• Shades released digitally today (Friday 18 March 2022)
  • CD available for pre-order now
  • Featuring British composer Edmund Finnis’s String Quartet No. 1 (2018) and String Quartet No. 2 (2021) performed by Manchester Collective

Manchester Collective have announced the release of their second full-length album. Following their debut The Centre is Everywhere in 2021, Shades has today been released on the Icelandic label Bedroom Community digitally and made available for pre-order on CD. Featuring Edmund Finnis’s first and second string quartets – the latter commissioned and premiered by Manchester Collective – Shades marks the next chapter of the Collective’s ongoing collaboration with the British composer.

Composer Edmund Finnis:“String Quartet No. 2 (2021) begins and ends with musical ideas that were in the back of my mind in some form or other since my teens. In the process of moving house during 2020, I rediscovered some old minidiscs containing rough demo recordings I’d made nearly two decades before. At that point I didn’t yet know how to realise these ideas, but listening back much later I found the seeds of what has now developed into the two outer movements of the piece. Between them come the flowing interwoven patterns of the second movement and the slow third movement, which is a lament.The piece is dedicated to my friends Rakhi Singh and Adam Szabo from Manchester Collective. It has been a joy and an inspiration for me to be able to build such a close and fruitful musical relationship with the musicians of Manchester Collective over the last few years. Something of their spirit fed into the writing of this piece.I wrote the penultimate movement of String Quartet No. 1 (2018) first. It is a reflection on William Byrd’s setting of the fifth century hymn ‘Christe, qui lux es et dies’. That ancient melody is a prayer for Light within the darkness of night. The falling and rising contours within it became integral to my work on the remaining four movements of the quartet, as did the mental image of the setting and rising of the sun.I think of these two quartets as some of the most personal and intimate pieces I have written. They are outcomes of my enduring need to communicate something that I’m incapable of fully expressing with words. I would if I could. I know that it has something to do with love.”

Manchester Collective’s relationship with Edmund Finnis has been developing over a number of years – Finnis’s piece The Centre is Everywhere was at the heart of the Collective’s debut album and their first appearance at the BBC Proms. The musical partnership continues later this year in This Savage Parade (16 – 24 June) featuring the world premiere of a new song cycle by Finnis set to the words of British poet Alice Oswald.

Shades has been released on the Bedroom Community Label and is available at and on all streaming platforms.

Manchester Collective: Shades

Bedroom Community | HVALUR42Digital / CD release: Friday 18 March 2022

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