Crossing to Ireland
- Artist: Sara Johnson
- Format: CD
- Release Date:7/15/2008
Crossing to Ireland: Elegant Airs & Lively Dances from Ireland, Scotland & Wales Timeless Celtic music by two musicians in the Greater Cincinnati area - Nancy Bick Clark on Celtic harp, and Sara Johnson on hammered dulcimer. Although this album was launched a few years back, you should know, as an 18th century music publisher advised: there are two things that should never be dated - a lady, and music. The album is exactly as good as it was, and while the ancient Celtic tunes on this CD are now older, the ladies who performed on this album assure you they have not aged a bit. The album contains a mixture of tunes mostly from Scotland, Ireland and Wales, plus three of Nancy's compositions. Several of the tunes are well-known melodies, such as Scarborough Fair, Greensleeves, Planxty (or Capt.) John Irwin, and Scot Skinner's The Slumbering Minstrel. The harp and dulcimer trade leads and harmony parts in a seamless tapestry of Celtic music. Livelier dance sets include St. Kilda's Wedding with Jack Broke Da Prison Door, or the "bad hair day" set, Comb Your Hair and Curl It/ Riding on a Load of Hay. A fan once referred to this set as, "You can Take This Hair and Shove It". Other tunes include unusual and little known tunes, such as Correlli Reviv'd, Crossing to Ireland, Count Sax's Minuet and a tune found by Nancy in a manuscript at the Folk Museum in Kingussie, Scotland. Nancy plays on a Celtic harp by James Rydecki, and Sara plays hammered dulcimers by William Webster and Lost Valley. Nancy, who also plays recorder and lap dulcimer, has been researching music, performing, teaching, composing, and recording for over 16 years. She performs solo or with the Clark & Jones Trio, with husband Frank Clark, and fiddler/guitarist Jude Jones. In 2003, she performed with the Chieftains at Riverbend in Cincinnati. She has performed from Cape Breton to the Midwest and southeastern U.S., and has been past president of the Scottish Harp Society of America. Some of Nancy's compositions appear on this album. Nancy's past albums include Autumn Passages, Chrysalis, Peace Lullaby, and others. Nancy and Frank Clark also appear on Sara's album Pass'd Times. Sara Johnson, as the \'Kitchen Musician\' publishes traditional tune collections for hammered dulcimer, fiddle, and folk instruments, with twenty books in print. She also plays fiddle, kit (dancing master's pocket fiddle), virginal small harpsichord), mandolin, and other instruments. Her recordings include Neuantics, with the band Ten Strike; Chameleon; Pass'd Times; Oceans So Green: and Favourite Scotch Measures with Scottish fiddler John Turner, and harper Sara Walthery. What folks have said about us: \'This collection of tranquil instrumentals offers the listener the opportunity to sample an assortment of Celtic music in one intensively beautiful CD..... evoking the essence of Celtic music, taking you on a journey of heart, mind and spirit....\' WNKU FM ..."The great thing about this album is the way the two musicians dance around each other without ever getting in each other's way. On the opening harp tune Hexham Dreams..... you have to listen carefully to pick out the dulcimer, at which point you realize how essential and skillfully integrated it is. It's the opposite on the dulcimer driven Comb Your Hair and Curl It, but for the most part the instruments are both to the fore. Well known tunes... are sprinkled in amongst unusual and successful Welsh/ Scottish pairings such as Suo Gan/ Braes of Tulliemet and Count Sax's Minuet/Kingussie Mss. (the last literally copied by hand by Bick Clark from a glass case in a Scottish museum)....\' Dirty Linen "These traditional Irish, Scottish, and Welsh aires have a light, delicate quality that resonate with rich Celtic musical traditions. Hammered dulcimer and harp treat each selection with great care, respecting the emotional content of the song while maintaining a gentle, easy-going pace....\' Music Sidelines.
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