Songs of Love and Despair is the third album at NativeDSD from guitarist Rupert Boyd. It is also the second album that features Australian Classical Guitarist Rupert Boyd with his wife American Cellist Laura Metcalf performing as Boyd Meets Girl.
The album features World Premiere Recordings of A New York Minute composed by Marian Budos and Filles de ‘Elysee composed by Paul Brantley. Along with classical music composed by Claude Debussy, Franz Schubert, Luigi Boccherini and Olivier Messiaen, mountain songs written by Robert Beaser plus contemporary selections including Pray You Catch Me by Beyonce, Blackbird and Eleanor Rigby written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney and Daydreaming written by Radiohead.
Boyd says “This is an album of love. But also of despair. And some things in between. Largely conceived, arranged, rehearsed and recorded during the Covid-19 pandemic, Songs of Love & Despair contains the music that we were drawn to during this time — a time of unprecedented stillness and solitude, traveling at most a few miles from our home for months on end. As a married couple we were fortunate to be able to play music together every day, and this collection of repertoire is half love, half longing; from the delicate beauty of Debussy and the joyousness of Boccherini, to the anguish of Messiaen and heartbreaking Appalachian folk songs, which tell the stories of love, life and loss.
The album is a testament to this time, and we welcome you to join us as we traverse the emotions that have enveloped us all.”
Boyd Meets Girl
Rupert Boyd – Guitar
Laura Metcalf – Cello
Total time: 00:00:59
Collin J. Rae
Daniel Shores, Tom Caulfield (DXD to DSD 256 and DSD 512)
|Original Recording Format|
Sono Luminus Studios in Boyce, VA on April 19-22, 2021
|Release Date||March 25, 2022|
Boyd Meets Girl is comprised of Australian classical guitarist Rupert Boyd and American cellist Laura Metcalf, a couple living in Brooklyn, NYC. This album comes out of the period of Covid-19 pandemic lockdown; and this is where being a married couple pays huge dividends for us as listeners. Able to play together every day, Boyd Meets Girl has translated this time of isolation into this very beautiful, very remarkable set of performances.
As a non-musician, but simply a music lover, I stand in awe of those with the talent and commitment to perform with such remarkable skill, inventiveness and beauty as do Boyd and Metcalf on this album. As in their first, self-titled album from 2017, Boyd Meets Girl perform seamlessly in this new release, their communication as artists seemingly flowing from a single consciousness. I’ve no doubt that a lot of deliberation preceded these performances, but the performances themselves simply flow with articulate grace.
From the scintillating complexity of their adaptation of Debussy’s Arabesque No. 1 to their delightful arrangement of the Beyoncé song “Pray You Catch Me” to the Appalachian and folk melodies adapted by New York composer Robert Beaser in his series “Mountain Songs,” there are treasures here.
I was particularly captivated by a piece written for the duo by Slovakian-born, Australian composer Marián Budoš – “A love letter to New York City.” It’s jaunty rhythms, and continuously moving energy, seem to perfectly capture the city.
I’ve now listened four times through this album, each time finding new bits of interest, new nooks and crannies to explore. I do not doubt that I will be listening to it many more times in the months to come.
Sono Luminus’ Recording, Mixing & Mastering Engineer Daniel Shores has captured these performances with his usual excellence of sound engineering. Recorded in the Sono Luminus studio in Boyce, Virginia, the sound is full, resonant, and highly resolving. It simply glows. Both guitar and cello are captured fairly close, providing immense immediacy and impact. Yet the engineering pays great respect to providing a full natural acoustic surrounding the instruments. These are performances captured as if they are live, with the performers immediately in our presence and interacting with each other in real time.
NativeDSD Senior Reviewer
Another great album from these two — and don’t forget his solo album either!
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