Working with conductor and Pacific Chorale music director Robert Istad is always a pleasure. When he asked Yarlung to record his debut album with Pacific Chorale performing music by Tarik O’Regan, I knew we were in for a treat. I loved the acoustics at The Soraya, where we recorded Nostos with Rob, but for Pacific Chorale, we were able to work in magnificent Samueli Theater at Costa Mesa’s Segerstrom Center for the Arts, where Pacific Chorale is a resident company. I always enjoy making recordings in Samueli Theater, with fabulous and adjustable acoustics, silent air conditioning and lights, and a theater staff that treats our Yarlung crew like returning royalty.
The wonderful Lenora Meister, long a singer with Pacific Chorale herself, not only commissioned Facing West, recorded for the first time on this album, but she underwrote and served as executive director for our project.
String players from Salastina joined Pacific Chorale for some of the repertoire on our album. Salastina musicians included co-directors Maia Jasper White and Kevin Kumar on violins; Meredith Crawford, viola; Charles Tyler, cello; and Eric Shetzen, bass. Beyond their roles with Salastina, many listeners will know Meredith Crawford as principal viola in the Pacific Symphony at Segerstrom Center for the Arts, and Maia Jasper White as a member of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and as Martin Chalifour’s violin partner playing Schoenberg in Yarlung’s Martin Chalifour in Walt Disney Concert Hall.
Writing about Rob and Pacific Chorale, Tarik commented in our liner notes “Working with Robert Istad and Pacific Chorale… has been an especially important experience for me…. The composition comes to life measure by measure, brick by brick, until eventually it stands free, breathing and swaying ever so slightly from the breezes of subtle interpretations and gentle inflexions. This is the magic in the air….”
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