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Starfish

Catriona McKay

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Album Review

Although superb harpist Catriona McKay might be informed by the folk tradition of her native Scotland, her music moves far, far beyond that. She might work with Fiddler's Bid and folk artists, but she's also classically trained, and has a questing mind in her own compositions and interpretations. She's also the designer of the new Starfish McKay harp, which utilizes new tunings. On the basis of this, she's a real virtuoso who freely and readily crosses musical boundaries. The playing sparkles throughout Starfish (not only from McKay, but from all her accompanists), with "Swan LK243" a standout, while the reels that make up "Lums O' Lund" truly dance out of the speakers. She's also an accomplished composer and arranger with an ear not only for a strong melody but also how to develop it. The closer, "Mareel," ends the disc on a slightly different and more experiment note in a duet with laptop musician Alistair MacDonald, but it's still very accessible. This offers a good introduction to Catriona McKay's different musical facets — and every one of them is golden.

Starfish, Catriona McKay
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