Andrew Cronshaw - The Unbroken Surface of Snow
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cd cover Andrew Cronshaw
The Unbroken Surface of Snow (Cloud Valley)
cdRoots Code: ac-3

British musician and composer Andrew Cronshaw is joined by the global ensemble of Tigran Aleksanyan, Ian Blake, Sanna Kurki-Suonio in a stunning but subtle new recording. These musicians bring to life a quiet, sometimes almost silent musical landscape the defies any genre or category you might try to put it in. Just listen!

Tracks (and samples)
1. Käärme (12:16)
2. Fujaruk (2:50)
3. The Unbroken Surface of Snow (34:35)
4. Mhàiri Mhìn Mheall-Shùileach (Gentle Dark-Eyed Mary) (4:18)
5. Im Hogutz (12:00)


More info:
Andrew Cronshaw is a bravely experimental British composer and multi-instrumentalist who is also a journalist. His last album, the much-praised Ochre, released seven years ago, matched English folk melodies against Middle Eastern instrumentation. Here he is joined by three other musicians, including Tigran Aleksanyan, a master of the Armedian duduk, for drifting and mostly instrumental compositions that include echoes of British or Armenian traditional melodies. Three tracks are duets with Aleksanyan, with Cronshaw playing the gently chiming zither, whistles, pipes or the enormous Slovak fujara flute. There's a solo zither treatment of a stirring Scottish traditional melody, and the remarkable 34-minute title track, based on a Finnish creation myth, on which zither and duduk are joined by clarinet, saxophone and singer Sanna Kurki-Suonio, apparently improvising the melody that suddenly enlivens this delicate, haunting exercise in glacial mood music. - The Guardian (UK)

About the recording:
Over the past few years English musical explorer Andrew Cronshaw, on deep-chiming electric zither, shivering fujara, silvery marovantele and more, and Armenian Tigran Aleksanyan, Armenian master of his country's exquisitely human-toned duduk, while being maestros of the still, quiet places, have shown with their dramatic, spacious music that they also create that wide, calm atmosphere, drawing in and mesmerising the audience, on the big outdoor stages of festivals. Silence writ large.

Cronshaw's new album, The Unbroken Surface of Snow, captures that essence. Creating a sense of serene silence, notes hanging in space, it draws the listener into a quiet, rich world and makes its own time.

As well as Cronshaw and Aleksanyan, it brings in British/Australian reeds player Ian Blake,and the great Finnish singer Sanna Kurki-Suonio (perhaps best known outside Finland as vocalist with the band Hedningarna).

Following the recording of the album and remarkably successful live shows in Finland in the summer of 2011, these four musicians have become a band, SANS, that makes its debut outside Finland in London on October 23rd 2011, and will be performing around the world in 2012 and onward.

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