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

Grizzly Bear: Veckatimest (Warp)

Grizzly Bear: Veckatimest (Warp)

The only problem New York's Grizzly Bear have as far as I can tell is that they are part of rock culture and, as with Fleet Foxes, are clearly a world away from any expectation that the word... > Read more

Various Artists: The Rough Guide to Psychedelic India (Rough Guide/Southbound)

Various Artists: The Rough Guide to Psychedelic India (Rough Guide/Southbound)

The on-going Rough Guide psychedelic series certainly throws up some fascinating – if not always strictly psychedelic – music from many corners of the globe. Elsewhere... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

MEREDITH MONK PROFILED (2013): Art for art's sake

MEREDITH MONK PROFILED (2013): Art for art's sake

New Yorker Meredith Monk (born 1942) has created a world of her own between the vocal art-music of Laurie Anderson, contemporary dance and cutting edge film, avant-theatre and that place Bjork... > Read more

Tahuna Breaks: Reflections (Chewy/Rhythmethod)

Tahuna Breaks: Reflections (Chewy/Rhythmethod)

While I understand the wide appeal of Fat Freddy's Drop -- a laidback distillation of reggae, soul and so forth -- it is too mellow for my taste. Tahuna Breaks -- who also distill elements of... > Read more