Alison Vardy,
Island Suite: A Solo Harp Odyssey
(self-produced, 2003)

With deft and magical fingers, Vancouver Island, Canada, native Alison Vardy conjures the sounds of Canada's Western Shores and more in Island Suite. This well-paced compilation of 18 well-positioned harp songs features original compositions by Vardy, as well as arrangements of traditional pieces and rhythmic adaptations.

During this whimsical musical journey, Vardy visits and pays tribute to Vancouver's resurrected E&N Railway; the four southern gulf islands of Mayne, Pender, Saturna and Galiano; Horby Island; and Cape Breton with light, tender melodies. Then it's onward and eastward where Vardy captures multi-cultural essences from Africa, England, France, Greece, Ireland, New Zealand, Scotland and other exotic locales in flavorful listening feasts.

Alison Vardy's masterful strokes on Celtic and Paraguayan harps provide the listener with more than 70 minutes of spirited relaxation and refreshment -- music by which you can rejuvenate, soak in the tub or lull yourself to sleep. It's a wonderful alternative (or accompaniment) to massage therapy! Vardy performs live at concerts and conducts workshops in British Columbia, but for those who are not Canadian nationals, you don't have to go that far to hear these soothing sounds -- just pick them up on any of her three therapeutic disks, also including Harping On and Apasionada.

- Rambles
written by Lynne Remick
published 6 December 2003