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Ryland Angel

Angel,Ryland
Release Date: 03/06/2007 
Label:  Emi Mod Afw   Catalog #: 47132  
Composer:  Ryland AngelTraditional
Performer:  Ryland AngelJollie GreenleafDominique Surh
Number of Discs: 1 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Think "countertenor" and certain images come to mind: white gloves, brass balustrades and all the dusty conventions of classical refinement. Ryland Angel knows all about it, having sung on many of the world's great concert stages. But there's another side to Ryland: busking in the Paris metro, riding a Greyhound bus across the Texas plains, trading quips with Paul McCartney at Abbey Road Studios and, above all, writing exquisite pop songs. With the release of his self-titled Manhattan Records debut, Ryland permanently reconfigures the classical crossover genre while establishing himself as an important new artist.

As a singer/songwriter, Ryland Angel fits easily on the continuum from James Taylor to James Blunt. But
Read more his affinity for renaissance and Baroque music gives him a unique edge. Co-written by Ryland and Ed Bennet, the new CD is the culmination of a long creative process. "It was a confluence of different ideas," he says. "The sound began to crystallize in my head two years ago."

That sound includes polyphonic harmonies, acoustic and electronic flourishes and, above all, Ryland's extraordinary vocals. He sings tenor and countertenor (a highly trained falsetto) with a purity that springs directly from ancient musical traditions. Ryland takes full advantage of those traditions on the CD, yet his songs are informed by the pop stylists he admires, from Coldplay to the Beatles.

The CD opens with the tender "Absalom," drawn from the famous Bible story. "It's about a father's love for his son, and not having a chance to say goodbye." says Ryland. "The words are sad, but the music is uplifting." It's followed by "Broken Heart," a clarion of layered vocal harmonies co-written with Ryland's brother, lyricist Andrew Angel.

One of the album's most striking songs is "Find a Way to You," which blends big ballad drama with lucid charm. If any one track could persuade the last skeptic that Ryland has his pop music chops down cold, it's this one. "It's about searching for love," says Ryland of the tune, "and overcoming obstacles that stand in the way of happiness."

”Your Kiss" was inspired by "Song of Songs," and is, like that famous Bible book, a celebration of physical love, while in "My Dream," Ryland again layers choral harmonies over an elegant melody. Having grown up the son of a theologian, Ryland has an affinity for ancient liturgies. Songs like "Agnus Dei" and "Ave Maria" are sung in Latin, conveying a sense of solemn devotion. On "Jesu Redemptor" Ryland is joined by singers Jollie Greenleaf and Dominique Surh adding immeasurable texture and beauty. The same is true with his take on "The Water is Wide," done with almost hymn-like gentleness.

But despite any liturgical echoes, Ryland says the new CD is first and foremost a pop album. "I write about ordinary human beings with weaknesses and desires," he notes. "There are lots of different influences: medieval, Gregorian, Baroque and contemporary. I conceived a classical crossover with these earlier sounds mixed with the singer/songwriter style."
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Works on This Recording

1. Absalom by Ryland Angel
Performer:  Ryland Angel (Countertenor)
Period: 20th Century 
Notes: This work was written in collaboration with Ed Bennet. 
2. Broken Heart by Ryland Angel
Performer:  Ryland Angel (Countertenor)
Period: 20th Century 
Notes: This work was written in collaboration with Ed Bennet and Andrew Angel. 
3. Your Kiss by Ryland Angel
Performer:  Ryland Angel (Countertenor)
Period: 20th Century 
Notes: This work was written in collaboration with Ed Bennet. 
4. My Dream by Ryland Angel
Performer:  Ryland Angel (Countertenor)
Period: 20th Century 
Notes: This work was written in collaboration with Ed Bennet. 
5. Find My Way to You by Ryland Angel
Performer:  Ryland Angel (Countertenor)
Period: 20th Century 
Notes: This work was written in collaboration with Ed Bennet. 
6. Agnus Dei by Ryland Angel
Performer:  Ryland Angel (Countertenor)
Period: 20th Century 
Notes: This work was written in collaboration with Ed Bennet. 
7. The water is wide by Traditional
Performer:  Ryland Angel (Countertenor)
8. Salve Regina by Ryland Angel
Performer:  Ryland Angel (Countertenor)
Period: 20th Century 
Notes: This work was written in collaboration with Ed Bennet. 
9. Ave Maria by Ryland Angel
Performer:  Ryland Angel (Countertenor)
Period: 20th Century 
Notes: This work was written in collaboration with Ed Bennet. 
10. By the Light by Ryland Angel
Performer:  Ryland Angel (Countertenor)
Period: 20th Century 
Notes: This work was written in collaboration with Ed Bennet. 
11. Jesu Redemptor by Ryland Angel
Performer:  Ryland Angel (Countertenor), Jollie Greenleaf (Voice), Dominique Surh (Voice)
Period: 20th Century 
Notes: This work was written in collaboration with Ed Bennet. 

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