‘Turas’ by Marit Fält and Rona Wilkie stays with you long after the last notes fade(January 20, 2014)
Too often, blending styles and influences dilutes both. Sometimes the result works well, other times the blend feels forced with the’ joins’ all too evident. That’s not the case with the debut album from Marit Fält and Rona Wilkie – their partnership amalgamates contrasting themes, heritage and influences into a mix that forms a wonderfully coalesced entity.
The geographical resemblances between Scandinavia and the Scottish Highlands are there for all to see, the parallels in the indigenous music are not always so evident … and yet one listen to ‘Turas’ will change all that. The borders fall before the fusion, edges blur, yet the strength of each culture shines through and that’s the true beauty of this album as instruments and languages complement each other. Along with cittern, piano and a range of percussion, Marit plays låtmandola (or Nordic mandola) a relatively new instrumentdeveloped by Swedish multi-musician Ale Möller, which she brings to sparkling life. Rona plays fiddle, viola and hardanger fiddle a traditional Norwegian stringed instrument with eight or nine strings, four of which are strung and played like a violin, the rest being ‘understrings’ that resonate to give an evocative echo effect.
The result is an emphatic, melodic and rhythmic intermingling that will hold you engrossed. ‘Fhuair Mi Pòg’ opens and leads you softly into the blend, ahead of the lively language of ‘Tobar’ and haunting ‘Kilmartin Glen Campsite’, the energy of ‘The Reels’ is suitably infectious and highly melodic and ‘Rory's Dinosaur Jumper’stays with you long after the last notes fade.
‘Turas’ is available through Amazon, cdbaby.com, cdUniverse and others. Visit their new site: maritandrona.co.uk that's where you'll find Marit Fält and Rona Wilkie.
Reviewer: Dan Holland