Press Quotes
"Since its release in 2002, Memoryhouse has become a landmark of the amorphous scene that would eventually earn the tags “post-classical” or “indie classical.”... hearing Memoryhouse again through any avenue for the first time in years provides a jolting reminder of just how much classical music has broken outside of its shell and into other realms during the last decade. "
Pitchfork
"This wonderful album has the expansive palette of a fully-realised composer, filtering a wide variety of influences through a simple lens"
PopMatters
"Memoryhouse is a landmark work of contemporary classical music, occupying the bleakly beautiful space between abstract electronica, the religious minimalism of Arvo Pärt, and the comfortingly cyclical progressions of Ludovico Einaudi."
The Independent
Memoryhouse
LP13-09 / CD13-09 / DA13-09 / 16th Mar 2009
Tracklist
01
Europe, After The Rain
02
Maria, The Poet (1913)
03
Laika's Journey
04
The Twins (Prague)
05
Sarajevo
06
Andras
07
Untitled (Figures)
08
Sketchbook
09
November
10
Jan's Notebook
11
Arbenita (11 Years)
12
Garden (1973) / Interior
13
Landscape With Figure (1922)
14
Fragment
15
Lines On A Page (One Hundred Violins)
16
Embers
17
Last Days
18
Quartet Fragment (1908)

‘Memoryhouse’ – a gorgeous collection of Classically-inclined original pieces by composer Max Richter – was initially released in 2002 on the BBC’s short-lived Late Junction label, but is now long out of print. Recorded by Richter with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and critically lauded on its original release, ‘Memoryhouse’ is quite deservedly held very dear to the broad-reaching ‘post-classical’ field. October 2009 saw a long-awaited re-release of this truly beautiful album on 130701.

Championed as much in musical academia as by fans of film score and of contemporary music, Max’s pieces share common ground with composers such as Henryk Górecki, Arvo Pärt, Philip Glass, Michael Nyman and Steve Reich in their depth, patience and articulacy, but also capture the swooning serenity and grace of ‘post-rock’ acts such as Sigur Rós or Godspeed You! Black Emperor in their quieter moments. Contemporary peers Nico Muhly, Jóhan Jóhansson or even label-mate Hauschka might provide a somewhat loose, approximate comparison point, but Max’s evocative sense of vision is stunningly singular, as is his extraordinary ability to suddenly open up a piece of music like opening one’s eyes to glorious sunshine. As if the listener were caught up in the most dramatic of weather changes, ‘Memoryhouse’ is bright, sparkling, exhilarating, warming, gripping, heartbreaking, comforting and rousing, and never loses its awe-inspiring sense of identity and imagination. It is enveloping – one can get lost in the lovingly-composed intricacies and interaction between instruments – or can be a subtle, albeit chill-inducing, soundtrack to the everday.

A series of linked pieces in different media (orchestral/ solo/ electronic), various musical themes, motifs and variations appear and reappear throughout ‘Memoryhouse’, often as fleeting as a single melody that disappears almost as soon as it is heard. Opening piece ‘Europe After The Rain’ sets out the primary themes that are eventually taken in, re-aligned and re-introduced across the course of the album. A kind of “documentary music” (to borrow Max’s phrase), ‘Memoryhouse’ is an exploration of real and imaginary stories and histories: ‘Laika’s Journey’ refers to Laika, the Soviet space dog who was, at once, the first living creature to orbit the earth and the first astronautic tragedy; ‘Jan’s Notebook’ is an ode to the Dutch composer Jan Sweelinck, written for a harpischord found in the studio.

‘Memoryhouse’ was produced by Max himself at BBC Manchester, with the engineering and mixing assistance of Neil Hutchinson. The album features soloists Alex Balanescu (violin) and Sarah Leonard (soprano). Although this was Max’s debut solo album, this reissue will be his fourth for 130701, following 2008’s ‘Postcards in Full Colour'; ‘Songs From Before’ (2006) and ‘The Blue Notebooks’ (2004).

Max Richter studied composition and piano at the Royal Academy of Music before moving to Florence to study with Luciano Berio, and subsequently co-founded the contemporary classical ensemble Piano Circus – his principal musical output for ten years – on his return to the UK. As well as commissioning and performing works by several musical figureheads, including Brian Eno and Julia Wolf among others, Richter was largely responsible for the ensemble’s use of live electronics, which became one of the fundamentally formative elements of his own work:

“I have always listened to a broad range of music. In my early teens I was listening to a lot of classical standard repertoire as well as 20th century work. During this time I also built and customised analogue electronic instruments and was immersed in the early electronic music scene.”

An active collaborator in other media, Max received The European Film Award last year for his work on ‘Waltz with Bashir’, Ari Forman’s unique, award-winning animated documentary.

In January 2014 – to coincide with a performance of the album in full at the Barbican Hall – 130701 reissued Richter’s breathtaking debut LP as a deluxe double vinyl package. This new issue of the record featured extended artwork in a gatefold sleeve and was pressed on coloured, heavy-weight 180gm vinyl as a strictly limited one-off run.

‘Memoryhouse’ – a gorgeous collection of Classically-inclined original pieces by composer Max Richter – was initially released in 2002 on the BBC’s short-lived Late Junction label, but is now long out of print. Recorded by Richter with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and critically lauded on its original release, ‘Memoryhouse’ is quite deservedly held very dear to the broad-reaching ‘post-classical’ field. October 2009 saw a long-awaited re-release of this truly beautiful album on 130701.

Championed as much in musical academia as by fans of film score and of contemporary music, Max’s pieces share common ground with composers such as Henryk Górecki, Arvo Pärt, Philip Glass, Michael Nyman and Steve Reich in their depth, patience and articulacy, but also capture the swooning serenity and grace of ‘post-rock’ acts such as Sigur Rós or Godspeed You! Black Emperor in their quieter moments. Contemporary peers Nico Muhly, Jóhan Jóhansson or even label-mate Hauschka might provide a somewhat loose, approximate comparison point, but Max’s evocative sense of vision is stunningly singular, as is his extraordinary ability to suddenly open up a piece of music like opening one’s eyes to glorious sunshine. As if the listener were caught up in the most dramatic of weather changes, ‘Memoryhouse’ is bright, sparkling, exhilarating, warming, gripping, heartbreaking, comforting and rousing, and never loses its awe-inspiring sense of identity and imagination. It is enveloping – one can get lost in the lovingly-composed intricacies and interaction between instruments – or can be a subtle, albeit chill-inducing, soundtrack to the everday.

A series of linked pieces in different media (orchestral/ solo/ electronic), various musical themes, motifs and variations appear and reappear throughout ‘Memoryhouse’, often as fleeting as a single melody that disappears almost as soon as it is heard. Opening piece ‘Europe After The Rain’ sets out the primary themes that are eventually taken in, re-aligned and re-introduced across the course of the album. A kind of “documentary music” (to borrow Max’s phrase), ‘Memoryhouse’ is an exploration of real and imaginary stories and histories: ‘Laika’s Journey’ refers to Laika, the Soviet space dog who was, at once, the first living creature to orbit the earth and the first astronautic tragedy; ‘Jan’s Notebook’ is an ode to the Dutch composer Jan Sweelinck, written for a harpischord found in the studio.

‘Memoryhouse’ was produced by Max himself at BBC Manchester, with the engineering and mixing assistance of Neil Hutchinson. The album features soloists Alex Balanescu (violin) and Sarah Leonard (soprano). Although this was Max’s debut solo album, this reissue will be his fourth for 130701, following 2008’s ‘Postcards in Full Colour'; ‘Songs From Before’ (2006) and ‘The Blue Notebooks’ (2004).

Max Richter studied composition and piano at the Royal Academy of Music before moving to Florence to study with Luciano Berio, and subsequently co-founded the contemporary classical ensemble Piano Circus – his principal musical output for ten years – on his return to the UK. As well as commissioning and performing works by several musical figureheads, including Brian Eno and Julia Wolf among others, Richter was largely responsible for the ensemble’s use of live electronics, which became one of the fundamentally formative elements of his own work:

“I have always listened to a broad range of music. In my early teens I was listening to a lot of classical standard repertoire as well as 20th century work. During this time I also built and customised analogue electronic instruments and was immersed in the early electronic music scene.”

An active collaborator in other media, Max received The European Film Award last year for his work on ‘Waltz with Bashir’, Ari Forman’s unique, award-winning animated documentary.

In January 2014 – to coincide with a performance of the album in full at the Barbican Hall – 130701 reissued Richter’s breathtaking debut LP as a deluxe double vinyl package. This new issue of the record featured extended artwork in a gatefold sleeve and was pressed on coloured, heavy-weight 180gm vinyl as a strictly limited one-off run.

Listen
Press Quotes
"Since its release in 2002, Memoryhouse has become a landmark of the amorphous scene that would eventually earn the tags “post-classical” or “indie classical.”... hearing Memoryhouse again through any avenue for the first time in years provides a jolting reminder of just how much classical music has broken outside of its shell and into other realms during the last decade. "
Pitchfork
"This wonderful album has the expansive palette of a fully-realised composer, filtering a wide variety of influences through a simple lens"
PopMatters
"Memoryhouse is a landmark work of contemporary classical music, occupying the bleakly beautiful space between abstract electronica, the religious minimalism of Arvo Pärt, and the comfortingly cyclical progressions of Ludovico Einaudi."
The Independent