- Audio CD (29 Jan. 2016)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: Navigator Records
- ASIN: B017752X3M
- Other Editions: Audio CD | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,149 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
Songs Of Separation
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'Songs of Separation' brought together ten female folk musicians from Scotland and England, to create a recording which reflects on the issue of 'separation' in its many forms, through traditional song.
The SoS musician team features the musical skills and "big thinking" of Eliza Carthy and Karine Polwart, two of the UK's most celebrated voices, Mary Macmaster and Kate Young, two boundary-breaking Scots, Hannah James, Hazel Askew and Rowan Rheingans, from the award winning English ensemble Lady Maisery, Jenn Butterworth and Jenny Hill, brilliant backline players who have worked in both English and Scottish trad scenes, and Hannah Read, a New York-based musician who spent much of her childhood on the Isle of Eigg.
Taking place on the beautiful Isle of Eigg in June 2015, the musicians spent an intensive week rehearsing and recording, including site recordings at the two sites central to the 'Big Women of Eigg' legend.
Celebrating the similarities and differences in our musical, linguistic and cultural heritage, and set in the context of a post-referendum world, the work aims to evoke emotional responses and prompt new thinking about the issue of separation as it occurs in all our lives. The collected songs aim to get to the heart of what we feel when we are faced with a separation, both good and bad. Providing a 'thread through time', joining us to previous generations who shared the same human experiences and responses to separation, and to the generations that will follow.
Top Customer Reviews
Jenny Hill conceived the idea of gathering a super group of English and Scottish female folk singers together for less than a week to write, rehearse, then record an album of Songs based on the theme of Separation. The stellar line up seems like a role call for a dream band and includes Eliza Carthy, Hannah James, Hannah Read, Hazel Askew, Jenn Butterworth, Jenny Hill, Karine Polwart, Kate Young, Mary Macmaster and Rowan Rheingans . Some of these players had never met each other before, let alone played together, and there could have been a danger of one upmanship and prima donnas trying to dominate. But these female folkies are not like that, it was obvious from the concert that they were having a whale of a time together in this superb group collaboration, and the sum of the parts and the final album proved to be far greater than that of the individual players combined, producing something truly special.
They assembled for a week last June off the West Coast of Scotland on the remote wild beautiful island of Eigg (total population of 76). It took almost 3 years from inception of the concept for Jenny Hill to manage to get all the players together in one place due to their hectic touring schedules.Read more ›
I happened to be volunteering on the Isle of Eigg the week ‘Songs of Separation’ was recorded, and had the chance to see the band perform in the island’s tearoom/bar prior to recording the album. It was a magical evening for all of us in attendance, with beautiful songs, brilliant musicianship, and all around good fun. It was clear that the ten women in the band were excited to perform together—remarkably, it was their first time playing as a group, though several of the musicians had worked together before (e.g., in the band Lady Maisery).
The album captures the same joyful chemistry I observed at the band’s debut performance, but with richer musical textures and a wider range in mood, from gentle and contemplative to mystical to powerful and uplifting, with some definite rollicking moments thrown in. Though the album’s 12 songs differ significantly in their style and tone, all are thoughtful and compelling in their own unique way and deserve attentive listening.
While I would certainly recommend ‘Songs of Separation’ to anyone who appreciates the Scottish and English folk traditions, I would also recommend it to people who enjoy diverse styles of music but might not naturally gravitate toward the folk genre, as the songs on this album demonstrate how music can transcend categories and be dynamic and relevant whatever its classification.
A good example is Track 5, ...Read more ›
The result is a fabulous album of superbly performed music. There's great instrumental work and magnificent singing throughout, incorporating elements of many of the wonderfully diverse traditions of these islands. All these musicians have their feet firmly rooted in tradition, they love and respect it and also look forward to produce fine new songs in a traditional style, sometimes with a very modern seasoning. It's just great, so we get, for example, the modern, politically angry Poor Man's Lamentation immediately followed by the traditional, hauntingly beautiful S Trom an Direadh. If you're familiar with the work of Lady Maisery or the great Laylam album you'll know what I mean – and this is the equal of them.
Forty-five years ago I began to sit in smoke-filled folk clubs and dance the Morris. I can't do any of that any more, but it really does an old folkie's heart good to know that our traditions are in such brilliantly capable hands, both treasuring them and developing them. This fabulous album shows some of the very best of current British folk music, and I can recommend it very warmly indeed.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Perhaps the only fault on this album is the title, as it could mislead the casual browser as simply a compilation of songs from accomplished musicians (maybe that's just me! Read morePublished 1 month ago by M. D. Zukor
"Songs of Separation brought together ten female folk musicians from Scotland and England, to create a recording which reflects on the issue of ‘separation’
in its many... Read more
Lovely album. Moving and atmospheric. Inspired by Scottish referendum. Even more melancholy now post Brexit.Published 7 months ago by Kt
Really lovely CD, really enjoyed listening to it!!! Great stuff!!! Absolutely delighted!!! All the best, cheers, Vicky xxPublished 10 months ago by Vicky Pearson