EMI Classics Releases Libera's New Dawn
09 Sep 2008
US Release Date: September 2nd, 2008
“They come from the mean streets of south London but sing like little angels”
(The Evening Standard)
The British boy band Libera has recorded its fourth CD for EMI Classics, New Dawn. The program includes arrangements of well-known works such as Jerusalem and Bach’s Air on the G string as well as less familiar melodies and new compositions. One of the CD’s highlights is Love and Mercy by former Beach Boy Brian Wilson, which Libera performed at the 30th annual Kennedy Center Honors in December 2007, America’s national celebration of the arts.
On December 2nd, 2007, the Kennedy Center Opera House was filled with a star-studded audience including President George W. Bush, Robert de Niro, Cameron Diaz and Vanessa Williams - not to mention the honourees of the evening: Diana Ross, Steve Martin, Leon Fleischer, Martin Scorsese and Brian Wilson plus their friends and colleagues. Diana Ross was amongst many who were moved to tears as Libera held the house spellbound with its performance of the Beach Boys song that harked back to Wilson’s early musical life as a choirboy. It was an imaginative decision by the producers to close the Brian Wilson tribute with Love and Mercy, a quietly emotional song – and it was a wonderful opportunity to bring Libera to a new audience via a primetime television special, broadcast nationwide.
The Kennedy Center Honors came at the end of a busy 2007 for the singers of Libera, who are based in a South London church. As Libera, they appeared several times on the BBC’s Songs of Praise programme, gave concerts in London, Arundel and Harrogate, and were voted the Top Act on When Will I Be Famous, a primetime Saturday night programme on the BBC. They also toured Japan and Korea, where they have a huge fan base, saw their CD, Angel Voices, nominated as Album of the Year at the Classical Brit awards, were filmed in concert in Leiden, Holland, for American Public Television (APT) currently being shown across the U.S., and appeared on the BBC programme Christmas Cooks. They also appeared at the Grassington Festival, sang at the Chichester Cathedral and with Aled Jones in concert.
The boys who make up Libera are between the ages of seven and fourteen, come from a variety of backgrounds and attend local schools. Their vocal material ranges from classical and cathedral works to songs for pop and media productions. Libera has appeared as backing singers with Bjork, Elton John and Pavarotti and featured in the soundtracks of films such as Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet and Ridley Scott’s Hannibal. The ensemble’s Music Director is the composer, arranger and conductor Robert Prizeman.
New Dawn is Libera’s fourth international release on EMI Classics following the success of their best-selling albums Angel Voices, Free and Visions. Each is characterised by Libera’s distinctive celestial, shimmering sound with mystical chords and ecstatic harmonies.
Libera has an enthusiastic fan base in many countries, particularly the United States, Great Britain, Japan and Korea, where their previous CDs have enjoyed great success in the charts. The ensemble’s performances have a strong visual style, the boys appearing in long, flowing white robes on imaginatively lit stages.
The members of Libera are “normal” boys who still love to play football, skateboard, listen to R’n’B and punk music. Through their involvement in Libera, they have travelled the world, recorded movie soundtracks and CDs and served as backing singers to mega-stars. But, as one of the boys said, “The travelling and filming is fun but even if we didn’t go anywhere I’d still want to do it because I just love singing.” That joy of singing comes across clearly in their performances and on their recordings.
1. Orinoco Flow
2. Ave Maria (Caccini)
4. Air (Bach ‘Air On the G String)
5. Gloria (Based on Organ Symphony)
7. Rest In Peace
8. Love And Mercy
9. May The Road Rise Up
10. Never Be Alone
12. Tallis’s Canon (Glory To Thee)
13. The Lamb
14. In Paradisum
- See Also
- Libera | New Dawn