Thursday, May 7, 2020

Celtic Fairy Dream By 2002

Celtic Fairy Dream
Written by
Steve Sheppard

Fresh on the heels of their record breaking double number one, A World Away, 2002 are back and on familiar territory as they once again deliver to us ever eager listeners, another delicious slice of Celtic music in the guise of an album named Celtic Fairy Dream.

2002 are no strangers to this land, this has to be one of the most pristine offerings I have heard for a long time; for example the opening piece entitled Castle of Dromore is so perfectly performed by Sarah Copus it is a total pleasure to swim in its pools of serene bliss for the duration.

The following sumptuous musical narrative would become one of my personal favourites and called The Green Fields of Autumn (Coinleach Glas an Fhomhair). Autumn is one of my favourite times of year and here the band not only do the season justice with a sensitive mournful repose, but they also add a sprinkling of magic into the proceeding’s too, along with some extremely delightful instrumentation that seems to hover and float like the mists of a late October sunrise.

Lullaby (Suantrai) is our next port of call; the harp opens a new portal to a realm of music that is utterly transcendent. Copus on vocals hits the heights with an absolutely perfect performance, which sets the scene for a tapestry of great beauty to unfurl from the bands vast array of musical genius.

A lush instrumental offering is upon us now within the track South Wind, the nuances within this composition are crafted to perfection, the gentle backdrop of keyboards sets a scene for one of the most sparkling performances on Harp I have heard for some time, even the crescendo’s were tempered to perfection in an extremely warmly played arrangement.

The mid way segment would now usher in a piece called David of the White Rock (Dafydd y Garreg Wen). For some reason the melody seems very familiar to me, and reminds me in part of an adagio, but it is easily one of the most haunting offerings on the album. If you ever wished to hear the best performance by Sarah Copus of all time, then you need to go no further than this track, her skills on this composition alone are simply outstanding and show a wonderful maturity.

The flow and fluency of this track was completely transcendent, its delicacy seems almost palpable at times. Close Your Eyes (Dun do Shuil) has that star kissed quality about its performance and production, that is musically akin to a loving hug from a really good friend you haven’t seen for ages, this is a truly warming composition that manifests one of the most serene moments off the album.

Now you can’t beat an old classic, and I was glad to see this included on the album, there have been some stunning versions of She Moved Through the Fair over the years, and this one must be right up there with the best. The instrumental efforts here are sublime at manifesting a slow and careful progression, whilst Sarah Copus’s immaculate vocals were literally faultless and pure with every note sung.

We are now swimming in the deeper waters of the album, and as we do so we come across a very sweet offering entitled Genevieve's Waltz. The flute (Pamela Copus) created a masterful lead role here, one that elevated the overall tone of the arrangement, and allowed the multi-instrumental nature of the piece to shine through, especially the sensitive work on guitar by Randy Copus.

We find ourselves now at the penultimate offering off the album, and this sparkling gem of a tune is called Little Bird (Einini). Once more the enchanting flute of Pamela Copus set the scene, one that is utterly idyllic and so redolent of a small bird flapping its wings. The movement and flight of this piece was a pacifying panacea to cure all stresses and worries, in what has to be one of the most peace filled arrangements on the album. 

So here we are at the end of another 2002 album, while it is sad that this sojourn of great music must come to an end, we do have one more musical gift to unwrap, and one that is placid and calming too, it is called Across the Waves (Trasna na d'Tonnta). A fine selection of a track to end with, and a clever finish as well, by concluding the project how they started, with an anthem like offering that is undeniably beautiful.

Well we were all waiting for the follow up to A World Away, and while the style is different, 2002 have done it again; they have manifested something that is of the highest quality and opened up the Celtic genre, and made it totally accessible for each and every listener. Celtic Fairy Dream is an album of great imaginative textures all weaved together by a family of musicians who truly wear their musical hearts on their respective sleeves, and thus have probably once again created an award winning album that will once more top the charts with utter ease, this is one of those releases that is literally impossible not to recommend.

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