Above the opening notes of The Protecting Veil, John Tavener wrote Transcendent With Awesome Majesty, communicating the scale of this universal, timeless, structurally perfect and emotionally powerful work.
In the composer’s words, “the cello represents The Mother of God and never stops singing.” Indeed, the cello sings without stopping for the entire 46 minutes of the piece, requiring huge mental and physical stamina. Matthew Barley leads Sinfonietta Rīga in this exploration of Tavener’s musical works and inspirations, interspersing performances with readings of WB Yeats and Frithjof Schuon by renowned actors Julie Christie and Olwyn Fouéré. The influence Tavener drew from Indian music in The Protecting Veil is also explored further in Barley’s performance with tabla player Sukhvinder ‘Pinky’ Singh in The Song of Separation and Waiting by Pandit Sultan Khan.
Matthew Barley is known internationally as a cellist, improviser, arranger, music animateur, and as Artistic Director of Between The Notes. His musical world is focused on projects that connect people in different ways, blurring the boundaries that never really existed between genres and people.
Matthew Barley has created a unique international career full of improvisation, new music, cutting-edge computer technology, collaboration with jazz and Indian musicians, education, and arranging – but always with cello playing at the heart. He has played with some of the finest orchestras (Frankfurt Radio Symphony, BBC Philharmonic/Scottish, Czech Philharmonic), in some of the greatest concert halls, given premieres by major composers (MacMillan, Dusapin, Larcher) and appeared on tv and radio worldwide. He counts himself blessed to be able to dream up unusual projects and (usually) make them happen, and also pursue his own personal dreams of spending time with family and in nature. He lives in London with his wife, violinist Viktoria Mullova.