Throughout Bryars' work -- from the conceptually driven pieces like "The Sinking of the Titanic" to the sacred works such as this -- there is always a sense of profound care and delicacy. With "Oi Me Lasso" Bryars has effectively brought the tranquility of Medieval Lauds within range of 21st century hearing.
If the sometimes overly homogenous tonality of plainchant and early music seem a bit shallow to your ears, "Oi Me Lasso" is an excellent way to hear the profound change in shading and depth that can be achieved by an appropriately more sophisticated sonic palette. Working strictly within the constraints of the form, Bryars creates more compelling settings without overtly disturbing the reflective nature of the traditional forms he utilizes -- or repurposes -- for these compositions. Bryars also plays on these recordings, but the weight of the performances belong to John Potter, a founder of Red Byrd, (an ensemble that has released some remarkable recordings, though much more aggressive in performance and interpretation than the music you'll find here) and Maria Friman of the already well-known Trio Medieval, each contributing work that is both restrained and beautiful.
"Oi Me Lasso" is a remarkable accomplishment, achieving a balance rich in both tradition and innovation.