Friday, September 30, 2011

Celtic music for autumn

The cycle of seasons turns toward autumn here in the northern hemisphere. As the angle of shadows changes and the quality of light takes on a different aspect, as the stars across the night skies wheel in a changed patterns, it’s a time for contemplation and preparation, thought and action and enjoying the world of nature.

As good companions for those journeys, here are three Celtic recordings

Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas cross the Celtic world in the tunes which comprise autumn hillsidee louth copyright kerry dexterthe title set for their album Highlander's Farewell, moving across meter and time and space from Scotland to Ireland to the mountains of the American south in that story. Fraser, on fiddle, and Haas, on cello, specialize in exploring the lively and thoughtful dialogue which may be created in conversation between the big fiddle and the little one. Here they do that through several of Fraser’s own tunes, as well as music from Scotland, Cape Breton, and Galicia.

Aoife Clancy holds equal love for the music of her native land, Ireland, and her adopted homeland of the United States. Both loves come through clearly on her album Silvery Moon There’s a song which talks of the deepest gifts of love by American songwriter Mark Simos, called Giving. There’s a song which talks of the troubled conflicts in Ireland and sees a way beyond, called Hope, written by Aoife’s cousin Robbie O’Connell, and the lilting rhythm of dance in the melody of a song which would fit on both sides of the ocean, Rosehill Fair.

Moya Brennan, Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill and Mairéad Ní Dhomhnaill each count time spent in Donegal, in the far northwest of Ireland, as part of their years growing up. In Donegal Irish is spoken as readily as English, and the music includes fiery fiddle playing along with songs in English and Irish shaped ny the rocky coast, the wild mountains, and the the border with the North. All of that comes in to play on the album the four women have made together, T with the Maggies. That’s also what the four call themselves when they play music together. After those childhood sessions in Donegal each went her own way. They all have made high level professional careers in music, and as they crossed paths across the years. they’d think of getting together again to sing. T with the Maggies is a result, a project grounded as much in the spirit of long time friendship as it is in the spirit of longtime love for the music of Donegal. There ae songs in Irish and in English, music from the tradition and music they’ve written. Through the album, their harmonies both respect and extend their individual voices. It’s all worth the hearing, but standout cuts include Wedding Dress, Mother Song, and Domnach na Fola.

the photograph is of a hillside in Louth, in Ireland, on an autumn day -- a rare clear day. it is copyrignted, and I thank you for respecting that

while you are thinking of things Irish and Celtic, letting you know that Music Road has been nominated for Best Arts & Entertainment site, at the Irish Web Awards
Nominated for 2011 Realex Web Awards

thanks for the nomination, and welcome to all who have arrived here by way of that listing. judging is taking place at present and results will be announced later in October.
and note: our friends at
Irish Fireside, Shalom b&b, and Altan are also nominated in various categories. congratulations to them, and to all the nominees.

you may also wish to see

Music Road: Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh: Daybreak/Fainne an Lae
Music Road: Altan: 25th Anniversary Collection
Music Road: Song of Solstice: music for changing seasons


Delicious Baby's Photo Friday, where travelers offer new insights to the world each Friday.

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Anonymous Roxanne @ Champion of My Heart said...

Congratulations on the nomination. How exciting. You know, reading this post makes me wish I could subscribe to a Music Road "radio channel" so that I always had the right soundtrack for the seasons.

6:57 PM  

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