Stories » Libera brings 'Visions' of shimmering, mystical chords and ecstatic harmonies

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Libera brings 'Visions' of shimmering, mystical chords and ecstatic harmonies

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The twenty-four boys aged seven to sixteen who make up the vocal band Libera, and who meet several hours each week at a church in South London to rehearse and perform, have been described as "normal" and "ordinary". However, as their new EMI CD amply demonstrates, the music they produce is truly extraordinary. With shimmering, mystical chords and ecstatic harmonies, they are unlike any other group you have ever heard. Of the twelve tracks on Visions, Libera's second album for EMI Classics, a few will sound familiar, including Locus Iste, which is based on the well-known Pachelbel Canon, the hymn Abide with me, and Ave Maria. The remaining tracks are entirely original, with titles like New Day, Sing for ever and Something sings.The singers of Libera attend local primary schools and come from a variety of backgrounds. Although they are boys and they sing, they do not think of themselves as choirboys, but rather as an alternative kind of boy band.

While the unique sound of Libera may be impossible to pigeonhole, its universal appeal has endeared the group to fans all over the world, particularly in the US, the UK, Korea and Japan, where their previous CDs have topped the mainstream and classical charts.Libera was born in 1999 with the release of their first CD. Their music director is the composer, arranger and conductor Robert Prizeman, who recruits the boys, leads their weekly rehearsals, composes and arranges their repertoire and oversees their concert engagements. In 2005, Libera completed a two-week tour of South Korea and Japan, performing in their trademark flowing white robes on imaginatively lit stages. The first foreigners to perform in Seoul's new concert arena, their concerts sold out in advance and their first EMI CD, Free, entered the classical chart at #1.Liberating and uplifting, the distinctive sound of Libera has also been heard around the world in concert, on CD, film soundtracks, television advertisements and TV programs.

They have also appeared on television, on film (including Merchant of Venice, Hannibal and Romeo and Juliet) and as back-up singers for artists like Pavarotti, Elton John, Aled Jones and Bj rk.Visions looks set to follow suit as another acclaimed Libera album.