KAREN TWEED – Essentially Invisible To The Eye – MAY MORNING ADVENTURES MMA6327002

“A novel, an autobiography, a casserole and as close to a self portrait as I am able to create”: Karen Tweed’s own words on the cover of this remarkable solo album. Traditional tunes, original compositions and music from all over the world come together in five long sets.

For the autobiography we must start with ‘Edelweiss’ and ‘Que Sera Sera’, part of ‘Karine’ – all the tracks are named after people, a homage to The Enigma Variations, perhaps – which we can imagine as part of Karen’s childhood. In fact, Karine might really be Karen and Aidan O’Rouke’s ‘Mattie And Karine’s’ from which the set takes its name might just be a happy coincidence. For the novel we must turn, perhaps, to Honoria with three French tunes, one of Karen’s own and one by Jon Swayne. As far as I know Karen hasn’t worked extensively in France so here is an element of fiction. ‘Ffion’, which comprises five original pieces, probably constitutes the self portrait and as for the casserole I’ve pushed the metaphor as far as I wish.

This album is by one player and one instrument and flies by – actually drifts by would be a better description for even on the up-tempo pieces there is no sense of urgency – and is over before you realise it. If you’re not already a fan this is a record to make you rethink the piano-accordion.

Dai Jeffries

Artist Web Link: www.karentweed.com