(31 December 2001)
The debut album from the orchestral and choral ensemble E. S. Posthumus is entitled Unearthed (Wigshop Records (USA) WS 2236, 2001). The album can be ordered online from their label's website. Soundbites are also available there. While there are at times, striking similarities to the instrumental arrangements of Adiemus throughout the album's thirteen tracks, the album is vocally more sparse than the world famous Karl Jenkins
/ Miriam Stockley
(website) British ensemble. It is perhaps more closly aligned to Jenkins' Imagined Oceans recording.
The Seattle Choral Company is credited with choir parts while the orchestra credits only that it was recorded by Woody Woodruff with both orchestra and choir being conducted by David Sabee (for Seattle Music). Additional musicians include Davy Spillane (Uilleann pips and low whistle), Efrain Toro (percussion), Pedro Eustache (woodwinds and reeds), Micheal Landau (guitars), Matt Long (drum loops) and Lance Morrison (bass guitar).
The album is hard to classify in one particular genre because classical movements are heavily contemporised with percussion moving the material into a substantially more accessible regime. Several of the selections have an almost pure classical instrumental flavour to them while others are thematic soundtrack-oriented numbers. Various electronic effects take the music beyond soundtrack proportions into the contemporary new age at times.
The most notable vocal numbers range from the blending of electronic and traditional arrangement of "Antissa" to the serious tone and ethnic E.R.A. sound of "Harappa," "Ebla" and "Pompei." The album also differs from Adiemus vocally. The choir arrangements are well performed but are darker, more gothic—most notable in "Menouthis"—and lack the cheerful happiness that Miriam Stockley's vocals bring to Adiemus.
The fast moving instrumental pace of "Tikal" and "Nineveh" is most reminscent of the Adiemus sound; the percussion is very 'Jody Jenkins' in style. Davy Spillane's Uillean pipe and low whistle parts on "Ulaid" makes this a lovely Celtic-oriented (Ronan Hardiman style) piece and one of the album's clear standouts. The whistle parts on "Nara" and the brighter, Celtic-flavoured "Cuzco" are also lovely. We especially enjoyed the acoustic guitar and choir blend in "Estremoz."
The final piece blends traditional with electronic arrangements entitled "Isfahan" and builds to include choir as the album comes to a close. Certain to appeal to fans of Adiemus, Enigma and ERA, E.S. Posthums' Unearthed is a must listen!