Lake of Shadows

Lake of Shadows

2.5 2
by Phil Coulter
     
 

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Pianist/composer Phil Coulter's Lake of Shadows is above all a memorial to a place. Lough Swilly in County Donegal, Ireland -- known locally as the Lake of Shadows -- is a site of tragic significance, both to Coulter personally and in Irish history. (He lost a brother and a sister to the waters, and a number of important events in…  See more details below

Overview

Pianist/composer Phil Coulter's Lake of Shadows is above all a memorial to a place. Lough Swilly in County Donegal, Ireland -- known locally as the Lake of Shadows -- is a site of tragic significance, both to Coulter personally and in Irish history. (He lost a brother and a sister to the waters, and a number of important events in Ireland's troubled past took place there.) True to form, the album is a collection of Celtic-inspired, new age-style pieces arranged in Coulter's signature lush and fluid manner. As in Highland Cathedral and other albums, he brings together an array of traditional Celtic instruments, modern electronics, strings, and evocative vocals -- all supporting Coulter's graceful touch at the piano. But what sets this album apart is the participation of a few of Coulter's famous friends: Liam Neeson, Roma Downey, and Sinéad O'Connor. Neeson provides a sober voice-over in his native brogue on "The Flight of the Earls," one of the historical events eulogized here. Downey narrates the traditional "Prayer for the Fisherman," assisted by the indigenous sounds of the Coolea Choir, and the melancholy "Shores of the Swilly" features O'Connor singing a poignant homage to Coulter's lost sister. Coulter has solo moments, too ("Farewell to Inishowen," "The Year of the French"); his atmospheric orchestrations shine through on several tracks ("Sunlight on the Water," "For Those in Peril on the Sea"); and frequent collaborator Aoife supplies her sweetly lyrical voice on a pair of songs ("Lake of Shadows," "The Star of the Sea"). But the final track, "Take Me Home," brings the whole cast together for an inspirational concluding anthem, a fitting end to this touching album of musical tributes.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Chris Nickson
Phil Coulter may have made his name way back when as a writer of pop hits, but since then he's practiced his craft on a broader musical canvas. Here the art becomes more intimate, dealing as it does with a most specific place in Ireland, Lough Swilly, and its associations, both warm and tragic, with his own history. In the '80s, the lake claimed the lives of both his brother and sister, but he remains drawn to it, and its pristine memories of his childhood vacations. The musical result isn't a million miles from the neo-classical Celticisms of Peadar O'Riada -- who helps out here -- but also tinged with sorrow, as on "The Shores of the Swilly," beautifully and sparely sung by Sinead O'Connor, which is the tale of Cyd Coulter's death. There's history in actor Liam Neeson's spoken-word piece, "The Flight of the Earls," and the mournful simplicity of the hymn "For Those in Peril on the Sea." There's also plenty of orchestral sweep to the melodies, evoking the water, which brings some of the album perilously close to new age music. Always, though, Coulter knows when to back off and not let things go too far. Even "Prayer for the Fishermen," with Roma Downey's invocation, never reaches overkill. In essence, this album is a catharsis of spirit and a memorial, and Coulter's touch ensures that it succeeds as both.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/04/2009
Label:
Sbme Special Mkts.
UPC:
0886974846222
catalogNumber:
748462
Rank:
12639

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Phil Coulter   Primary Artist,Piano
George Williams   Violin
Henry McCullough   Electric Guitar
Sinéad O'Connor   Guest Appearance
Frank Gallagher   Fiddle,Viola,Human Whistle,Low Whistle
Ivan Gilliland   Acoustic Guitar,Mandolin,Electric Guitar,Hi String
Ken Rice   Violin
Aoife Ní Fhearraigh   Vocals
Brendan Monaghan   Trombone,Bodhran
Malachy Robinson   Double Bass
Rory McCarron   Drums,Snare Drums
Eileen Murphy   Violin
Roma Downey   Track Performer,Guest Appearance
Catherine Mary Clancy   Harp
Gloria Mulhall   Violin
Louis Roden   Violin
Gillian Williams   Violin
Richard Angel   Cello
Dermot Byrne   Accordion
Tommy Kane   Viola
Dermot Byrne Blues Combo   Accordion
Michelle Lalor   Viola
Paul OHanlon   Violin
Carol Quigley   Violin
Mike Healy   Violin

Technical Credits

Phil Coulter   Arranger,Producer
Larry Hamby   Executive Producer
Tony Harris   Engineer
Peadar Ó Riada   Director
Dave Gold   Arranger
David Gibbons   Graphic Design

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Lake of Shadows 2.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago