Miranda Rutter - Bird Tunes

2024 studio album

Bird Tunes - Miranda Rutter

the bright young folk review

The singing of birds has moved artists and composers for centuries, and the many delightful sounds these fascinating animals can provide has been captured in one of the most spell-binding albums of recent years. Fiddler, composer and tutor Miranda Rutter recorded some fragments of different birds singing, starting from them to write new folk dance tunes for her latest release Bird Tunes, recorded with Sam Sweeney and Rob Harbron.

Sometimes she joined different phrases to create melodies out of bird singing, sometimes penned fitting answers to their notes, and in some sporadic tracks she just conceived lines out of simple listening; but the result is as coherent as it is mesmerising. Slow and delicate tunes such as The Lark Ascending Waltz alternate with more fast paced and foot-tapping ones such as the opener Blackbird Schottische, the bright Warbler’s Rant and the catchy Sandpiper’s March.

The album is also characterised by an effective and sometimes humorous interplay by actual bird singing and the newly composed tunes. This is the case on the final Golden Blackbird Jig and the slightly impressionistic Wudwud Birthday Jig. Rutter’s line-up only magnifies her work with well-calibrated settings, led by the warm tones of Harbron’s concertina and complemented by Sweeney’s trademark playing.

A contribution to spreading awareness of the dangers some species face, as well as being a diverse and original work and an intriguing bunch of new tunes; Bird Tunes is one of those concept albums not to be missed.

Michele Mele

Released by RobRec on May 1 2024

1. Blackbird Schottische
2. Wudwud Birthday Jig
3. Skylark Bourree / Lark Ascending Waltz
4. Our Fading Icons of Spring, the Cuckoo and the Nightingale
5. Warbler’s Rant
6. Three Barn Owls
7. Wren Bourrewe
8. The Mistle Thrush
9. Sandpiper’s March
10. Golden Blackbird Jig

Miranda Rutter discography