Now here's another one, a track called Amergin".
Just fiddle and voice doing all kinds of strange and weird and wonderful things. That was Amergin. Is ceart iad". Stunning and incredible! I mean Ellen Crannitch, my good friend and colleague, will get as much out of this on Grace notes as I will on Nova. An album that transcends boundaries.
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They are exploring medieval Irish poetry and letting it generate the music. Folkworld Michael Moll, Spring The music is something very archaic and sparse, yet at the same time ultra modern. The duo play with musical metres and styles from the Gaelic language, going back in one track to possibly the earliest piece of poetry, from some 3, years ago. These old songs are combined on the album with songs composed by the two musicians, inspired by the ancient material.
The album only features voice and fiddle playing - and the fiddle playing is very interesting and full of experimentation.
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It may be as an album a bit too intense to listen to regularly and I find the out-of-tune whistling in one song irritating , but it is nevertheless quite a masterpiece - intriguing and fascinating. That could be surmised just upon reading the title which is also the derivative source of the descriptive theme of the thirteen tracks within. The synthesis of rhythmic instrumental beats with inflected vocal patterns is one that has its origins in the poetry of the medieval period where the syllabic poetry and structured metre patterns were a part of the early medieval Celtic literature.
The pair has taken this concept and re—invigorated it with a modern style of Celtic Influence yet stayed true to the structure of accent and the harmonic inflections that are contrived through the relationship with the voice and the fiddle. The rigid structure is followed strictly and strangely pulls you into its sway as the defined beats reach a crescendo of sound.
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It has a depth and intensity that needs an attentive and respectful ear. Fully recommend you read the sleeve notes before each track to gain a deeper insight into the context of rhythm and productive arrangement. But the two have never quite been combined in this way before. In the Irish oral tradition, poetry based on a strict syllabic structure, with complex patterns of rhyme and alliteration, was developed by the early bards. The technique ensured their work could be passed on word for word and lose none of its original impact.
Through generations, the hereditary bards performed the roles of chroniclers, satirists and genealogists for those in power. Their work could enthral, terrify and delight. At last the album is complete and the fruits of their labour are ready for us to enjoy. An opening of tumbling chants amid percussive fiddle leads to a stirring rendition of the venerable lines. An era which shaped the future of British music. Funny, sad, poignant and uplifting.
The Music of England
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Both his musical and sculpture work is in the Museum of Liverpool and he has exhibited several times at the Bluecoat as well as extensive international exhibitions.