Notes & Reviews:
From Whence We Came is Ensemble Galilei's third studio album for Sono Luminus, and represents the exciting, rambling journey that the Ensemble has gone through in the 25 years they have played together. It is a collection of the ensemble's "best beloveds," as put by Carolyn Surrick, the viola da gambist. She explains: "Sue brought "Miss Abbott," a tune she wrote years ago for her mother and I brought "Uti Dahlin," a Swedish song sung by my great-grandmother to her children. Jackie brought "Amy's" and "Sophie's Slip Jig," the first a tune written for his wife, the second for his daughter. I wrote "Lindsay's Keys" for my dear friends' wedding and "Ginger's," a chant for strength and faith. I first heard "Innerståfrid'n (Innermost Peace)," and "Vals efter 'Jonte i Byom" at Walter Reed, not always a place for cheery, upbeat music. These tunes perfectly express a solemn, soulful, reflection of a world where goodness does not always triumph and darkness is not a curse. There are storied histories to the other tunes - Ryan's long and deep love of Scottish music made manifest in the "Sitting on the Stern of the Boat" set, Isaac and his pipe set from Ireland, Kathryn Montoya's perfect partnership with Jackie on "John Come Kiss Me Now," and the Telemann and Marais, pieces for the gamba that have been a part of my life for more than thirty years." Founded in 1990, Ensemble Galilei is an ensemble of players from both classical and Celtic backgrounds, playing Irish and Scottish airs and dance tunes, early and medieval music, and original compositions. This recording features Isaac Alderson (uilleann pipes, Irish flute, whistle), Ryan McKasson (fiddle), Kathryn Montoya (baroque oboe and recorder), Jackie Moran (drums, percussion, banjo, vocals), Sue Richards (Celtic harp), and Carolyn Surrick (viola da gamba). The Ensemble takes their name and inspiration from the life of composer Vincenzo Galilei, whose influence, some four hundred years ago, helped restore a vital element of passion to the music of the day. The Ensemble infuses ancient music with a spirit of improvisation and liveliness. To achieve their unique Celtic sound, Ensemble Galilei has melded the elegance of chamber music with the energy and excitement of traditional music. An intricate blend of instruments grants listeners passage to another world, evoking musical images of the ancient Celts and bringing these images to life for today's audiences. They have performed and toured globally for almost twenty-five years, and have been featured on multiple recordings and radio performances. They have notably collaborated with National Geographic in the documentary "First Person: Stories from the Edge of the World" and with the Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibit for "First Person: Seeing America."
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