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To hear tracks or for downloads go to bandcamp
Steve Tyler - hurdy gurdies, cittern, reed organ, psaltery, guitar, bass guitar, hammered dulcimer, gothic harp, percussion.
Katy Marchant - bagpipes (tracks 5, 8), shawm (track 4), recorder (tracks 3, 5), voice (track 7)
Mike Edwards – bass viol (track 7) from a sample recorded in 2007
Jane Harbour - voice and violin (track 9)
Water (track 5) from Libbet’s Well, Crediton, Devon
1. The Second Law 5’ 11”
2. Chronophage 6’ 45”
3. Utopia Regained 2 ’55”
4. Caladrius 6’ 09”
5. The Great Unconformity 8’ 46”
6. Tierceron 4’ 00”
7. Tethys 6’ 22”
8. Exercise Two 11’ 52”
9. Lullaby 7’ 02”
Total 59’ 04”
This is the first CD by hurdy gurdy player Steve Tyler fully comprising his own compositions. The intention was merely to render in sonic form some patterns from the imagination, rather than following any particular theme or genre. However, as many of the pieces arose from contemplation of the passage of time and the juxtaposition of different chronological perspectives, a theme of sorts has arisen.
The music comprises multi-layered textures and interlocking patterns based around the distinctive sound of the hurdy gurdy but also including other instruments – cittern, reed organ, psaltery, guitar, bass guitar, hammered dulcimer, gothic harp and percussion. Guest musicians add other instruments - Katy Marchant playing bagpipes, recorder, shawm or voice on a number of tracks and Jane Harbour (from the Bristol band Spiro) jointly creating the final track Lullaby with voice and violin.
The other notable addition is the bass viol playing of the late Mike Edwards. Mike, a former cellist from the original lineup of Electric Light Orchestra, had previously performed and recorded in a band with Steve but was sadly killed in an unlikely accident in 2010. He was always interested in new projects and it was felt that he would have loved to play on the spacious track Tethys, following the ethereal, textless singing of Katy Marchant. A single sample of his unaccompanied improvising from 2007 was found and it miraculously fitted, as if he had had this piece in mind at the time.
It is like something never heard but also, at the same time, as if our heart knew it.
– Julie Mackinnon, DecibelFM
It's totally gorgeous!!! Mesmeric, rich with creativity, full of flavour, surprising, at times dark but then infused with light, exploratory - really transporting.
– Leah Stuttard, medieval harpist and scholar.
Hypnotic, and terrific. Its mad grandeur makes me want to throw back my head and stretch out my arms to a dark sky pierced by a billion stars.
An unexpected, highly recommended surprise. Play it loud.
- Chris Manners, TykesStirrings