The Strad Issue: December 2015
Description: Late-night cello consolation – but is it spiritual or soporific?
Musicians: Peter Gregson (cello)
Composer: Gregson

‘Something lush with lots of despair’ was Peter Gregson’s aim for his second album, not counting his soundtrack for A Little Chaos. Job done, I’d say. Even the mock-Baroque two-part writing that opens the title track can be felt as an intensification and purification of his love for what he calls ‘dirty electronica’ and pop. The pace Gregson sets is as steady as you’d expect from a musical associate of Max Richter but the harmonies are barer, edged with flint.

Analogies of rock and land come easily. When Gregson’s cello hangs in the air in ‘Found’, dust-blown chords accentuate the loneliness. The company of a piano (‘Time’) or a string quartet (‘Touch’) or both (‘Turn’) brings chilled group therapy.

‘Chorale’ discreetly dispenses with the ephemera for a multitracked Gregson to duet with himself. It’s all about the production: sound you can almost reach out and touch, even more so on the Blu-ray audio alternative. Whether this is sonic Ovaltine or a spiritual experience is up to you, but Sono Luminus has made a smart package for late-night consolation. And it’s seven hours shorter than Richter’s Sleep.