|Reviews from the Atlanta Celtic Quarterly
All reviews by David Marcus unless otherwise noted.
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Jeanne Morrill (voice), various musicians including Peter
Barnes (flute and whistle), Earl Gaddis (violin/viola), and Jacqueline
Schwab (piano). 13 tracks; 49'33". Life Tree Productions, 5 Sandy Pond Road,
Lincoln, MA 01773. firstname.lastname@example.org
are modern settings of old tunes, sung mostly in Scots Gaelic by
singer whose classical training and strength of voice is amply evident.
Equally good, her training in Gaelic language and song at the Universities
of Edinburgh and Stirling is also shown in the way her singing matches the
Gaelic words and rhythms. Shape Shifting refers to transformations, and
here old songs are set in beautiful, somewhat classical-sounding
arrangements that highlight the centuries-old old sounds--but also sound
The accompanying musicians include some of the best
English country dance (Playford) musicians in the world and they bring a
great deal of that sound to the album. The strength in these performances is
a sustained, weaving strength, carefully crafted but also improvised and
modern. It reminds me of some of Trapezoid's performances when they were at
their very best. The songs I recognized, such as Co Sheinneas An Fhideag
Airgid (Who Will Play the Silver Whistle, familiar from performances by
Sileas) are slower but easily as powerful.
Rating: an A in the category of
"wonderful modern transformations of tradition". As a plus, the sound
quality is superb and the notes complete.