Spiro: Welcome Joy and Welcome Sorrow (Real World/Southbound)

 |   |  1 min read

Spiro: Orrery
Spiro: Welcome Joy and Welcome Sorrow (Real World/Southbound)

Given the similarity of the styles – repetition, if nothing else – it should come as little surprise that some instrumental folk music can be alarmingly close to the minimalism of Philip Glass, Steve Reich et al.

This British quartet – violin/viola, mandolin, piano and guitar/cello – undertake a number of traditional English tunes but in their intensity and reworkings of what sound like reels and jigs to outside ears can occupy the same terrain as contemporary classical players influenced by the likes of Terry Riley, the Penguin Cafe Orchestra (on the delicate Orrery and sprightly The Vapourer) and others along the same line.

You would assume (and perhaps hope) that when they play this year's Taranaki Womad (details below) they would place heavy emphasis on the upbeat danceable end of their spectrum because this album – as with their earlier Kaleidophonica of 2012, about which we said, “sometimes as annoying as any folk-minimalism, at other times soaring and transcendent” – is demanding, if sometimes gripping home listening.

At an outdoor concert they must surely stoop a little, or a lot, to conquer.

After all, the played pubs so . . .

On record here they are perhaps more for open-minded classical minimalists than Anglo-folk fans and hands-in-the-air Womad dancers.

resized__600x254_e431b816_ee33_4c35_a990_b9bfde5fadcd

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Eli Paperboy Reed: Come and Get It (Capitol)

Eli Paperboy Reed: Come and Get It (Capitol)

The previous album by this white boy singin' soul music -- Roll With You -- was considered a Best of Elsewhere 2008 release but didn't quite make it into mainstream media or thinking. This time... > Read more

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2009 St Vincent:Actor (4AD)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2009 St Vincent:Actor (4AD)

Not having heard the (apparently) much acclaimed debut Marry Me by St Vincent (aka Annie Clark out of Texas) means coming to her particular talents with fairly high expectations -- and she doesn't... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE WORLD MUSIC QUESTIONNAIRE: John Convertino of Calexico

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE WORLD MUSIC QUESTIONNAIRE: John Convertino of Calexico

Elsewhere has interviewed Joey Burns of Tucson's Calexico previously, but now with the band coming to this year's Womad (see dates below) we thought it timely to flick our Famous Elsewhere World... > Read more

MAD ABOUT THE BEATLES (2016): John, Paul, George, Ringo and Alfred

MAD ABOUT THE BEATLES (2016): John, Paul, George, Ringo and Alfred

Of course Mad magazine -- which had been skewering popular culture since its inception in the early Fifties -- would take an interest in the Beatles. Their hairstyles and distinctive appearance... > Read more