Celeste Ray Ensemble | Strings of Gold

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United States - New York

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Folk: Irish Traditional World: Celtic Moods: Solo Female Artist
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Strings of Gold

by Celeste Ray Ensemble

Folk music blends with traditional Irish Celtic songs, both ballads and upbeat Irish step dance tunes. A tribute to keeping traditional music alive and well. Also included are three original pieces in Celtic/World genre featuring voice and Bowed Psalter
Genre: Folk: Irish Traditional
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Battle of Aughrim / Cattle in the Corn
2:39 $0.99
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2. Scarborough Fair
3:21 $0.99
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3. Star of the County Down
1:27 $0.99
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4. Come by the Hills
3:02 $0.99
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5. O'Carolan's Farewell to Music
2:34 $0.99
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6. Whiskey in the Jar
3:21 $0.99
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7. Swaggering Jig
1:32 $0.99
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8. Too Ra Loo Ra Loo Ral (That's An Irish Lullaby)
2:35 $0.99
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9. Minstrel Boy / Ashgrove
2:52 $0.99
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10. Blessing for Setting Forth
4:04 $0.99
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11. Psaltery Danse, No. 1
3:18 $0.99
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12. Glenbeigh Hornpipe / Mary Pickens
3:19 $0.99
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13. To a Skylark
5:02 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Celeste Ray, a native of Los Angeles, began her musical studies at age six. Positively influenced by parents who played classical piano and flamenco guitar, Celeste's imagination was captivated by the piano early in life. As a teenager firmly trained in classical music, she began exploring contemporary composers Bill Evans, Oregon and Pat Metheny. Her current influences include Loreena McKennitt, Bill Whelan(Riverdance)and Enya.

Celeste is the founding member the "Four Celtic Voices" show also featuring Erin Hill. Managed by CMI Entertainment, Inc.,"Four Celtic Voices" performs regionally on the East Coast at Universities, Colleges and Performing Arts Centers. Recently the group sold out at the Egg Performing Arts Center in Albany.

Performing on the Double Bowed Psaltery was quoted by Los Angeles Times critic Josef Woodard as "ethereal and other-worldly..her voice is a warm and pleasant instrument".

Ray's diverse and eclectic background includes a tour of Australia for six months during 1997, where she was commissioned to compose a musical scheduled for national release. Her tour also included performances on the bowed psaltery for Australia's national radio station (ABC), and the Government House.

Ms. Ray's first internationally released CD, "Place With a View," features a lineup of impressive guest artists including Steve Kujala (Chick Corea) and Alex Acuna (Weather Report). Ms. Ray plays piano, handles all the writing, and introduces her unique vocal style, which impressed long time mentor Paul McCandless. "Celeste's melodic compositions, and especially her vocals, give the music a sound which is instantly identifiable..I am impressed!" said McCandless.

Paul McCandless is featured on "The Gateway," Celeste's second internationally released CD. Inspired by Arthurian and Celtic legends, "The Gateway" weaves mytho-poetic stories within a contemporary musical landscape. It creates an eclectic combination of rich Celtic tones and textures from traditional instruments such as flute, recorder, oboe and cello with the sound of world instruments such as dumbek, bohdran, and pennywhistles. Celeste Ray's dynamic compositions feature her lyric vocal styling along with impressive piano and psaltery arrangements and performances.

Celeste Ray's third album "Celtic Blessings," was made possible by a grant received from the Arts Alliance of Ventura County. "Celtic Blessings," inspired by ancient Celtic poems, reflects both original and traditional melodies illuminating the Celtic heart and soul. Her journeys throughout the UK and Ireland provided a wellspring of sacred sources for her imagination to draw upon. The Los Angeles Times describes her latest CD as "a sound at once fresh and other-worldly...her distinct calling card is her skill with the relatively obscure bowed psaltery and her voice is a warm and pleasant instrument."

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Reviews


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ON THE ROAD WITH JUDY

Absolutely Thrilling!
I listened to Celeste's cd over and over, always feeling inspired, and wanting more! Would recommend you buy one for yourself and all your family and friends as well. Her music commands us to listen and after hearing it you will understand why!

Judy Jones
http://www.ontheroadwithjudy.com
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Alternative Rock Review/Elizabeth Jacobsen

"Psaltery Danse No. 1" is a knockout and her wonderous voice...
Likely to cross over into New Age fandom is this pleasing homage to Celtic music, sounding so authentic that you almost feel as if you're in Ireland. "Scarborough Fair" and "Whiskey in the Jar" are as classical sounding as they should. Combining instrumentals with vocal tracks, Ray is able to display both her skills with the bowed psaltery and her wonderous voice, which is best showcased on "Come by the Hills" and "Blessing for Setting Forth."
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Highlander Radio

"But wait, Celeste is more than just a beautiful voice..."
Celeste Ray's CD "Strings of Gold" is a beautiful and inspiring compiliation of Folk and Irish music that will make any Celtic music lover smile. The album displays such a wide range of talents of Celeste and her ensemble. You will get lost in the faraway lands that "Blessing For Setting Forth" brings you to; featuring Celeste's stunning vocals.

But wait, Celeste is more than just a beautiful voice - there is real character in her tribute to the ancient bowed psaltery. Celeste's Psaltery Dance will whisk you off your feet to medieval times, with its flowing heraldic sounds and its fast ministry of the court type dance. A piece that is sure to please!

A great album from an exquisite commposer, songwriter and musician...enjoy an afternoon in Celtic music heaven!"

5 Stars!
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CD Reviews.com by Michael Sutton

Hauntingly pretty "Scarborough Fair" delicately unreels its frames of sadness."
Completely faithful to her music's Celtic roots, Celeste Ray creates a time-spanning experience that takes the listener to faraway lands as well. The hauntingly pretty "Scarborough Fair" regains its medieval majesty with Ray's bravura performance. It's a plaintive song about unrequited love, and Ray delicately unreels its frames of sadness.

"Strings of Gold" surrounds the listeners with scenic beauty. "Come by the Hills" and "Farewell to Music" have a lushness to them that is irresistable.

Ray's vocals are consistently strong throughout the album, achieving ethereal qualtities and some numbers like "Swaggering Jig" can inspire a dance step or two.
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Darius Kaufmann

..you have a really beautiful voice..
Hi Celeste,
I just wanted you to know that my mother loves your CD, and thinks you have a really beautiful voice--She says it is unusual to find someone with a pure voice that doesn't use a lot of vibrato! She lend the CD to 2 Irish friends, and they love it too...

Darius Kaufmann
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Ashtar Athena

Brilliant!
One or two words about Celeste Ray Ensembles newly
released C.D. Strings of Gold, Marvelous, no it's
Beyound Marvelous!
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Nancy De Lancey

Inspirational!
Strings of Gold by Celeste Ray is an artistically and
expertly performed collection of foot tapping tunes, which
leaves one anxiously awaiting the next melodic groove and
with no alternative than to hit the replay button to
re-enjoy, yet again,an adventurous musical journey, which
truly evokes the Soul's Delight!
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INK 19

This is a collection of sun-drenched Celtic songs, as pleasant...
In about a month or two from now, when spring has been fully awakened, I know I will have an even deeper appreciation for Celeste Ray's music. This is a collection of sun-drenched Celtic songs, about as pleasant and engaging as Irish folk music gets.
Fans of Enya might want to tune in now although Ray doesn't touch her synthetic atmospherics. A stronger comparison could be made with their voices. Like Enya, Ray has a voice that seems to have been ripped from an earlier age; her vocals - and style of singing - does not reflect any contemporary pop flavors. On "Come By the Hills," Ray's voice is so soothing to the ears that you'll want to sleep in the middle of it. To another artist, that might be considered an insult. However, there's nothing boring about Ray's performances. Whether or not you like Celtic tunes this is fairly accessible material, and it is consistently bright and engaging.
Ray's instrument of choice is the bowed psaltery, and it creates an evocative sound that'll feel new to most of you.

-Kyrby Raine/Ink 19
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Whisperin and Hollerin

9 out of 10 Stars!
.."Scarborough Fair." The original version was haunting enough; however, Ray takes it into another direction, making it heartbreaking and almost epic in scope. It is a truly magnificent cover.
Balancing danceable tunes like "Battle of Aughrim/Cattle in the Corn" and the self-explanatory "Swaggering Jig" with contemplative fare such as the deeply spiritual "Blessing for Setting Forth," Ray has produced a pretty, always mesmerizing record for whatever mood that you're in."


-Adam Harrington/Whisperin and Hollerin
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