Maggie Sansone,
Celtic Meditations: Into the Light
(Maggie's Music, 2003)

Renowned Celtic artist Maggie Sansone soothes and seduces us again with her latest work, Celtic Meditations: Into the Light. Sansone succeeds in her goal of creating an album for meditation work. This reflective album of accomplished arrangements and hypnotic sounds will lure the listener into a calm place of peace.

As usual for her work, the heart of Celtic Meditations is Sansone's prodigious talent on the hammered dulcimer. Her gift, though, is to surround herself with talented musicians and then seamlessly blend modern and ancient sounds into an otherworldly whole. Though the songs easily lull the listener into a reflective state, the album rewards attentive listening with multiple layers, subtle mood-shadings and stellar group instrumentation.

She handles the traditional pieces with her usual expertise, but Sansone's own compositions on Celtic Meditations are the most evocative. "The Samhain Set" (which includes "All Hallow's Eve" and "The Seeker") uses the hammered dulcimer and bass clarinet in unique ways -- with deliciously creepy results. "Dervish" evokes all the exoticism of a far-eastern market, with unique instruments fused so cleanly with the dulcimer it's hard to tell them apart. But both sets are simply steps on the album's gentle journey of contemplation, a journey that leaves you wondering if you visited another world or only woke up from a dream.

- Rambles
written by Tracie Vida
published 21 August 2004

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