Review Archive

Sarah-Jane Summers and Juhani Silvola - a unique partnership

(October 07, 2013)

When Sarah-Jane Summers joined forces with Juhani Silvola and Morten Kvam to create ‘Mala Fama’ the result was entrancing. This time with their new self-titled album, Sarah-Jane and Juhani Silvola express Sarah-Jane and Juhanithe intimacy they’ve forged through a fiddle and guitar duo that sets a standard for others to follow, and together they’re heading to wholly exciting and delightful shores.

The music on this album ranges across the rich wealth of traditional tunes crafted by a duo unafraid to innovate and improvise adding to the potency of the original blend wtih their own individual styles. From the opener ‘Lassie An’ Siller An’ A’s My Ain’ with its sublime fluidity, through the moody tones of ‘Itzikel’ and the enigmatic exquisiteness of ‘Portobello Smile’ to the darkly haunting narrative of ‘Caisteal a’ Ghlinne’ there’s never moment when you’re not captivated.

Having followed Sarah-Jane’s musical voyage for some years, I have no reservations in repeating my opinion that this lady will stand with the great Scottish fiddlers. There’s a breathing essence and essential empathy between Sarah-Jane and her instruments that transcends the ordinary and lifts her playing to a visceral level where artist and instrument become one entity. Added to that is Juhani’s instinctive, elemental touch on the guitar strings and his innate ability to work across melodies with levels of innovation and expression envied by many.

With heritage and influence largely from Scotland and naturally a soupcon of Finland, Sarah-Jane on fiddle and Hardanger fiddle, with Juhani Silvola on acoustic guitar have together created a unique partnership. The result is music that touches you on a primal level - eye-wateringly beautiful, lovingly crafted and finely expressed.

The album is released on 22 November 2013 on Dell Daisy records through Proper and Higlander – find out more here:

Reviewer: Tim Carroll

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