Celtic contralto Kate Price has progressed from being a soundalike of
Loreena McKennitt (with the addition of
hammered dulcimer and piano, her favorite instruments) to being a sophisticated
arranger of jazz and ethnic arias in a Celtic context.
The Time Between (Priceless, 1993) contains six gentle and humble
psalms, vaguely inspired by Celtic ballads. Peaceweaver is the plaintive
core of the cycle, while The Lady And The Eagle indulges in the usual
appeal of ancestral ballads that has been in vogue since Donovan.
In addition, four instrumentals display her skills at fusing musical
traditions from different cultures:
Slavic Nights (for violin, accordion and hammered dulcimer),
the neoclassical Death Of The Queen (violin, recorded, piano),
Tango of the Flowers (guitar, violin, hammered dulcimer, percussion)
and SilverHeart (a renaissance-like duet between hammered dulcimer
add a deeply romantic vein that transcends any ethnic connotation and
represent the most impressive achievement of Kate Price.
Deep Heart's Core (Priceless, 1995) is a much more conventional
collection of Celtic songs. Indian instruments in Labyrinth or
the Slavic-inflected Rest Sweet Nymphs are not enough to redeem
the overall blandness.
As usual the instrumentals steal the show, but this time there are only
four, and only three are originals
(Rio Del Corazon, Place Of Spirit, Temple of the Wind)
and none is truly inspired.
The Isle Of Dreaming (Omtown, 2000) is scored for
cello, guitar, harp, sitar, tabla, oboe, English horn.
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