This is music for solo
violin ... but not plain or unadorned.
It is lent atmosphere and mystery by
an electronic accompaniment. This works
very well. Thankfully we are spared
The first two tracks
are warm and oriental as if they had
been written by Alan Hovhaness and using
similar mannerisms and material but
cloaked in a more commercially acceptable
outer garment. Much the same can be
said of the equally pleasing and slightly
melancholic Coffee and Candles.
I was expecting something more seductive.
Cafe Noir curves in towards the
ubiquitous tango and those Django Rainhardt
and Yehudi Menuhin jazz LPs of the 1970s
(remember that vogue?). Eddie's Song,
Filbert's Rag and Bessie Smith
are bluesy; sparer and barer. Later
they get 'down and dirty' with contrasting
double-bass sounds. Time is an Ocean
introduces a sea-surf surging sound
as part of a backdrop to a minimalistic
pulsing piece. Gospel Song again
presents Murphy's adaptable and skilled
violin in solo without adornment. This
is Murphy among the deep South gospel
halls. The Moonlight Waltz has
a similar nostalgic charge to Coffee
and Candles. Grand Hotel surprised
me. I was expecting a return to Moonlight
waltzes but this is more muezzin melisma
than anything else. It is largely for
solo violin and is recorded in a reverberant
acoustic. Arabesque is the most
touching of the twelve tracks which
again has the solo violin standing free
of electronic atmosphere and accompaniment.
It has that touching penetrating sadness
that derives from Celtic and early American
folk fiddle music at its least affected.
If you need a crossover reference for
this track perhaps think about the lovely
score for the film Cold Mountain.
can be gleaned from www.chrismurphy
Fans of the violin
in all its survival-sensitive glory
and adaptability will want to hear this