medieval music

Review: Mother Tongue ~ Graham Reid ~ Elsewhere


Reviewed by: Graham Reid

Although this enchanting album -- songs of the Sephardic Jews of Spain might seem a departure for Auckland-based jazz singer Carolina Moon, she has previously explored what we might call world music, although never with this depth and resonance.

These glorious songs -- intimate, yearning, emotional -- come from centuries ago but are here arranged for delicate piano (Kevin Field), guitars (Nigel Gavin), violin (Jessica Hindin), upright bass, hand drums and saxophones (Roger Manins). The effect is ancient music which sounds contemporary, and Moon has the vocal dexterity to explore the subtle glissandi of the style.

Where these effect a perfect marriage -- as on Como La Rosa where Moon stretches into jazz phrasing and embellishment, Yo Hanino tu hanina with keening violin and sax, the traditional Israeli song Yad Anuga -- they can be quite transporting and you could imagine yourself outside the wall of the Alhambra.

An album which embarks on a courageous journey but which will take you along for an exotic, often quite moving, voyage of discovery.

Mother Tongue Cover.jpg

Medieval Adventures in Melbourne

After being on hold for quite some time, I'm really happy to announce that my medieval project Carolina Moon is entering a new phase of life.

As from January 1st, I resumed my Doctoral studies and have just returned from Melbourne where I spent some days learning from and playing with (Prof) John Griffiths, a leading Australian medievalist, lutenist and vihuela player. It's the first time I've engaged with medieval performance style in a medieval context and we worked on some 13th and 15th century Spanish pieces. It was an absolutely brilliant experience and I can't wait to do it some more!

I'll be making some posts on FB if you'd like to follow my progress.

Wish me luck!