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The Sounding Board by R J Lannan
RJ Lannan is the reviewer for The Sounding Board.
Other reviews from The Sounding Board by R J Lannan:
  Piano 3 by Andrew Shapiro, reviewed by RJ Lannan on 2/16/2017
  Longitudes & Latitudes by Lawrence Blatt, reviewed by RJ Lannan on 1/27/2017
  Orphée by Jóhann Jóhannsson, reviewed by RJ Lannan on 12/14/2016
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Celtic Fairy Lullaby
By 2002
Label: Galactic Playground Music
Released 2/12/2016
Celtic Fairy Lullaby tracks
1. Seoithín Seo Hó (Hushaby, Hush)/Gartan Mother's Lullaby
2. Cariad
3. Bi' Thusa 'Mo Shu'ile (Be Thou My Vision)
4. Away from the Roll of the Sea
5. E'amonn an Chnoic (Ned of the Hills)
6. Ho' bha in (Sleep My Child)
7. Ba'nchnoicE'ireann O' (The Fair Hills of Ireland)
8. Ar Hyd y Nos (All Through the Night)
9. Mo Ghile Mear (My Gallant Darling)
10. My Singing Bird
11. Buachaill O'n E'irne (Boy from the River Erne)
12. Thugamar Fe'in an Samradh Linn (We Brought the Summer with Us)
Close Your Eyes
So let me set the stage. Close your eyes. Really. Imagine a deep, lush green forest. A mist is in the air. Twilight is upon you. Now bend down and look under the piney bough. You'll see a tiny, round hut made of sticks. Peer inside the window and you will see all the fairies getting ready to put their fairy babies to bed. So they call upon their best and sweetest amhranaí. The fairy singer, Sarah. Now play the music.

Although the New Age band 2002 has been making exceptional music for more than two decades, it is only recently that they added the talents of their singer and multi-instrumentalist daughter, Sarah. There is no doubt that the inspiration for much of their music is now the star of the show. Celtic Fairy Lullaby is twelve delicately sweet tracks of music that will soothe the soul of anyone, size notwithstanding.

The album opens with the doublet Seoithín Seo Ho' (Hushaby, Hush)/ Gartan's Mother Lullaby. Right away we get a sense of the sweetness of Sarah's baby soft voice as she sings the flowing tune. Ironically, Seoithín Seo Ho' is a plea to the fairies to allow the baby to sleep and not take her away to the fairy lands. Gartan's Mother Lullaby is also in part plea for safe keeping.

Cariad had such a yearning tone to it, it was almost heartbreaking. That is the beauty of voice as an instrument. Cariad is Gaelic for Beloved and the song is an impressive melody to tell yours that you love them and you will protect them forever. This was one of many favorites.

Even little people need stories of adventure. Take for instance the tale of Ned from the Hills, an Irish bandit that lived the life of a Robinhood in County Tipperary. Expressed with harp, gentle strings and Sarah's seraphic rendition, Eamonn an Chnoic is the bold story of Ned who turned on the British and foiled them night after night in daring robberies and such. Everyone needs heroes.

I actually remember my mother singing Ar Hyd y Nos to my baby sister when we were young. I remember it as "All Through the Night", and what a satisfying memory it is for me. Losing a parent when you are a child is devastating, but having such a wonderful recollection reminds me that she is always with me.

Perhaps your life is charmed when you have a goddess on your side. Bonnie Prince Charlie, a heroic figure of the 18th century who was much maligned, but true to his nobility had the goddess Éire praying for his return in the song Mo Ghile Mear (My Gallant Darling). A dramatic flourish of cymbals and strings emboldens the tune, making it a remarkable ballad. Sarahs' voice comes out of the misty hills of Scotland to tell the tale of this European soldier/poet.

The album closes with the incredibly soothing tune, Thugamar Féin an Samhradh Linn (We Brought the Summer With Us) Sarah has a sound that is timidly dulcet as she sings about the celebration on the first day of summer. There are lines about fertility and growth and such, but also a plea for the fairies who walk upon the earth to be kind.

Most of the music on the album is dreamy harp, guitar and strings that has a warm, fantasy quality to it that is enchanting, but that is to be expected considering the overall theme. Of the dozen tunes on Celtic Fairy Lullaby, two are sumptuous instrumentals, but vocals are definitely the showcase on this New Age recording. It does not take a Delphic oracle to see that 2002 (Randy and Pamela Copus) has ascended a musical plateau with the addition of Sarah Copus as lead vocalist. The view at the top must be spectacular for all. I can see that the candle burns low, the fairy babies are all asleep, and so I bid you a fair and goodnight.
Rating: Excellent   Excellent
- reviewed by RJ Lannan on 5/28/2016
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