Horses Brawl - Wild Lament

2009 studio album

Wild Lament - Horses Brawl

the bright young folk review

Horses Brawl, the very talented Norfolk-based duo of Laura Cannel and Adrian Lever have been together for about five years. With the former on recorders and fiddle and the latter on acoustic guitar. A guest on this album is early music specialist Philip Thorby on viol. Together they produce a truly memorable sound.

Entirely instrumental, the music certainly has it’s roots in traditional folk in the broadest sense. The guest’s specialty says much as it has a very definite "early" feel. I say "feel" deliberately because Laura and Adrian cleverly re-work or indeed rewrite tunes from at least as far back as the thirteen hundreds.

On many occasions the pieces are woven together from fragments and phrases of early music that are sometimes quite disparate. In fact the breadth of the source material is fascinating, from fourteenth century Italian Court music though traditional English folk to Bulgarian wedding tunes.

The musicianship is excellent and through use of a variety of playing techniques, very varied. Tourdion, the first track is a good example of what’s to come. Blending French, Spanish and Irish tunes in a delightful interwoven composition. Track two has two fine maggots (repeating tunes), the second of which is played quite ferociously, joined by a fine Northumbrian pipe tune.

This is a great album. Don’t let any doubts about "ancient music" put you off, this is no hollow replica, this has all the wit and fire of music created yesterday.

Martin Pain

Released by Brawl on 8 June 2009.

1. Tourdion - 4:55
2. Maggots - 3:56
3. Merula - 5:20
4. Loyaute - 5:15
5. Ave Maria - 5:04
6. L’ymage - 4:43
7. Psalm 33 - 3:40
8. Pase el Agoa - 4:50
9. The Bonny Miller - 5:33
10. In Aeternum - 5:17

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Laura Cannell