Memories Through Birds
There are somethings in life that take time to mature, take time to come to fruition, and need to grow with an expectancy with each passing day, until that moment comes that you feel you are now ready to finally complete your life’s dream, as Stephen King once said “Everything’s Eventual” sooner or later, but here we finally are, after years of growth, expectation and patience, the debut album from my lovely wife Chrissie Sheppard, Memories Through Birds has finally been brought into reality.
This sojourn of reflection and serenity starts with the opener and former number one single Song of the Skylark and containing the keyboard skills of M.G recording artist Andy Rogers, who you will find on other tracks on this album as well, the Skylark for me always represents fair weather and warmth, and here with the natural sounds and the sultry tones of her flute, Chrissie creates an idyllic moment, fond memories can be found within the refrains of this song, of watching the lark disappear high into the sky and beyond on a cloudless day in June.
This 8 track album is full of pleasant surprises, one of them was Sparrow: Childhood Memories, a delightfully cheerful composition, with the flute imitating the birds energetic musings, the children’s happy chatter added to that mood, whilst the skill use of synth chords to push forward and pull back, made this track for me one of the cleverest from the release.
The master thief is upon us, as The Cuckoo Awakens, I always used to love hearing my first Cuckoo, a sign that summer was close, here Chrissie brings a really creative process to the fore, and manufactures a wonderfully warm and almost sultry moment for us to enjoy, the notes here are delightfully long and mood filled, as indeed are the very gentle keyboards within the back drop of this most artistic offering.
I have my own memories of this track, I guess when you all listen to this album each of you will have your own special thoughts and reflections, here on Blackbird Memories, a very poignant memory comes forward to be acknowledged, a moment on in the hill sides of the Isle Of Wight at sunset, and as Chrissie stood under a tree playing her flute, the Blackbird sang out his heart above her in the branches of an old Oak, also listen for the bell, what a very crafted inclusion indeed.
Another huge hit single is now upon us and called Raven Cove, this single obtained an award for its art work, but the music contained within, is a magical representation of a small bay at the bottom of our road, one we go to when summer is done and the pool is too cold, this is a haven away from all the scurries and hassles of life. Here Chrissie draws a fine narrative of a lonely mystical place, where the ocean, nature and birds are the masters; the hovering intensity in this piece reminds me to this day of Gheorghe Zamfir’s music for the movie, Picnic at Hanging Rock.
Interestingly enough here in Cyprus this bird is a constant vocalist, it’s even in two of my tracks as well, Laughing Dove swirls and moves around the listener in an almost mysterious way, listen very careful to the natural sounds in this track, it is a true work of art. The overall piece is rather moody and simply blissful with headphones. For us, this is an early morning reverie of peace, with a mysterious flavour to the arrangement.
There is a tale of the legend of Zeus’s temper here, with his penchant for turning people into animals or birds, in this case The Kingfisher and Persephone are one in the same, it is said that if you see two kingfishers on Christmas Eve, then luck will follow you forever, this has happened twice for us so far here in Cyprus, it seems to work! Chrissie’s imploring flute dances with the natural sounds, floating keyboards move slowly across the mist filled scene, where magic is real and anything is possible, another sublime performance of great colour can be found here in this picturesque offering.
The concluding piece is truly fun, and may remind some of you of a certain time of year, the use of electronic wizardry and chimes added so much to this clever arrangement entitled Robin Redbreast. Listen carefully to the light percussive elements here, they all add to the pastiche of the piece, and hover perfectly to end the album with an utter flourish, in the same way Kevin Kendle once did with a track called Awaken on his release First Light.
Memories Through Birds by Chrissie Sheppard, the question must be asked, was it worth the wait? The answer an emphatic yes! Contained within this album are 8 artistically manifested tracks, all with a reflective moment contained within, it also allows you to add yours as well. This debut album from flute performer Chrissie Sheppard has set the bar incredibly high, but with complete unbiased honesty, this is an album destined for the higher echelons of the charts and perhaps, even an award, it is that good, and you would be most remiss not to have this one in your collection of quality music.
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