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Kathleen & Jim Fownes | Light Reaction

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Folk: Contra Dance World: Celtic Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Light Reaction

by Kathleen & Jim Fownes

A fearless young Irish/New England style fiddler and her long-time pianist cut loose with jazz-inspired improvisations on traditional and original tunes that range from sweetly lyrical to rockin' contradance grooves.
Genre: Folk: Contra Dance
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Cuil Aodha / The Connachtman's Rambles
5:11 $0.99
2. The Fall of Enron / The Divine Reel / The Phoenix
5:16 $0.99
3. Under the Water
4:37 $0.99
4. The Wren (feat. Robin Harrington)
3:55 $0.99
5. Sharktopus / Dancing Bear / The Otter's Holt
5:34 $0.99
6. Two Rivers
4:11 $0.99
7. The Old Favorite / The Orphan
6:11 $0.99
8. Tamlin / Farrel O'Gara
4:15 $0.99
9. Bushes and Briars / New Wings / Rampant Tolerance
5:14 $0.99
10. Key to the Cellar
3:51 $0.99
11. Beeswax Sheepskin / Lady Ann Montgomery / Unofficial / The Reconciliation
5:44 $0.99
12. Kathleen's Waltz (feat. Robin Harrington)
3:26 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Reactions to Light Reaction:
“All I can say is WOW! Once I put it on, I stopped all I was doing and just listened. I'm so impressed. Great tunes, great improvisations, great back up – What else can I say? CONGRATULATIONS!” – Van Kaynor

“I'm amazed at how much variation and liveliness you've got on tape here – this is a very fun recording. Congratulations! I'm in awe of all that fearless improvisation – how do you not get lost?’ – Ron Grosslein

“Light Reaction features Kathleen Fownes, a fabulous young fiddler and well-known dancer in Greenfield and Amherst. If you’ve never heard Kathleen play, don’t miss this chance.” – Will Loving

From Kathleen & Jim:
"We have a blast playing music together. Bet you can tell. Our favorite thing is improvisation: spontaneously taking a tune through melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic variations. Make it sweet, make it growl, throw in a playful reference to an old pop song, toss with some blues and jazz, and serve it up fresh."

Notes on the tunes:
1. Cuil Aodha / The Connachtman’s Rambles
We start with a lyrical arrangement of two well-known Irish jigs. The first is also known as the Song of the Tea and the Mother in Law. The second is apparently about a guy from Connacht who got around.

2. The Fall of Enron (Jim Fownes) / The Divine Reel (Keith Murphy, Black Isle Music, BMI) / The Phoenix (Dave Hennessy)
Jim wrote the first tune on fiddle, but it’s caught on among fife and drum corps, too. Keith’s spirited reel is matched with a funky rhythm riff. Dave Hennessy named the Phoenix after a pub in old Cork city where he first played traditional music.

3. Under the Water (Kathleen Fownes)
Kathleen wrote this after her first time at the Dance Flurry in Saratoga Springs. It makes her think of dark, hidden shapes beneath the surface. Like Nessie. Or Grendel’s mum.

4. The Wren
This tune is played in Dingle, Ireland, for the “wren boys” in the St. Stephen’s Day Parade. Our take on it involves groove and improvisation.

5. Sharktopus (Kathleen Fownes) / Dancing Bear (Bob McQuillen) / The Otter’s Holt (Junior Crehan, Crashed Music)
Kathleen named the first tune after a terrible yet amusing science fiction movie. Bob McQuillen’s famous tune was one of the first Kathleen ever learned. Our variations here, influenced by the blues, shift into rockin’ gear for the third tune by the late Junior Crehan.

6. Two Rivers (Larry Unger, BMI)
This waltz is both bitter and sweet, like memories of dances gone by.

7. The Old Favorite / The Orphan
Quite literally an “old favorite,” this set has been a staple in our repertoire for many years. We like the contrast of sweet G major followed by brooding E minor.

8. Tamlin (Davey Arthur, Humblebum Publishing) / Farrel O’Gara
Davey Arthur wrote the first tune at the tender age of 20. It’s so popular that many people think it is “traditional.” Kathleen first heard the second tune on a Nightingale album.

9. Bushes and Briars / New Wings (Kathleen Fownes) / Rampant Tolerance (Owen Morrison, Oak Union Music, BMI)
This set begins with the melody of an English folk song Kathleen learned one summer at dance camp. She wrote the first jig in honor of another camp, the inaugural week of Harmony of Song and Dance Week at Pinewoods. We fell in love with Owen’s tune dancing to Elixir.

10. Key to the Cellar
This 3/2 hornpipe is used for a popular English Country Dance. Its melody is from the song “Cam’ ye O’er Frae France?” wherein the Scots mock British royalty. Our version is rife with improvisation and musical quotes.

11. Beeswax Sheepskin / Lady Ann Montgomery / Unofficial (Kathleen Fownes) / The Reconciliation
Kathleen’s cathartic tune is set among high-energy traditional reels.

12. Kathleen’s Waltz (Jim Fownes)
Jim named this waltz for Kathleen when she was a newborn. Having heard the tune her entire life, Kathleen found she knew it already the first time we played it together. We start off with only Jim and Robin playing, just like the old days.



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