Composed in 2011 under the impulse of the pianist and composer Anne Quillier, the group brings together six musicians all animated by a deep desire to explore writing and improvisation, combining the alchemy of timbres and harmonies, , Exaltation and unlimited improvisation. Their new album will be released on January 13, 2017 on the label Pince Oreilles and distributor Inouie Distribution.
It's curious why there are not more compositions for cello and guitar duo. The two overlap greatly in range, have wonderfully complementary timbres, and possess virtually none of the inherent balance problems encountered when pairing the cello with the more commonplace piano. The guitar is often thought of in term of Spanish or Latin-influenced music, and though there have been many compositions written for the cello by composers from these parts of the world, precious few have bothered to incorporate the guitar as a duo partner.
If a listener approaches Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh's new album expecting to hear traditional interpretations of Celtic folk songs, he or she will probably be disappointed. If, on the other hand, a listener approaches Daybreak: Fáinne an Lae as contemporary folk that borrows a thing or two from tradition, he or she will find it quite enjoyable. Part of the problem in how to interpret her music is that even her name, Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh, hints at tradition, as does the album's title. And it doesn't help that she sings a number of old folk songs in her native tongue, again hinting at a commitment to traditionalism. But whatever language Amhlaoibh sings, and whether the songs come…
Until the arrival of the Sugarcubes, jazz fusion band Mezzoforte was Iceland’s best-known musical export. The group was formed in 1977 at a Reykjavik high school by Fridrik Karlsson (b. 24 April 1960; guitar), Eythór Gunnarsson (b. 9 September 1961; keyboards), Jóhann Ásmundsson (b. 30 March 1961; bass), and Gunnlaugur Briem (b. 8 September 1962; drums). They signed a recording contract with local label Steinar, and with the assistance of Stefán S. Stefánsson (saxophone) recorded their debut album. Bjorn Thorarensen (keyboards) joined in time for the recording of the band’s second long-player. Kristinn Svavarsson (saxophone) was featured on the exuberant ‘Garden Party’, which was a Top 20 hit in the UK in 1983.