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6 Degrees Entertainment

Title - 'Sun On You'
Artist - Craig Armstrong

For those not in the know, Craig Armstrong is a Scottish composer of modern orchestral music, electronica and film scores.

He graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in 1981, and has since written music for the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the London Sinfonietta.

Armstrong's score for William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet earned him a BAFTA for Achievement in Film Music and an Ivor Novello. His composition for Baz Luhrmann's musical Moulin Rouge! earned him the 2001 American Film Institute's composer of the Year award, a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score and a BAFTA.

Armstrong was awarded a Grammy Award for Best Original Score in 2004 for the biopic Ray. His other feature film scoring credits include Love Actually, Oliver Stone's World Trade Center, Elizabeth: The Golden Age and The Incredible Hulk.

On Sun On You (released via Decca Classics), Armstrong once again brings his musical talents to the fore on what has quickly become a firm favorite to listen to here in the office.

1. 'Sun On You'
2. 'If You Should Fall'
3. 'Restart'
4. 'Marelle'
5. 'Mono'
6. 'Shifted'
7. 'Somewhere'
8. 'Alti'
9. 'For Emma'
10. 'Half Light'
11. 'Sleep'
12. 'Hanami'
13. 'Ondine'
14. 'Soft Patterns'
15. 'In A Remote Place'
16. 'Saudade'

"When composing I felt strongly that each composition gave me, the ensemble and the listener a moment to reflect," Armstrong explains. "The unhurried nature of the pieces gives a sense of time standing still. I think I wanted the pieces to reflect a quietness and stillness."

A beautiful collection of original works for piano and strings, once we have heard the beautiful opening track, the free flowing title piece 'Sun On You,' the melancholic yearning of 'If I Should Fall,' together, they are a wondrous invite into the world that these 16 tracks embody.

For once that gentle piano introduction has invited us in, the piece builds through a rich string accompaniment and a heartfelt solo violin melody before ebbing away towards its conclusion. Much like our lives here on earth, the piano work of 'Restart' is subtlety delightful.

Which then leads itself seamlessly through each track thereafter, with cuts such as 'Marelle' (which has, to my ear, a low brow Chariots of Fire vibe to it), the stunning ethereal beauty of 'For Emma, and both 'Sleep' and 'Soft Patterns' are definitely worth, as they say in the business, the price of admission alone.

A bold new chapter in Craig Armstrong’s fascinating compositional career, the man who always likes to challenge himself within the genre is now doing so in spades here on Sun On You.

Complete with moments of calm in a fast-paced world, yet interspersed with gentle trials and tribulations to showcase the real world we all live within ('Half Light' and 'Hanami'), this album is both uplifting and vibrant in all it's musings.

Amazon Purchase Link