Ocean's Kingdom Paul McCartney

Cover Ocean's Kingdom

Album info

Album-Release:
2011

HRA-Release:
17.07.2014

Label: Universal Music

Genre: Classical

Subgenre: Orchestral

Album including Album cover Booklet (PDF)

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  • Paul McCartney (1942-): Ocean’s Kingdom (Studio Recording)
  • 1Movement 1: Ocean’s Kingdom14:08
  • 2Movement 2: Hall of Dance16:19
  • 3Movement 3: Imprisonment13:37
  • 4Movement 4: Moonrise12:31
  • Ocean’s Kingdom (Bonus Live Gala Premiere Recording)
  • 5Movement 1: Ocean's Kingdom12:15
  • 6Movement 2: Hall Of Dance14:27
  • 7Movement 3: Imprisonment10:14
  • 8Movement 4: Moonrise10:31
  • Total Runtime01:44:02

Info for Ocean's Kingdom

Marking his first foray into the word of dance, Paul has announced the general release of „Ocean’s Kingdom“, commissioned by the New York City Ballet. The recording is conducted by John Wilson, produced by John Fraser and performed by The London Classical Orchestra.

„Ocean’s Kingdom“ is the first time Paul has written an original orchestral score or any kind of music for dance and is the result of a collaboration between Paul and New York City Ballet’s Master in Chief Peter Martins, who have worked together to present the world premiere of a new ballet for the company’s 2011 / 2012 season this September.

Though the work is Paul’s first ballet, he approached the project in the same way he writes all other music, driven by his heart rather than his head and inspired by feeling rather than specific technical knowledge. While this may have been another new turn for his staggeringly varied career to take, Paul knew it had to be influenced by his own personal experience and that he needed to create a story the audience would find equally compelling and moving.

Paul’s first step was to visit the Royal Opera House to see Adolphe Adam’s „Giselle“, danced by the Royal Ballet. Afterwards, Paul met the dancers and discussed the work with them, realising as he did so that he was still without a central theme to his work. Keen to tell a story through his music, Paul decided to focus on the purity of the ocean and within just two months, the first draft had been completed. He then went through the music again thinking specifically of the ballet itself, thereby creating a world featuring distinctive characters and a vibrant underworld kingdom. Finally Paul spent many more weeks working alongside Peter Martins to refine the work, before Peter created the choreography with the NYCB dancers.

An hour long score featuring four stunning movements – Ocean’s Kingdom, Hall of Dance, Imprisonment and Moonrise – the ballet tells of a love story within the story of an underwater world whose people are threatened by the humans of Earth. A potently expressive and richly varied work, the score is Paul’s most challenging and emotionally complex yet. As he explains: “What was interesting was writing music that meant something expressively rather than just writing a song. Trying to write something that expressed an emotion – so you have fear, love, anger, sadness to play with and I found that exciting and challenging.”

The artwork that accompanies the release is equally striking and inventive. Though it seems to suggest a city skyline, it is actually a digital readout of the notes from the ballet score.

Although this is his first orchestral score for dance, Paul is already quite at home in the world of classical music. His back catalogue already carries four classical albums, the most recent of which was the Classical BRIT Award winning „Ecce Cor Meum (Behold My Heart)“; a work for chorus and orchestra in four movements that was released in 2006.

“Superior souls may complain of a lack of great substance; but that's the nature of much ballet music. What's on offer is agreeably tuneful and sometimes stimulating music, with undeniably sumptuous orchestral sound...the ultimate impression is of music with a rightful place in the British light orchestral tradition.” (Gramophone)

London Classical Orchestra
John Wilson, conductor

Produced by John Fraser


Paul McCartney
was born in Liverpool on June 18, 1942. He was raised in the city and educated at the Liverpool Institute.Having changed the world of music forever with The Beatles, McCartney has continued to push boundaries for over 40 years as a solo artist, member of Wings, Brit award-winning classical composer, half of the experimental project The Fireman, and composer for the New York City Ballet with last year’s Ocean’s Kingdom. His newest adventure is Kisses On The Bottom (out February 7 on Hear Music/Concord), a collection of standards beloved to Paul since childhood as well as two new McCartney compositions ‘My Valentine’ and ‘Only Our Hearts.’ Created with the help of Grammy Award-winning producer Tommy LiPuma and Diana Krall and her band—as well as guest appearances from Eric Clapton and Stevie Wonder—Kisses On The Bottom is the first record in McCartney’s historic oeuvre to feature him almost exclusively on vocals. With the exception of a bit of acoustic guitar on two tracks, Paul’s sole instrument on Kisses On The Bottom is that unmistakable voice at its most intimate and unadorned.

Kisses On The Bottom is obviously a work born of intense inspiration and affection—and possibly most important of all fun. This is certainly reflected in the album’s title, which confused more than a few Macca obsessives (with many fixating on an anatomical interpretation!), but actually quotes from the album’s opener ‘I’m Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter’. Originally made a big hit by Fats Waller in 1935, the song opens with the lines ‘I’m gonna sit right down and write myself a letter and make believe it came from you. I’m gonna write words oh so sweet. They’re gonna knock me off of my feet. A lot of kisses on the bottom, I’ll be glad I got ‘em’.

Kisses’ heartfelt interpretations of these classics—many of which were introduced to a young Paul by his father on piano--were recorded along with its two McCartney originals at the legendary Capitol Studios in Los Angeles, and in New York and London over the course of 2011. The album also features stellar guest turns from Eric Clapton (on ‘My Valentine’ and ‘Get Yourself Another Fool’) and Stevie Wonder (‘Only Our Hearts’) and suitably classy cover art featuring a portrait of Paul shot by his daughter Mary McCartney worked into a concept by Jonathan Schofield (Visual Director at Stella McCartney) and design by Matthew Cooper (Arctic Monkeys, Franz Ferdinand, etc.).

That Kisses’ song choices are equally reverent and adventurous should come as no surprise: Since writing his first song at the age of 14, McCartney has always followed his own unique muse while changing the course of musical history. It’s borderline ludicrous to attempt to describe the past, present and future impact of The Beatles and their legendary albums Please Please Me, With The Beatles, A Hard Day’s Night, Beatles For Sale, Help!, Rubber Soul, Revolver, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles (a/k/a The White Album), Yellow Submarine, Abbey Road and Let It Be—so suffice to say that The Beatles’ 1 compilation was the biggest selling album of the first new millennial decade of 2000-2010.

Paul’s output through the ‘70s to the present has been one of unflagging energy and influence, debuting as a solo artist with 1970’s timeless McCartney followed by 1971’s rustic classic RAM by Paul and Linda McCartney, then with Wings efforts including the currently Grammy-nominated Band On The Run, Venus and Mars, Wings at The Speed Of Sound and London Town, and following that as a solo artist again, with highlights including the ahead-of-its-time 1980 reinvention McCartney II, 1982’s Tug Of War, 1989’s Flowers In The Dirt, 1997’s Flaming Pie, 2005’s Chaos And Creation In The Backyard and 2007’s Memory Almost Full. In 2008, The Fireman, his collaborative project with revered producer Youth, released Electric Arguments, which generated rave reviews, yielded a live favorite of the current McCartney set list in ‘Sing The Changes,’ and topped the Billboard Independent Album Charts.

Paul McCartney is also an accomplished classical composer, with works ranging from last year’s aforementioned Ocean’s Kingdom score to 1991’s Liverpool Oratorio, 1997’s Standing Stone, 1999’s Working Classical, and 2006’s Ecce Cor Meum (Behold My Heart), which took Best Album honors at the 2007 Classical Brit Awards.

A 14-time Grammy winner and recipient of The Recording Academy’s Lifetime Achievement and Trustees Awards, McCartney’s list of accolades reads like no other: 2012 will see Paul adding MusiCares Person of the Year to this unrivalled list, the award recognizing both his incomparable creative achievements and his lifelong commitment to charitable work, which includes decades’ worth of philanthropic activities for PETA, LIPA, One Voice, The Vegetarian Society, Nordoff Robins and Adopt-A-Mine-Field—not to mention his participation in historic benefit concerts including Live Aid in 1985, The Concert for New York City in 2001, and Live 8 in 2005.

In 2010, Paul made two visits to the White House, receiving singular honors on each trip. In June he performed in front of President Barack Obama and his family while becoming the first-ever British recipient of the prestigious Gershwin Prize For Popular Song. Paul returned to the White House in December (where even the President joked about Paul becoming a regular) to receive a Kennedy Center Honor.

McCartney’s many other citations have included the 2008 Brit award for Outstanding Contribution to Music, an honorary doctorate of music from Yale University, his 1999 induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and of course being knighted in in 1996 by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to music.

With a reputation for live performance that rivals his songwriting prowess, Paul McCartney has spent much of the last several years performing sold out concerts to literally millions of people the world over to universal rave reviews. Standouts have included 2003’s performance to over half a million people outside the Coliseum in Rome and Paul’s first show in Red Square, Moscow, his 2005 wake-up set for the crew of the International Space Station, and a 2008 punctuated by his Liverpool Sound concert, the Ukraine’s largest ever outdoor music event in Kiev with over 400,000 in attendance, a performance celebrating Quebec’s 400th anniversary that drew 300,000 people to the city’s national park, The Plains Of Abraham, and the Friendship First concert in Tel Aviv--Paul’s first ever visit to Israel.

Paul jumped right into 2009 by teaming up with Dave Grohl to perform ‘I Saw Her Standing There’ at the Grammys. Kicking things up a notch that April, Paul performed in New York at the David Lynch Foundation’s benefit concert, Change Begins Within (where he was joined on stage by Ringo Starr for a special finale), turned in a stunning first ever US festival appearance at the Coachella Festival and opened The New Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, a gig which sold out at a record rate of 600 tickets per second! That July, Paul would perform his first ever concert in Halifax, Nova Scotia--the mayor of the city describing the performance on the Halifax Common as the largest and most exciting concert in its 260-year history.

Paul then embarked on the Summer Live ’09 tour, which commenced with the inaugural run of shows at New York’s Citi Field Stadium--the site of the former Shea Stadium where The Beatles made history with the 1965 concert that set the precedent for the modern day stadium rock show. The New York shows were preceded by Paul’s surprise Late Show with David Letterman performance on the marquee of the Ed Sullivan Theater (inside which The Beatles made TV history decades ago) that drew throngs packing Broadway from Columbus Circle to Times Square. The Citi Field performances were seen by over 100,000 people and hailed by critics and fans alike as the concert experience of a lifetime. The tour hit DC’s FedEx Field, set the record for highest ever two-day concert attendance in the history of Boston’s Fenway Park, and stopped at Atlanta’s Piedmont Park and Tulsa OK’s BOK Arena, before concluding in grand Texas-size fashion at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas. ... (Source: Concord Music Group)

Booklet for Ocean's Kingdom

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