching design of the album’s broader narrative.
Memory of Time (solo violin and four cellos) explores a distant nocturnal pathos as the solo violin’s expressive presence floats, suspended, over the ‘cello ensemble’s irrevocable sighs. The titular Into Silence I incorporates piano and electronics into the sonic tableaux of the proceeding work, reorienting the seemingly unappeased yearning of the introductory material with a tender earthbound comfort. Scattered Light, scored for ‘cello alone, expounds an unbridled moment of cadenza-like virtuosity. As the harmonic rhythm increases and intensifies the work concludes in an evaporated calmness. Elegia returns to the sound-world and material of the album’s opening work (Memory of Time), now examined through the aperture of elegiac reflexivity. A meditation on solitude, Into Silence II, for piano solo, probes some of the album’s most inner-directed moments of isolation. Luminescence (scored for solo ‘cello, three ‘cellos, and electronics) is a culmination of the entire album’s exploration of liminality. The electronic component returns with an exquisite and arresting subtly of hushed empyrean filigree. A solo cello momentarily transforms the sighing motif of the opening into a hopeful upward reach towards transcendence. The work ends in deliquesce silence, and the album concludes with a return of the opening motif, exemplifying the elegant notion that silence is the path to transformation.
Jane Antonia Cornish is a British Academy Award winning composer who grew up in England and lives in New York City.
Cornish has written music for both the concert hall and film. Continuum, her second studio album, released in 2015 by Innova Recordings was performed by Decoda, the first ever Affiliate Ensemble of Carnegie Hall. Continuum has been met with positive critical acclaim and was named WQXR Q2 Music's Album of the Week. The release follows Cornish’s album Duende, released by Delos and described by the American Record Guide as “a program of bold, thoughtful, mesmerizing chamber music.”
In the world of film scoring, Cornish composed the music for many films, including the drama Fireflies in the Garden, starring Julia Roberts, Ryan Reynolds and Willem Dafoe. She has won a British Academy Award, and was honored by the UK Film Council with a Breakthrough Brit in Hollywood award. Cornish received a Danish Academy Award nomination and a Movie Music UK award for her score to Zentropa’s Island of Lost Souls, which was recorded by the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra. The International Film Music Critics Association nominated Cornish for Breakthrough Composer of the Year.
She has received a Special Distinction from the ASCAP Foundation's Rudolf Nissim Prize jury for her orchestral tone poem, Symphony, and was Composer-In-Residence for the inaugural Chelsea Music Festival.
Jane Antonia Cornish studied composition at The Royal Northern College of Music with Anthony Gilbert, where she was made a Major Scholar. She received the Royal Northern College of Music Composition Prize and was a recipient of the Associated Board's Most Outstanding Scholar of the Year award. She went on to complete her postgraduate degree at the Royal College of Music, London.
Cover photograph by Zezn.
Photo of Jane Antonia Cornish by Lisa-Marie Mazzucco
Liner notes by Brett Banducci
Recorded at Avatar Studios
Music recorded and mixed by Dan Bora
Assistant recording engineer Nate Thor Odden
Mastering Engineer Christian Wright
Publishing Dollybird Music
Special thanks Tino Passante, Daniel Heath, Ben Toht, Ed David, Ask la Cour, Sara Michelle Murawski, Brett Banducci, Janet & Gordon Cornish, Anna King.