I discovered this talented Duo via its flutist on Twitter. Emily Andrews did what young people now do in place of a ‘cold call’ — she messaged me on Twitter to see if Audiophilia was interested in reviewing the duo’s debut CD. We like to promote talented youngsters in this new world of self promotion and imploding record companies.
I was under a misapprehension about the CD. For various reasons, I did not follow my mantra: ‘Must read notes before CD arrives’. Repeat! I assumed, as recent graduates of London’s prestigious Royal Academy of Music, we’d be receiving a very proper classical CD of flute/guitar with original or adapted repertoire. Wrong, and as it turns out, a very happy mistake on my part.
From the Roots is a CD of adapted folk music lovingly played and arranged by flutist Andrews and David Massey, guitarist. Improvisation and musical memory make up the framework for the arrangements. British folksongs like Early One Morning, Bold Grenadier, Molly Malone and Loch Lomond are included among others.
Fresh from the glorious sounds of the Vienna Philharmonic concert ringing in my ears and with a frustrated fistful of backlogged CDs (due to my month long waterlogged studio — the repairs were completed same day as the VPO concert), I placed the CD in the tray happy to hear anything via a high end system. What a lovely, fresh surprise. The arrangements are very musical, the playing is wonderful (both artists are exemplary instrumentalists) and the overdubs subtle (the arrangements begin with a flute/guitar track and then overdubbed with secondary lines of piccolo, penny whistles, steel string guitars, etc).
The recording environment is Duke’s Hall, a large space in the Academy with overdubs mixed by Massey. They have produced a gem of a recording. Audiophiles, take note. And, lovers of the genre, buy with confidence.