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Boyd Meets Girl - Songs of Love & Despair, from Sono Luminus

05-01-2022 | By Rushton Paul | Issue 121

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.

Songs of Love & Despair, Boyd Meets Girl. Sono Luminus 2022 (DXD) HERE

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 (HERE), 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.

Promotional video performance of Debussy's Arabesque, Brooklyn, NY. Listen on YouTube 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.

Highly Recommended.

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.

Their Studio A, located in the nearly 110 year old former Emmanuel Episcopal Chapel, in Boyce, VA, boasts a 25 foot vaulted wood ceiling over a 35' x 65' original heart pine floor, providing a beautiful natural acoustic. 

Images courtesy of Sono Luminus.