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Lior & Nigel Westlake: Compassion

In 2012 Nigel Westlake captured Sydney hearts with his poignant and stirring Missa Solis – a requiem for his son Eli that brought tears of grief and hope to the eyes of musicians as well as listeners. Twelve months on, moved by the passionate artistry of singer-songwriter Lior, Westlake approached the Sydney Symphony Orchestra with the idea of a new collaboration.

Together they have created Compassion, a symphony of songs that unites the soulful power of Lior's voice with the radiance and vivid drama of Westlake's orchestral style. Their theme is the wisdom of compassion expressed through ancient writings and timeless music. Poetic, beautiful and rewarding, this unique collaboration celebrates the liberating power of compassion and kindness, that can bring people together across the divides of race and fear.

Compassion draws from the rich worlds of Islam and Judaism to present a collection of profound and poetic insights into the practice of compassion and its ability to transform our relationships as human beings. It offers listeners space and opportunity to reflect on the qualities of mercy and love, and how they can to enrich our lives with meaning, insight, depth and worth.

‘Compassion inhabits a vast array of emotions and colours,’ says composer Nigel Westlake, ‘at times pulsating and riotous, at others reflective and textural, and draws upon the myriad of influences the two of us have been able to bring to the table from our incredibly diverse backgrounds. With the utmost respect, we have tried to imbue the ancient texts with a contemporary interpretation, adhering to the purity of a single voice and orchestra.’

Track Listing:

1. Sim Shalom – Grant Peace

2. Eize Hu Chacham? – Who is Wise?

3. La Yu’minu – Until You Love Your Brother

4. Inna Rifqa – The Beauty Within

5. Al Takshu L’vavchem – Don’t Harden Your Hearts

6. Ma Wadani Ahadun – Until the End of Time

7. Avinu Malkeinu – Hymn of Compassion

Release
Music can change lives. For almost 20 years, the Hush Foundation has been working with renowned Australian artists to create music of joy and calm – originally to support children in hospital, and now enjoyed everywhere from concert halls to living rooms. In this latest offering from the Hush series, pianist Tony Gould and guitarist Peter Petrucci present music that can bring optimism even in the toughest times.The Hush Foundation, under the inspirational leadership of physician Professor Catherine Crock AM, transforms the healthcare experience for patients, families and staff through music and the performing arts. It has produced 17 albums, bringing some of Australia’s finest performers and composers together in collaborative partnerships that engage with the lived experience of people in the health system and other stressful environments. Hush albums are played not only in hospitals, but also in aged care, palliative care and childcare facilities to reduce stress and anxiety. Community and international orchestras also play music composed for Hush. In 2014, Hush’s contribution to Australian music was acknowledged with the APRA/AMCOS Award for Excellence.Gathering of Kindness recognises the power of the small acts of kindness and respect that build trust and create a sense of safety and security in difficult and challenging situations. ‘When we ask patients, their families and those working in healthcare “What matters to you?”’ says Professor Crock, ‘the single word at the top of the list is kindness.’Tony Gould and Peter Petrucci wrote the music on this album with the Hush ‘family’ firmly in mind. ‘We hope they serve at least one of music’s purposes in life, and that is to help calm our fellow humans in times when things aren’t going so well. Music can do this superbly. It can also give us joy, can foster kindness and a sense that, ultimately, everything will be all right.’ This latest album has been named after the healthcare events Hush has hosted since 2016. The Gathering of Kindness bring people working in health and aged care together to talk about ways kindness can flourish in their organisations and services. These events are being hosted throughout November at metro, regional and rural healthcare organisations across Victoria, and include live performances of Hush plays and music, healthcare book launches and panels, narrative and a range of self-care workshops, as well as updates on new research being undertaken. Hush is also hosting a ticketed event at KPMG in Melbourne on Thursday 14 November.›Pianist / composer / critic / author / academic / educator Tony Gould has been involved in music in Australia for over half a century. A prolific performer, composer and recording artist across several musical genres of art music, Tony has composed and performed alongside other renowned musicians Australia-wide and internationally. His numerous accolades include membership of the Order of Australia (AM) in recognition of his contribution to music.Peter Petrucci is one of Australia’s leading jazz guitarists, recognised for his virtuosity and lyricism in improvisations and artful compositions. He has released eight albums – the latest, They Know That We Know, in August 2019. Peter has performed locally and internationally supporting distinguished musicians and has appeared at numerous international jazz festivals, in the US, Canada, Germany, Italy, the Melbourne International Jazz Festival and the Wangaratta, Stonnington and Queensland Jazz Festivals. TRACKLISTING 1 All Things Good2 Anthem3 Calm4 Autumn Lullaby5 Quiet6 Spring Town7 It’s Up to You8 A Little Folk Song9 Essence10 Truth and Beauty11 The Softness of Air12 The Smile Peter Petrucci guitar – Tony Gould piano Tks 1-3, 5, 8, 10-12 composed by Tony Gould.Tks 4, 6, 7 and 9 composed by Peter Petrucci.