After an almost three decades long collaboration, German fiddler and singer Gudrun Walther and English melodeon maestro Andy Cutting release their first album as a duo. Conversations includes both traditional and more modern tunes, along with songs from these two artists’ countries of origin, a well-calibrated selection of material arranged with spontaneity.
Even a quick read of the titles reveals the international flavour of the eleven tracks: tunes like Sheffield Fair / Ravens Hornpipe, Island of Woods and Tiny / The Trooper Penguins are side by side with tunes and songs like Aar Polska, Polonaise n. 15 and Kommt ihr Gespielen. However, the overall result is a very coherent collection that effortlessly flows through jigs, polskas, reels and hornpipes until the airy and evocative finale of Gangar Shadows.
Starting from a melody, these two experienced musicians develop their own rendition of every tune, floating around each other, designing warm harmonies and atmospheres and giving these compositions a new life. Everything sounds intimate and genuine, with the exquisite skills of both artists shining on every track, but never overshadowing the tunes themselves.
If there are still people thinking folk music is an exercise in repetition, Conversations will make them change their minds. A highly recommended album for both neophytes of the genre and for long time fans, which proves that music knows no borders.Michele Mele
Released on CD and digitally 3 November 2023 on Artes Records
1. Sheffield Fair / Raven’s Hornpipe
2. Kommt ihr Gespielen
3. Aar Polska
4. April Snow
5. Island of Woods
6. Tiny / The Trooper Penguins
7. Polonaise no. 15
8. Nach Gruner Farv
9. Miss Lindsey Barker
10. Greenfield House
11. Gangar Shadows