Review Archive

‘Between Two Lights’ by Jeff Stockton - original traditional music observing the turning year

(February 18, 2014)

Whenever I experience this time of year it always engenders powerful feelings of natural forces pulling Between Two Lightsin opposing directions, the dark winter months struggle to maintain their grip while the impulse of coming spring continues to forge ahead. There’s an album of original traditional music, called ‘Between Two Lights’ composed and arranged by harpist, storyteller and singer Jeff Stockton that encapsulates those sensations and illustrates the instance of being ‘between two lights’.

Through a carefully woven tapestry of harp, percussion, violin and cello this album celebrates a transient time in the turning of the wheel of the year. A time when we sit on the cusp of long nights giving way to long days, as the crone of winter awaits the birth of the maiden spring. The ‘Prelude’ of Irish Gaelic vocals and harp creates an ethereal dreamscape that persists throughout.One Song involves instruments and voice in a jubilant salutation to the coming lightbefore the purely instrumental ‘Festivale’, combines an original harp piece with the traditional ‘Moon & Seven Stars’

Recalling the ancient custom of ‘singing in the sun’ from the security of the fireside, the soft melody of ‘Midwinter Fires’ longs for the cold fingers of winter to relax their hold, ahead of the subtle energy of percussion overlaid with dancing strings that creates ‘Priest of the Sun’. A cello hails the pulsing percussive rhythm of ‘Grandfather Fire’ with its faintly soothing melody, while scintillating harp evokes the elemental fascination of gazing into the depths of a fire. Having opened with a musical preface, it’s to be expected that ‘Between Two Lights’ has a suitable closure, this is provided by Postlude’, with Irish Gaelic, harp, voice and fading echoes.

The ancient traditions of life have not gone, in some worlds they merely sleep, in others they remain as constant as ever.

You can enter into that spiritual world even for a moment, if you allow ‘Between Two Lights’ to take you there. Find the music and Jeff Stockton

Reviewer: Tim Carroll

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