Ergodos is proud to announce the release of Joy, an album of music for voice and violin written and performed by Andrew Hamilton. An acclaimed composer, who has been commissioned by leading international soloists, ensembles, orchestras and festivals, this is Hamilton’s debut album as a soloist performing his own material. The tracks here are by turns intricate and virtuosic, deadpan, enraged, hauntingly elegiac, and movingly personal. Joy is an important document of intimate and original work by one of our most strikingly individual artists.
The composer writes: “The pieces on this album chart a direct line back to my beginnings as a musician – I was an annoying child who was always singing and at seven I started learning the violin. Writing fragments down, singing along with them was a natural consequence and I retreated into this little world of melodies I had created. After years of study I found my way back to this type of ‘beginners mind’. Performing my own works gave me the space to really experiment with material and form. I couldn’t have written my larger scale works without being able to retreat back into remembering what made me a musician in the first place – the sheer joy of non-thinking, being in the midst of sound and patterns – the things that bind together musicians of any tradition across our planet. These pieces are my most direct and personal – they deal with love, art, the horrors of learning solfège, breaking voices, and memory.”
For more on the body of work represented on this record, check out this essay written by the composer for the magazine Cassandra Voices.
“The hallmarks of Hamilton’s style are still there: the frenetic, twitchy energy, the atomised tonality, the continually looping, changing patterns like hand-drawn circles. […] But Joy, Hamilton’s first as soloist playing his own music, explores it in a more intimate space.” – The Journal of Music
★★★★ “[…] something of the effect of someone standing too physically close who is telling you things they shouldn’t.” – The Irish Times
“Ergodos has in recent years become an essential platform for new music. […] I was looking forward to this Andrew Hamilton disc and it doesn’t disappoint.” – Gramophone
“This is an album that raises all sorts of questions about what we do when we listen to music (or play it, or write about it, for that matter). How do we know what (we think) we know? Where do all ‘our’ ideas come from?” – Goldenplec
“This feels like a very personal project but a big-hearted one, Hamilton’s optimism apparent even in the tiny closing track, a reminder that there’s still good to be found in the world.” – The Arts Desk
Andrew Hamilton was born in Dublin in 1977 and studied in Ireland, England and The Netherlands. Recently, he has had works performed by Crash Ensemble, An assembly, Chamber Choir Ireland, members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, EXAUDI, London Contemporary Orchestra, Juliet Fraser/Maxime Echardour, Michelle O’Rourke, Oliver Coates, and Eliza McCarthy. In 2018, NMC released the first portrait album of his work, and in the summer of 2019 his work was performed at the Tectonics and Tanglewood festivals. andyfhamilton.com
Andrew Hamilton is supported by a grant from the PRS Foundation’s Open Fund.