Hearthside Dreams featuring Gabriel Porter
HEARTHSIDE DREAMS, featuring twelve year old treble Gabriel Porter, is a beguiling compilation of easy listening and light classical solo songs designed to evoke the magic of dreaming by a cosy, welcoming hearthside.
Gabriel started singing seriously when he was seven. He is a long-standing member of the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain Boys’ Choir, and was previously the Head Chorister of St Mary’s Church, Wimbledon. He has sung many solos at church and in concerts, including Once in Royal David’s City, O For the Wings of a Dove, Lionel Bart’s Where is Love? and the Lloyd Webber Pie Jesu (with soprano Colette Boushell).
The genesis for the album came when Gabriel won a distinction in his ABRSM Grade 6 Singing exam last summer, and his school laid down a few tracks to capture the moment. Buoyed by the fine quality of these, Gabriel and his Dad decided to expand their horizons, book a recording studio for an afternoon, and cut an album.
The result is HEARTHSIDE DREAMS, a proficient compilation of treble songs such as the relaxing Sonntag by Brahms, the tear-jerking Danny Boy, the enigmatic Shenandoah, and the beguiling Did You Not Hear My Lady? It also includes a brand new piece written especially for Gabriel by composer Philip Godfrey: I Am Gabriel is an evocative Advent scena for treble and piano, in a style reminiscent of a mix of Handel and Lloyd Webber.
The album, which was released on Monday 26 August, has been very well-received, and listeners have commented on Gabriel’s clarity of diction and his rich tone in his lower register. At least one experienced singer felt that, as well as singing with purity, Gabriel also sings with soul, which one might not necessarily expect in a treble.
Gabriel and his Dad really enjoyed cutting HEARTHSIDE DREAMS. Because they only had one afternoon in the studio to capture ten tracks, it isn’t a perfectly flawless commercial effort; but it is extremely good – an honest recording that is not ruthlessly “over-produced”. As one commentator pointed out, the fact there are a few rough edges is reassuring, because it means the recording is the real deal, not an artificial studio fabrication.
Gabriel hopes you enjoy listening to HEARTHSIDE DREAMS as much as he enjoyed recording it.
HEARTHSIDE DREAMS, by Gabriel Porter, is available on Apple Music, Spotify and most other streaming services. All profits to the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain (515660).
Danny Boy is due to be released as a single on Monday 23 September.
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