Cusan Tan,
Kiss of Fire
(Firebird Music, 1992)

This album of mostly original Welsh music incorporates a wide assortment of acoustic instruments, including flute, cello, harp, guitar and piano. The arrangements were ingeniously crafted, each using only the instruments that best accentuate the mood and timbre of the piece. The first piece swells with a haunting flute line, introducing the listener to the mystery of the music to come. Ann Morgan Jones and Sue Jones Davies both have beautiful voices, which blend together into a sensuous sound.

All the songs have Welsh lyrics; fortunately, the liner notes include translations. The translations aren't nearly as poetic as the sound of the original Welsh, however. The vocals are backed by Robin Huw Bowen, John Rodge, Arthur Gwynn Morgan Davies, Robert Davies and Dafydd E. Unfortunately, the musical instruments used and credit for who plays what is not included. There are several striking a cappella pieces, a wonderfully lush instrumental that features Robin Huw Bowen on the Welsh triple harp, and many other gems. Kiss of Fire will be a treasured find for anyone interested in Welsh or acoustic folk music.

[ by Jo Morrison ]