Maren Montalbano | Sea Tangle: Songs from the North

Go To Artist Page

Recommended if You Like
Loreena McKennitt Ruxandra Donose

More Artists From
United States - New Jersey

Other Genres You Will Love
Classical: Vocal Music Folk: Celtic Folk Moods: Solo Female Artist
Sell your music everywhere
There are no items in your wishlist.

Sea Tangle: Songs from the North

by Maren Montalbano

Songs based on myths and folk tales from Scotland, Iceland, Alaska, and New England, written and performed by women.
Genre: Classical: Vocal Music
Release Date: 

We'll ship when it's back in stock

Order now and we'll ship when it's back in stock, or enter your email below to be notified when it's back in stock.
Sign up for the CD Baby Newsletter
Your email address will not be sold for any reason.
Continue Shopping
available for download only
Share to Google +1

To listen to tracks you will need to update your browser to a recent version.

  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. Sea Tangle: I. The Sea Tangle
Maren Montalbano & Elizabeth Huston
5:04 $0.99
clip
2. Sea Tangle: II. A Morar Reaper's Song (Oran Buana)
Maren Montalbano & Elizabeth Huston
1:31 $0.99
clip
3. Sea Tangle: III. Heroic Ossianic Chant (Aillte)
Maren Montalbano & Elizabeth Huston
1:48 $0.99
clip
4. Sea Tangle: IV. Seal Woman's Sea-Joy
Maren Montalbano & Elizabeth Huston
1:09 $0.99
clip
5. Sea Tangle: V. The Daughter of Maeve
Maren Montalbano & Elizabeth Huston
4:26 $0.99
clip
6. Sea Tangle: VI. Hame Oor Bottachan, Hame Cam' He
Maren Montalbano & Elizabeth Huston
1:42 $0.99
clip
7. Sea Tangle: VII. The Vision of Deirdre
Maren Montalbano & Elizabeth Huston
5:37 $0.99
clip
8. Six Dickinson Poems: I. I Never Saw a Moor
Maren Montalbano, Elizabeth Huston & Rebecca Harris
1:29 $0.99
clip
9. Six Dickinson Poems: II. The Moon Is Distant from the Sea
Maren Montalbano, Elizabeth Huston & Rebecca Harris
2:54 $0.99
clip
10. Six Dickinson Poems: III. That It Will Never Come Again
Maren Montalbano, Elizabeth Huston & Rebecca Harris
0:56 $0.99
clip
11. Six Dickinson Poems: IV. The Grave My Little Cottage Is
Maren Montalbano, Elizabeth Huston & Rebecca Harris
3:12 $0.99
clip
12. Six Dickinson Poems: V. I Shall Keep Singing!
Maren Montalbano, Elizabeth Huston & Rebecca Harris
1:20 $0.99
clip
13. Six Dickinson Poems: VI. The Bee
Maren Montalbano & Rebecca Harris
0:52 $0.99
clip
14. Kivalina: I. Home
Maren Montalbano & Rebecca Harris
2:18 $0.99
clip
15. Kivalina: II. Hunting the Great Whale
Maren Montalbano & Rebecca Harris
1:48 $0.99
clip
16. Kivalina: III. The Sea Rises
Maren Montalbano & Rebecca Harris
1:51 $0.99
clip
17. Hervararkviða: I. To My Mother
Maren Montalbano, Rebecca Harris & Elizabeth Huston
2:57 $0.99
clip
18. Hervararkviða: II. To a Stranger
Maren Montalbano, Rebecca Harris & Elizabeth Huston
2:17 $0.99
clip
19. Hervararkviða: III. To My Father
Maren Montalbano, Rebecca Harris & Elizabeth Huston
7:12 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Maren Montalbano, mezzo-soprano
Rebecca Harris, violin
Elizabeth Huston, harp
-------
Sea Tangle
Arranged by Marjory Kennedy-Fraser (voice, harp)

When I stumbled upon this cycle, I immediately noted that there were no recordings of these songs even though they were written in the early 20th century. Curious, I sang through some of them, and was captivated by the care and attention with which Marjory Kennedy-Fraser and her research partner, Kenneth MacLeod, recreated the mood of the Scottish communities they visited as they collected these melodies and stories.

From Ms. Kennedy-Fraser:
“The bringing together of such ancient lore-music as is contained in this little album is no mere straightforward notation of words and air from a given folk-singer. Some of the folk have the word-memory, others the tune-memory; our task is to re-unite the best of what both the one and the other have preserved, thus bringing together once more the beautiful air and the beautiful words.”

Though the cycle was originally arranged for piano and voice, I felt that the harp would lend a more ancient-sounding quality to the songs, harkening back to the days of bards and kings.

Track 1 - The Sea Tangle, or The Sisters
Two sisters sit out on a reef, reflecting on their childhood. They love the same man, yet he has chosen the younger sister for his bride. The jealous older sister lulls the younger sister to sleep with a song, braiding her hair with the seaweed that grows on the rock so that she is trapped as the tide comes in.
The jealous sister eventually marries her widowed brother-in-law. Meanwhile, a bard finds some bones on the shore and turns them into a harp. As he plays at their wedding feast, the bones of the drowned sister cry out through the harp and tell her story. This song is what I imagine the wedding guests might have heard.

Track 2 - A Morar Reaper’s Song
Morar is a small village on the west coast of Scotland. Every culture has call and response songs for communal physical labor, and this song has been sung during harvest for centuries.

Track 3 - Heroic Ossianic Chant (Aillte)
Aillte is a warrior who, while traveling as a mercenary, falls in love with the wife of the powerful King of Lochlin. They run away together, taking refuge with the Fayne, Aillte’s clan in the Hebrides.
Furious, the King of Lochlin descends with his army and the hosts of nine other clans upon the Fayne. Unlike so many of these tales, this story has a positive outcome: the fierce Gaels, though outnumbered 10 to 1, drive away the Lochlinners in a decisive victory.

Track 4 - Seal Woman’s Sea-Joy
Scotland is full of legends of the selkie, an enchanted being that lives most of her life as a seal and comes to shore every so often to shed her seal skin and to mate with a man. If you find her skin and hide it from her, she will be unable to change out of her human form. However, the water is where she finds true happiness, and even without her skin, a selkie will always find her way back to the sea.

Track 5 - The Daughter of Maeve
Queen Maeve, jealous of the love of Fraoch for her daughter, sends him on a deadly quest for rowan berries that grow above the dragon’s mouth. Maeve’s daughter, guided by love, delivers a golden blade to Fraoch that helps him slay the beast; sadly, he himself is killed in the fray.

Track 6 - Hame Oor Bottachan, Hame Cam' He
This song was sung at the end of a waulking -- a rhythmic, labor-intensive process of cloth-making that involves applying force to cloth, particularly wool, to make the fibers thicker and softer. Waulking songs are generally only sung by women, as men do not participate in the waulking at all.

When the waulking proper has finished, the web of fibers is rolled up to be “clapped.” Of this particular song, Kennedy-Fraser writes: “The hungry rage of the man with his ‘uabh, uabh, uabh, uabhan’ and the mocking glee of the woman with her ‘hì-ri-rì-ri-rì-ri-rì-bhag’ clapped the cloth into shape and the fun was at an end.”

Track 7 - Vision of Deirdre
At her birth, a druid prophesies that Deirdre will be the most beautiful woman in the world. He warns, however, that if she is not killed immediately, her beauty will cause the downfall of her clan. Her father cannot bear to kill her, so he has her spirited away to be raised in solitude.

When she comes of age, she begins to have visions. First, she sees the face of her beloved, Naoise (a handsome lad from a rival clan who is not her betrothed). Her nurse shrugs the visions off as girlish dreams until Naoise appears in their camp and Deirdre runs away with him. This action kicks off a war, and Deirdre’s visions become darker and darker. She frantically tells Naoise, who dismisses these thoughts as a woman’s fears.

All of Deirdre’s visions come true, however, and the tragedy ends when Deirdre finally takes her own life.
-------
Six Dickinson Poems
By Emily Lau (voice, violin, harp)

I found Emily Lau’s album, Isle of Lucidity, while searching the internet for voice and harp music. I was so moved by the first track, “I Believe,” that I contacted her. Much to our mutual surprise, we have many friends in common, and we quickly agreed to work together. Five of the six Emily Dickinson poems were originally written for the choir Conspirare, and Lau has rearranged them for solo voice, violin, and harp (“The Bee” was written for this project).
-------
Kivalina
By Kamala Sankaram (voice, violin)

Kivalina is a small Inuit village of only 1.9 square miles, located on a barrier island in Alaska. The rising sea level threatens to submerge the village, its people, and their culture.

This work was written for Duo Cortona and premiered in 2014.
-------
Hervararkviða (Incantation of Hervor)
By Melissa Dunphy (voice, violin, harp)

When I first conceived of this album, I wanted to include music based on some of J.R.R. Tolkien’s stories of Middle Earth. Tolkien estate only grants a select few permissions to use his material for music-writing, I therefore cast my net wider and found the Icelandic Edda, which were one of Tolkien’s influences as he built his world.
One such poem tells the story of Hervor, a Viking princess whose father had been the owner of an enchanted sword named Tyrfing. He dies before she is born, and she grows up a wild tomboy. Her foster father finally tells her of how her father died protecting Tyrfing, and she immediately sets off to recover the blade herself, dressing as a man and joining a pirate crew.
Tyrfing has been created by the dwarves to grant its wielder success in battle, but it comes with a price: any time it is unsheathed, it must be sheathed again in warm human blood. It also tends to corrupt its owner, much like Frodo’s ring.
Hervor will not be deterred. Now captain of her own ship, she finds the haunted island where her father and Tyrfing lie; she calls forth her father’s ghost to demand the sword as her birthright. After some argument, the shade acquiesces, but Hervor must retrieve the sword from within a ring of fire. She emerges triumphant, and goes on to wield Tyrfing with more wisdom and caution than anyone before.

Dunphy has adapted sections of this epic poem into three parts, each with Hervor speaking to a different character. Both Dunphy and I were interested in exploring Hervor’s relationship to gender, and this is brought out both in vocal range and in use of instrumentation.


Maren Montalbano, mezzo-soprano
A graduate of New England Conservatory of Music and Tufts University, Maren Montalbano sang in the historic world premiere of John Adams’ Pulitzer Prize-winning work, On the Transmigration of Souls, which was later released into a Grammy Award-winning CD. Other commercial recordings include Douglas Cuomo’s opera Arjuna’s Dilemma, Alice Parker’s Listen Lord and The Family Reunion, Kile Smith’s Vespers, Lewis Spratlan’s Hesperus is Phosphorus, and The Crossing’s It is time, Christmas Daybreak, and I Want to Live. Her performances have been praised as “wonderful” and “suave and sensuous” by the Philadelphia Inquirer. In the past five years, Ms. Montalbano has been a guest artist with Lyric Fest, Choral Arts Philadelphia, Network for New Music, Tempesta di Mare, and Piffaro, the Renaissance Band. In 2015, Ms. Montalbano premiered Andy: a POPera with Bearded Ladies Cabaret and Opera Philadelphia, in which the Broad Street Review called her singing “impeccable.” Ms. Montalbano lives in New Jersey and sings professionally throughout a wide geographic area with such groups as Opera Philadelphia, Mastersingers of Wilmington, and The Crossing. She currently studies voice with Julianne Baird.

Elizabeth Huston, harp
Elizabeth Huston (née Morgan-Ellis) received her Master’s degree from Temple University where she studied with Elizabeth Hainen. Huston is currently the principal harpist of the Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra. In her solo career she specializes in multimedia productions of new music. Her production entitled 14 Sequenzas was acclaimed as “2014’s Most Daring Presentation of Classical Music” by the Philadelphia Inquirer. Harp Column editor Kimberly Rowe credited her with “Bringing the harp into the 21st century.” As an educator, she teaches harp through the El Sistema program Play on, Philly! and her private studio.

Rebecca Harris, violin
Praised for her “impeccable tone, pitch, dynamics and phrasing” (Chestnut Hill Local), English violinist Rebecca Harris performs on both period and modern instruments. Rebecca serves as concertmaster of the Philadelphia Bach Collegium for their series Bach@7, and has been a member of Tempesta di Mare since 2007, appearing on their orchestral recordings for Chandos. Her combined passions for collaborating with singers and performing new music have led to recordings with Choral Arts Philadelphia (David Ludwig’s Hannukah Cantata), songwriter Andrew Lipke (Siddhartha) and The Crossing and Donald Nally (Thomas Lloyd’s Bonhoeffer, Grammy nominee, 2017). Rebecca studied at the Royal Northern College of Music (United Kingdom) with Richard Ireland.

Producer - Daniel Perelstein
Engineer - Peter Richan
Recorded at Buckeye Recording Studios, Philadelphia, PA

Read more...

Reviews


to write a review