Susie Hodder-Williams
& Chris Caldwell,
Mariner's Way
(independent, 2010)

The ghosts of ancient mariners walk in the mist-shrouded music on Mariner's Way. It is a tone poem about a path between sea ports with unearthly sounds: Susie Hodder-Williams plays flute, alto flute, bass flute and gamelan, while Chris Caldwell plays soprano and baritone sax, bass clarinet, singing bowl and gamelan.

Judging by the title, I thought the music would be sea chanteys and the like. I was wrong. The title refers to an ancient pathway in Devon, traversing across Dartmoor, England. Sailors took this path to go from one sea port to another. The CD begins and ends with the sound of a fog horn, but what is in between is about the land between ports that had to be crossed by mariners.

The haunting music -- titles include "Gingha Quartz," "Reindeer Moss," "Predawn," "Landfall" and "Kistvaens" -- evokes misty landscapes and long ago tales of men who braved the high seas. It is a mysterious sound that made me wish I could hike the ancient trail. I wanted to see the rocks and lie down in the reindeer moss. Music like this reaches places in the soul that cannot be accessed in any other way.

music review by
Barbara Spring

12 February 2011

Agree? Disagree?
Send us your opinions!

what's new