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One World Music Radio

Calanais By Lissa-Käthe

Review by Steve Shephard OWMR 

It’s been too long since we have heard from the lovely Lissa-Käthe; she was a onetime presenter on OWMR with her show Souls Australis and of course released her debut album Satori back in 2012. However she is now back with a brand new release, this time the focus is on the harp and her Celtic musings

So let’s take a voyage across the seas with Lissa and take in the sights and sounds of a Celtic journey through her latest work Calanais. We start our journey with the piece entitled The Sprite, I have no idea why, but this track reminds me in energy of the Tarot card, the Fool. That card is about beginning a new journey and here Käthe does just that with a delicacy of performance and some delightful percussion, namely on the Bodhran.

She now follows that up with the next offering called Kun Mun Kultani Tulisi; a Finish song which I believe may translate to something like Shall My Darling Come. Lissa-Käthe’s performance here is really deep and imploring, the percussion, including bells is beautifully partnered by her magical Harp.

We now move to a piece called Grǒne Lunden; the artist moves location slightly with this offering and gives us a Swedish chant. The wooden recorder was absolutely perfect for setting the scene, while the Bodhran set a delightful tempo that made this piece really colourful to listen to, the graphic nature of this composition created images of a meeting place for lovers with ease.

One of the most vibrant and sun kissed pieces off this album is this one called Amaryllis. I adored the lightness of touch on Harp by the artist and the percussion worked so well with the accordion and synth flutes, that it created a real segway to the next composition entitled Spinning Song.Once you listen to this I’m pretty sure you going to say to yourself that it seems somewhat familiar. Spinning Song is of course a traditional folk song that I believe originates from the Shetland Isles. Just to show you how to craft an album perfectly, the artist even feature an actual spinning wheel within this track that you can enjoy as a scene setter.

We now approach the half way mark and come across another short form composition called Drummond Castle. The gentle jig is named after the castle in Perth. There is also a certain assertiveness and confidence about this performance that deserves multiple listens.

So we can now gaze down into the valley of the last half of the album while we listen to the vocals and Harp of the artist on this next piece called Twa Corbies. This is a reflective and quite dark song that mixes a tale of sadness, and combines it with some absolutely excellent performances and multi instrumentational brilliance, it was also good to hear a 12 string guitar again; something not used that much now in this genre.

There is a real sense of movement within this next piece called Stac Pollaidh. Lissa-Käthe’s fond memories of rock climbing in Scotland can be found within this melody, but also you can feel the longing of the artist to be back there again. Now through this repeating motif and quite ambient offering that desire can be met through the music.

An old Robert Burns ballad is now recanted through the track Leezie Lyndsey. There is a delightful energy about this piece, which is so addictive, the artist has taken this song and brought it right up to date, and through the multi instrumentational nature of the performance she has created an extra dimension for us to roam within.

Now here is one that will raise the rhythms, it’s called Celtic Wind on the Ring of Steall. The symbiotic nature of this track and the minor nature of the arrangement are a story teller’s delight. The Ring of Steall is around the Ben Nevis area and one can feel through the energy of this track and its addictive tempo, the true passion of the moment, this is vibrant Celtic music at its very best.

There is a deep resonance in this next one that can almost be touched; it is called Ferry to Stornoway. This is a very delicate offering, the ethereal vocals conjure up misty waters and a mesmeric ocean, as only the sea can be. Through Käthe’s performance one can really see the artist has given this her all and draws a compelling narrative of her journey.

We’re finally here, the voyage has been long and exciting and we now stand before the Calanais Stones themselves. Lissa-Käthe literally takes us with her to this mystical location, the brightness and colourful positive lyrics really show the delight of the moment she experienced, and now we can be there with her. I could indeed see this one as being released as a single; this is also my personal favourite piece off the release too.

So now it is time for the penultimate offering from the album called Sacred Ground, the respectful nature of this track is really time worn, one can feel through it that there is a real longing to carry that respect on through the generations, a sense of a real home can also be found here too. This fine instrumental offering is so charming and completely honest in its construction.

Driftwood as a composition speaks for us all, for all our journeys must end at some stage, the artist sojourn in the Celtic isles has now come to a close, but for her and now for us, those memories and musical stories will last for as long as we wish. This gentle slice of Harp by Lissa-Käthe is simply the perfect end to a really lovely album.

I sense the artist really needed to create this album, for me I would say it was a true labour of love for her and one that has now been completed. Now that this tapestry of musical storytelling has been fulfilled, we too can always gaze back upon this moment, we can revel once more in the gentleness of a sublime performance on Harp by the artist, and follow her on the path at any time we wish, for this is one of the best journeys in music I have heard for quite some time.

Calanais by Lissa-Käthe is a sublime album, a fine collection of smooth and peace filled tracks, constructed out of a memory of a time, when she was who she really wanted to be, free and uncomplicated with the winds of nature as her constant companion, a splendid release indeed.

One World Music Radio

This has been an album that OWR has long been waiting to sample in its desired completion; at last the entire world can sample a great debut title called “Satori” By Lissa-Käthe.

Lissa-Käthe has many times been likened to Kate Bush, while there are similarities she has a defined style of her own and her musical skills on various instruments can be heard in great effect on this release.

“Your Light” starts off a journey through the mind body and soul and we can as listeners feel that angelic trip begin in a wary but emotional journey.  'Piano Cloud” I love, it’s like a break through away from the earth bound senses and away up as the storm releases.

The following track, the outstanding “Colours”. As a musician and music lover, I loved the start of “Colours” this reminds me of my early meditative journeys and the many chakra inspired colours that indeed swirled around. The gentle bass and delicate almost Pink Floyd style piano makes this one of my favorite tracks on the album.

“Collide Stars” And “Collide Water” are just that, a musical interpretation of the basic structures of life, lets break down this amazing Universe of ours and see we are a part of it all, lets break down water, collide the molecules and see what happens, here Lissa-Käthe's playing is a purposeful melodic sojourn through the inner depths of the mind’s eye, a wonderful almost Celtic feel at times with the use of the flute and gentle harmonies.

After speaking to Lissa-Käthe, the next track Octavia, made more sense, here she is in first contact with her higher self. This emotional and almost sad song is that moment we all have where doubt creeps in, are we being true to ourselves? Are we really on the right path? Questions upon questions and while we search our confused minds for some conformation the only true way is to let go and trust in the you that really does know the bigger picture, here Lissa-Käthe's song explains all of this and the final lift of freedom from insecurity is felt by this deeply moving composition and the longest track of the album.

“Satori” has been a refreshing album to both listen to and to write a review on and I applaud Lissa Kathe’s courage on this her first release. She is truly a musician who likes to investigate and try our new things, here we see a track with a percussive feel to it with the rhythmic piece “Soaring Imagination” as the journey now continues with the release of self doubt and a new trusting courage which grows within this powerful track.

“Wise” a more vocal lead composition with flute really takes me back a few years to a more traditional folk based style piece, here Lissa-Käthe has grown visibly on the album and in her life journey and is now the sage, both as musician and as a person. Here understandably people will once draw a connection with Kate Bush through this track.

A deep and moving piano starts off Prussian blue, I remember this track as being the first one that I came into contact with Lissa-Käthe by the medium of You Tube and it gives me great pleasure to see it now appear rightfully on her debut album. Once more here in my opinion Lissa-Käthe is showing her emotions through this emotive composition.

The penultimate track is the tile of the album “Satori” we hope you have had your awakening to the amazingly beautiful music of Lissa-Käthe through this broadcast and will enjoy both the delicate track “Satori” and the album, which shows her literal spiritual journey through music and the much varied styles and instruments within what is truly a landmark collection for Lissa-Käthe.

So to finally the last track on the album ”Grace” a musical statement of the journey now completed, the feeling of grace and calm that washes over you is something that was always there, but hard to attain.
Lissa-Käthe’s honest song tells it how it is and almost a call that you too can achieve such grace and peace by just believing in yourself. By doing this and trusting in her higher self and her amazing abilities as a musician, Lissa-Käthe in my opinion has taken a huge step she will never regret, the beauty of this peace, the piano and flute fills the last few refrains with a beauty and grace we hope you have felt during listening to LISSA-KÄTHE and SATORI on One World Radio.  -Steve Sheppard

UK Songwriting Awards 2011

**7 x Semi-Finalist and 3 Commended in the UK Songwriting Competition 2010

 

**Finalist for the International Tipperary Song Of Peace 2011 - Performing in the Tipperary Grand Final June 5 2011

The Music Critic

"Her skills as an arranger/composer are formidable and are the strongest part of this 5-track EP" The Music Critic 2011

Online Music/Artist Reviews

 "It flows like water, very beautiful" - (on Hush Now) Del Palmer

 

"Awesome music and voice, one of the great artists I ever heard!! The View From Here" is a masterpiece" NEATICA

 

"BEA-UTI-FUL a great journey through your universe"- Aurelie Decamps

 

"Your music is so atmospheric and dreamlike, it takes me to another place in time" Fan reply - Laura

 

"A musician of great perception and harmonic sense" Bruce Menzies Armidale Symphony Orchestra Musical Director/Conductor

RedHotVelevet -Independent Music Reviews

Her talent on piano, alongside her use of Fretless Bass and button Accordion, shines through - Matt Gardner- RedHotVelvet

Edinburgh News Paper

ED NEWS

International Songwriters and Composers

3rd Quarter Publication 2011

Front Cover ISCM AUG 2011

International Composers Mag 2011International Composers Mag 2011

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