International band String Sisters announce their new album

String Sisters

String Sisters produces a sound that is awe-inspiring and captivating in equal measure. Capable of capturing an audience from the first few notes, their shows are a masterclass in the emotional power of instrumental music and traditional song. From heart-stopping songs performed by Emma Härdelin and Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh to the energetic intensity of the more upbeat fiddle tunes, Between Wind And Water transfers the energy and emotion of their live performances to a studio recording.

This prestigious international project features tunes and songs written by Catriona Macdonald, Dave Milligan, Annbjørg Lien, Liz Carroll, Liz Knowles, Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh and Tore Bruvoll. Traditional tunes and songs from Sweden, Shetland, Ireland and the United States also feature.

The album was conceived at Mareel in Shetland during ten intense and wonderfully light days in June 2017, and completed on some crisp autumnal days in November 2017 at Castlesound in Edinburgh.

Artists’ website: http://www.stringsisters.ne

‘Vinterfolk’ – official video:

Continue reading International band String Sisters announce their new album

Norwegian Fiddler Annbjorg Lien Announces New Album Khoom Loy

“If you like moody, sometimes dark, folk music, punctuated by beautiful musicianship and artistry, then you will find nothing to dislike here.” —PopMatters

“Lien’s spectral fiddling proves hauntingly absorbing as it introduces the past to the future.” —The Washington Post

A virtuoso of Norwegian traditional music deeply inspired by the music of other cultures, fiddler Annbjørg Lien crosses musical borders as a pioneer for true “world music.” Khoom Loy, Thai for “Paper Lanterns,” is Lien’s eighth solo album and explores a broad spectrum of traditions ranging from her traditional Norwegian folk to Irish and Asian music, with Lien playing her native Hardanger fiddle as well as the keyed fiddle. Lien says of the album, “this is a tribute to a lovely ritual of the East: releasing lanterns in remembrance of the dead, or as a prayer for a good life. They serve as bridges connecting us to the past and the future, the east and the west, tradition and innovation.”

Steeped in the music of other cultures, Khoom Loy also represents a first for Lien—her world vocal debut to stunning effect, notably on the title track and “Den Storste Daarlighed,” which also offers a unique fusion of the Indian tabla with Celtic whistles. The album features Bjørn Charles Dreyer, Hans Fredrik Jacobsen, Bjørn Ole Rasch, Per Elias Drabløs, Per Hillestad, Orsa Spelmän, Kristiansand String Quartet, and Pat Broaders.

Winner of the Garmeleng Prize for classical folk and the Hilimar Award in her native Norway, Lien is also is a member of the world music fiddle group String Sisters (Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, Liz Knowles, Catriona MacDonald, Liz Carroll and Emma Härdelin) and has collaborated with American fiddler Bruce Molsky amongst many others. Lien comes from a musical family and learned traditional music from her father and classical music at the music school in Ålesund. She has since been teaching privately with other top musicians, including Hauk Buen from Telemark.

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BLAZIN’ FIDDLES – Thursday Night In The Caley (Blazin’ Records BRCD2011)

The unrestrained passion bursts forth from the string driven sound that is Blazin’ Fiddles and from the very first track “Fashion O’ The Lassies/Sound Of Mull/Janine’s Reel/The Storm” the enjoyment conveyed by each member contagiously transmits its way to the listener. In these times of notable recession it’s nice to find music so uplifting that it can’t help but bring a smile to the face of even the most jaundiced members of the public. Even without the charismatic flourishes from Catriona MacDonald but now utilising the services of the equally talented Shetland fiddler Jenna Reid and Anna Massie on guitar/fiddle the join is seamless for those of us that have been following the band’s career to date. Of course the main thrust of the recording features the fiddles of Bruce MacGregor, Allan Henderson and Iain MacFarlane packing an almighty punch and not to be outdone, the exuberant skills of Andy Thorburn’s honky-tonk piano accompaniment on James Hill’s wonderful hornpipe “The Golden Eagle” will, I’m sure be approved by musicians everywhere. All in all this is an energetic performance that should find its way onto the shelf of any self-respecting collector of ‘quality’ folk music. http://www.blazinfiddles.com/ PETE FYFE