The Dunedin Consort,
composed by Corrina Hewat,
(Tob, 2004)

Silhouette is a composition for voices composed by Corrina Hewat (Bachue, Shine, Unusual Suspects) and performed a cappella by six members of the Dunedin Consort, a choral ensemble consisting of Susan Hamilton and Rowena Smith (sopranos), Anne Lewis (alto), Harvey Brough and Ashley Turnell (tenors) and Chris Adams (bass). The Dunedin Consort is based in Edinburgh, Scotland, and has been performing for around eight years under the directorship of Susan Hamilton and John Butt. They specialize in singing Medieval and early music.

This is a relatively short recording (under 30 minutes), but it's strikingly beautiful to listen to -- it reminds me of listening to the ethereal voices of likes of the Tallis Scholars (in fact, the consort has performed many of Tallis's works). These six voices are bright, crystal-clear and are at one and the same time uplifting and evoking a feeling of spiritual calm.

The recording was made at An Tobar Arts Centre on the Inner Hebridean Isle of Mull on 22 July 2003; the music was actually premiered on the fisherman's pier in Tobermory earlier that same day, until rain stopped play! The compositions have simple titles inspired, according to Hewat, by the sounds and colours of Mull. Most of the singing is wordless, a style that offers great freedom of interpretation, allowing voices to fall, layer on layer, until they create sublime tonal texture. The recording also features words by EE Cummings extracted from "Anyone Lived in a Pretty How Town," and from Judith Jardine's Collectives, a collection of poems that Hewat herself feels capture that freedom to imagine and interpret as you will. The compositional standard of each piece is very high.

Whatever Hewat's inspiration, this is beautiful music that acts as balm to the senses. For further information about this inspired artistic collaboration, visit or

- Rambles
written by Debbie Koritsas
published 18 December 2004