Based in Manchester (UK), Danny Norbury is a modern classical composer and cellist. Originally released in 2009 on the UK based label Lacies Records, Danny Norbury’s Light in August has just been re-issued on 14th April 2014 last on the Tokyo-based record label Flau. The re-release includes all 10 tracks from the original album as well a bonus track, six tracks from his 2007 “Dusk” EP and “Fragment 2” from Bluebeard (2012). Danny Norbury composes his music for the cello, but Light in August also includes sparse piano, violin, electronics or “any instruments he has around him at home”.

Danny Norbury - Light in August (2009/2014)
Danny Norbury – Light in August (2009/2014)

The title of the recording refers to the William Faulkner novel Light In August published in 1932. “Asked about the title, Faulkner explained:

[…] in August in Mississippi there’s a few days somewhere about the middle of the month when suddenly there’s a foretaste of fall, it’s cool, there’s a lambence, a soft, a luminous quality to the light, as though it came not from just today but from back in the old classic times. It might have fauns and satyrs and the gods and – from Greece, from Olympus in it somewhere. It lasts just for a day or two, then it’s gone…the title reminded me of that time, of a luminosity older than our Christian civilization – William Faulkner in “Reading Faulkner: Light in August”

In the same way, most of the recording’s song titles (“The morning star”, “All the stars are out tonight”, “Aspen trees” or “I turn off the last light and close the door”) revolve around daily light-dark cycles, contrasting luminescence or simply nature’s silence and isolation. An aural equivalent of the photographer’s “golden hour” – this magic period of the day at sunrise or at sunset when the light is softer or “entre chien et loup” as the French language wonderfully puts it – Danny Norbury provides a graceful and textured interpretation of dawn and dusk on the cello, a wonderful musical chiaroscuro.