There’s no instrument quite as elegant and somber as the cello. Imagine an entire orchestra of cellos. Let yourself get lost in the unfathomable depths of “New Sudbury” by Kirk Starkey. It’s part of his instrumental song cycle titled Songs of Sudbury.
He describes the album as a “personal memoir of loss and reconnection.” It is a reflection of his birthplace of Sudbury, a mining town, the loss of his brother and a reclaiming of his past. It is, as he says, “the tracing of fragments that barely exist, and the search for meaning when it’s not clear there is any to be found.” His cello playing is deeply personal, expressing so much without any lyrics whatsoever and conveying a wealth of emotion in the various tones and subtle shadings.
Starkey, based in Hamilton, Ontario, was trained as a classical cellist, and he has worked with the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, Twin Within, Capella Intima, Bud Roach, Valerie Tryon, Paul Marleyn and Suzanne Shulman, among others. His playing has been heard on various television programs, and he produces recordings of acoustic music in special locations. His Songs of Sudbury album will be released on July 22.
Listen also to his previous album, Little Gidding, released in 2011.