Saturday, May 17, 2008

by Shawn & Amadeus

shawn said...
Here is Sylvia Woods (member of Robin Williamson's former Merry Band) with a treasure box of Celtic Harp.

Sylvia Woods "The Harp of Brandiswhiere" 1982
vinyl rip, mp3, 128 kbps,

01 - The Legend
02 - In The Forest
03 - Dialogue with a Brook
04 - Lament
05 - Gypsy Mirage
06 - Gourenspur
07 - The Harper's Vision
08 - Morning Calm
09 - Forest March
10 - Metamorphosis
11 - Brandiswhier's/Triumphant Return

The Harp of Brandiswhiere is the musical interpretation of an old Celtic legend about two harpers, Brandiswhiere and his apprentice/true love, Telena, who lived on the Island of Spring. An evil sorcerer, Gourenspur, created a mirage of gypsies dancing and singing to ensnare the harpers, but only caught Telena. When the mirage faded away, it took her with it.

Poor Brandiswhiere searched for Telena but could not find her. Early the next morning, he heard a shepherd playing a flute. He joined with his harp in a lament to Telena. He did find Telena's harp in the woods and she sent him a telepathic message by playing the harp and creating images in his mind, forewarning him of Gourenspur's evil magic.

Brandiswhiere did battle with Gourenspur, snatching the island back and forth between winter and spring. Eventually, Brandiswhiere won and Telena was released from the spell. Spring returned to the island forever.

This is an awesome collection of tunes. I loved every one and was torn between them for a favorite. "Morning Calm" is so relaxing! I put it on repeat when I went to bed and could feel myself relaxing and beginning to float away. It is the best 3:18 minutes of relaxation therapy to be found.

"Forest March" is a solid tune that will produce images of soldiers
stepping along in formation. It is well executed with appropriate
militaristic vocals. "Gourenspur" is a wickedly layered piece utilizing three types of harps and heavy percussion. It is out of this world. The wind chimes are so cool in "Metamorphosis." That selection also features Don Snyder whistling, which is quite interesting.

My favorite has to be "Gypsy Mirage." It has such an astounding
layering of instruments and moving parts. The walking acoustic bass is
bad to the bone, while the Marxophone kicks it into high gear. Once you add the pennywhistle, cimbalom, tambourine and percussion, you get enough depth to immerse yourself and get lost.

The list of instruments utilized in these compositions is extensive and
impressive. When you read through the list, you will feel the anticipation building. You know that you are in for a listening paradise.

Sylvia Woods - Celtic harp, finger cymbals, autoharp, metal-strung harp, Marxophone, percussion, Gwydion harp, wind harp,
xylophone and celeste

Christopher Caswell - (keyed wooden flute, pennywhistle)
Alexander Eppler - (Bulgarian kaval, cimbalom)
George Green - (drums)
John Hatton - (acoustic bass)
Don Snyder - (tambourine, whistle, wind chimes)
Don Nicoloff - (trumpet)
Buddy Collette - (silver flute)
Steven Mirkovich, Paul Petersen,
Conway Snider, Son Snyder and Tom Woods - vocals

I fell in love with this CD and cannot praise it enough. Even the fastest, most emphatic pieces are still relaxing and soothing. If you read the legend beforehand, you can follow the action through the musical selections and will envision much of what is happening. I recommend The Harp of Brandiswhiere highly.

There is a book that contains the complete legend, with full-color
illustrations and sheet music for this suite for piano or harp. It is
available from Woods Music & Books in Los Angeles, Calif.

(review written by Alicia Karen Elkins @, published 28
August 2004)

Listening to this wonderful CD always transports me! It evokes rich, magical images. It is hauntingly beautiful with lush and insteresting instrumentation. Sometimes I like to just have it playing quietly in the background... but my favorite thing ever was to have it playing loudly on my car stereo system as I drove through forests in the Pacific
Northwest. Magical things were sure to happen!!

Who but Sylvia Woods could have thought to write an entire suite for Celtic Harp! What a treat!

(an Amazon-reviewer)


Anonymous Jan said...

Thank you very much for this beautiful record.
It is very, very good!

Jan, Netherlands

18 May, 2008 23:09  
Anonymous jan said...

Do you have other music form Sylvia Woods

03 June, 2008 03:52  

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