Thursday, October 04, 2007

autumn music

North of the equator, at this time of year the quality of light, the sound of the breeze, the face of the clouds and the colors of the forest begin to call attention to the idea of change, to the memories of summer, and the gathering in of families, and of harvest. Of course, there’s music for all that, some straightforward, some perhaps more distantly connected.

One of the straightforward ones is Jay Ungar and Molly Mason’s Harvest Home. Titles including The Farmer's Set, Haymaker's Hoedown, and Bound For Another Harvest Home give the clue about this music which it at once both reflective and joyous. Ungar is a fiddler, mason is a guitarist, and they’ve a lovely dialog going here of music which reaches beyond the fall season but is very fitting for it.

The Celtic Colours Festival begins tomorrow on Cape Breton. Though she’s not playing there this year, Hanneke Cassel, pictured at right, often uses elements of Cape Breton style in her original compositions. Her latest release, Silver , is a really fine piece of listening for autumn, or any other season.

Keeping with the idea of instrumental music for the moment, Mark O’Connor, Natalie Haas, and Carol Cook collaborated on the interesting set Crossing Bridges, an upwelling of classical technique and American folk theme. Opening horizons all around.

That's what this turn of season is about, in a way, too. turning landscapes, new views, changing times, harvest home, new directions and familiar ones. And always, a time for great music.

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posted by Kerry Dexter at


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