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Tirill - Said the Sun to the Moon CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

4.12 | 71 ratings

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Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
5 stars By this point, the idea of a female folk singer writing songs about nature is virtually a clich', but it's hardly surprising that it would take an intelligent artist like Tirill Mohn to actually deliver something truly thought-provoking and significant with the concept. A member of Norwegian symphonic group White Willow a lifetime ago, Tirill has released several sublime prog-folk solo releases over the past fifteen-plus years, but `Said the Sun to the Moon' is perhaps her most intimate, precious and thought-provoking work to date.

In her own words, `Said the Sun...' is Tirill's ode to `the shift of the seasons, to the beauty of nature in all its phases, and to the human heart that wanders along with it.' Not a concept album as such, rather a themed collection where each side of vinyl covers two seasons, she presents a series of gentle folk tunes, spoken word interludes, delicate instrumentals, sensitive covers and evocative sound-collages with the help of several musical acquaintances, but it's her wistful and compassionate voice that constantly shines front and center throughout.

`Autumn's restrained trickles of harp make for a pretty little opener, but it's Tirill's stark retelling of Nick Drake's `Clothes of Sand' that couldn't be in better hands. All the sensitivity and aching longing she always conveys so impeccably on her works carries this mournful lament, and the groaning cello, weeping violin and a raw urgency to Tirill's acoustic plucks perfectly capture the words of pining to be with a passed love. The most delicate wisps of her exquisite multi-part harmonies then flit around the gentle breeze that is her take on traditional English folk tune `Under the Harvest Moon'.

After `Winter's haunting gothic ballad, Tirill's reinterprets American poet Mark Strands' `Lines for Winter' as a low-key aural collage of acoustic drones, chilly distortion and tolling chimes, retitled to `Under the Small Fire of Winter' and urging the listener to find traces of hope, renewing spirit and hope through the cold of disillusionment and disappointment. But it's instrumental `To the Realms of the Spirit' that reveals true magic, where the most sweetly swooning violin and acoustic guitar weave an endless world of romance together, making for a fanciful and endlessly beautiful way to close out the first side of the LP.

`Spring' teems with the promise of sprightly new life, the delicately touching `Shapes of a Dream' is an elegant acoustic ballad that drifts to heavens of longing and pensive reflection on Tirill's gently cooing sighs, and `Said the Sun to the Moon', setting Kathleen Jessie Raine's poem `Changes' to a dreamy, almost medieval-tinged backing is a metaphorical musing on the inevitable cycle of change that affects all living things.

After `Summer' (another brief interlude that, like all the season titled pieces that popped up on this LP before it, offers interpretations of meditative verses found within Austrian philosopher Rudolof Steiner's contemplation of nature, `The Calendar of the Soul'), `Beneath the Midnight Sun' reminds that all the ballads Tirill duets with a male singer on, in this instance longtime vocal collaborator Dagfinn Hobęk, are always wonderful highlights of her solo discs. But closer `Iridescent Horizon' is the most special moment, being an all-original poem of intangible, dream-like imagery by Tirill, blessed with a transcendent aural backing. Her increasingly breathless recitation purrs through delicate slivers of ethereal guitar strains, and the entire piece unveils a shimmering, vivid ambiance.

This is the kind of quietly ambitious musical undertaking that encourages the listener to conduct their own further research into the influences and inspirations found within it, and yet, all the while, it's wrapped in sweetly reflective tunes that take time and endless listens to properly appreciate, and to discover how deceptively multi-layered, subtly complex and richly expressive the whole suite is. Rife with surreal lyrical imagery delivered vocally with restraint, careful thought and a joyful affection for life and all its natural beauty, `Said the Sun to the Moon' is another artistic musical triumph from the defiantly original folk artist that is Tirill.

Five stars for prog-folk lovers.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 5/5 |


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