On June 24 ABC Classics released a new disc spotlighting the orchestral works of Carl Vine, recorded by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and conducted by Sir Andrew Davis. 

The disc features the premiere recording of Vine’s most recent symphony The Enchanted Loom. The Enchanted Loom was commissioned by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra during Vine’s tenure as the orchestra’s Resident Composer in 2018.

It is a 25-minute exploration in music of the intricate patterns of the human brain as it weaves together from raw sensory data our understanding of the outside world. Vine’s music takes us through five phases: the brain emerging into order out of sleep; the complex interactions that shape our social fabric; the sources of our creativity; the mystery of euphoria; and our astounding ability to contemplate infinity. The title is taken from a famous passage of pioneering neuroscientist’s Charles S. Sherrington’s 1942 book Man on his nature.

. The album is made up of live recordings from the period, including Vine’s 2014 Concerto for Orchestra and his first symphonic work, the 1986 MicroSymphony – a highly condensed transformation of a four-note duet that last just 12 minutes. The disc opens with Vine’s 2002 orchestral fanfare V (‘vee’) – a reference to its 5-minute duration.

Pre-order The Enchanted Loom here.

The digital version of the album includes a performance of Smith’s Alchemy for string orchestra, in which Vine transforms the individual members of the ensemble into a single ‘super-instrument’, sharing techniques across multiple players to heighten the lyrical qualities of the music. In September this year the Australian Chamber Orchestra, led by Helen Rathbone, will tour Smith’s Alchemy to Sydney, Karatha, Margaret River, and Albany as part of their programme A String Celebration.

This summer will also see the world premiere of Vine’s Clarinet Quintet from the Sydney Omega Ensemble on 2 July in Newcastle, NSW.