Recording & CD information

The story of this CD is born out of Sophie’s friendship with violinist Rick Koster. For twelve years Rick and Sophie have worked together as members of the Duke Quartet. Whilst on tour they shared our mutual interests in philosophy and poetry in the coffee houses of Europe. A couple of years ago Rick invited Sophie to his home and studio for tea and chat which developed into improvising and recording and finally this CD.

This CD is completely improvised in a tiny room , a sort of “one take roulette” to the point where Sophie could almost not bear to alter anything however imperfect it was – London traffic, creaky chairs to name but two, this is not an airbrushed CD. For her the authentic journey is always paramount – to return to the tradition of a universal language of story telling.

At the heart of this aural journey is Sophie’s story. A love of the cello and music from the first string quartet concert she attended aged 3. The gift of being taught and guided from age 10 by her cello teacher, metaphysical magician William Pleeth – whom Sophie’s father had spent years listening to and painting as a boy attending concerts at Conway Hall in London. A terrible near death infant illness which left Sophie with a personal imprint of synaesthesia – as a child she saw colours around people, which spoke more to her of their feelings than words alone. And now in her poetry and music making, the sense of unity and somatic completeness in the sensory integration – almost like they are a broken mosaic of their nascent selves – and one which for her was triggered by early clinical death.

Perhaps this also accounts for Sophie’s particular love of cultural Europe of the Second Viennese School. Freud, Schoenberg, Berg, Stefan Zweig – the marrying of intellect and heart and the simultaneous hurtling towards the abyss, the prophetic sense that this was untenable, as later born out by Fascism. And an almost atavistic responsibility for her Semitic heritage and for the extraordinary power that music has to acknowledge human suffering and communality.

The poem Mother was commissioned by composer Julian Marshall for his Song Cycle reflecting on different embodiments of love.  During that first meeting, a wonderful stream of consciousness and connection occurred between the two of them. It was like watching the narrative that is the backdrop to the Mona Lisa portrait come alive. Sophie has now collaborated with Julian on his two extraordinary works Out of the Darkness and Angel in the Forest and looks forward to their continuing journey.