Our debut album, “Lumas Winds: The Naming Of Birds” is being released on the 24th of May 2024 by Champs Hill Records

The Naming of Birds traces a line through the development of the British wind quintet from the 1960’s to the early 21st century, and brings together a collection of works that have formed a staple part of our concert repertoire. Having researched this rich period of wind writing, we seized the opportunity to explore one piece from each decade, offering aural snapshots across the years.

This album is designed to serve as a point of accessibility for these works, especially the three world premiere recordings by Sally Beamish, Gavin Higgins and Elizabeth Maconchy. We have always been drawn to performing fresh and exciting music that is rarely heard or performed, but have found programming new works can be difficult without knowing how the sound will compliment or contrast the rest of a concert. We hope this recording will provide a reference point for future ensembles, encouraging them to program these works.

We have also reflected the diverse British identities of the Lumas Winds members in our choices. Welshman William Mathias’ Wind Quintet is the earliest work on the disc, and was one of the first pieces we chose for this programme. Thea Musgrave and Oliver Knussen were both Scottish composers by birth, with Gavin Higgins and Elizabeth Maconchy hailing from England. Sally Beamish, English by birth, has spent a large proportion of her career drawing inspiration from the scenery and folk music of Scotland. We worked closely with Sally in the build-up to this recording and ‘The Naming of Birds’, both the piece and the album, continued to evolve as a result.

Lumas Winds is endlessly grateful to Alexander Van Ingen and Matthew Swan for their expertise during and after the recording process. A huge thank you to Mary Bowerman for giving us this opportunity, for supporting this project and providing such a perfect environment in which to be creative. Thank you to Tim Lines for your invaluable advice. Without the help of Oliver Mahoney at the Maconchy Archive at St. Hilda’s College, Oxford, and the access he gave us to the composer’s working manuscripts, we’re sure we would be debating the correct tempo of the third movement of her wind quintet to this day!