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LISA KNAPP - Hunt The Hare ~ A Branch Of May

LISA KNAPP - Hunt The Hare ~ A Branch Of May
2012 Ear To The Ground Music

The month of May is surely the most sung-about of all the other months of the year combined. Its symbolic status as the beginning of summer, brimming with vitality, sexuality and joy has held - and continues to hold – a charm and magic of its own. Lisa Knapp’s first release since 2007’s Wild And Undaunted proclaims itself to be a ‘May celebration’ and with two traditional May-based songs and three original compositions it explores this magic whilst creating some of its own. The music surprises at every turn, with Knapp’s charm and playfulness always underpinned by a canny sense of what works. Sound effects like cuckoo clocks, chirruping birds and humming bees are used so deftly that they merge seamlessly with the orchestration without sounding quaint or gimmicky.

Green Jack, Knapp’s exploration of a locally revived Deptford tradition, sounds intoxicated with summer haze, a childhood stream-of-consciousness interwoven with hammered dulcimers, church bells and a music box. The two-part piece Hunt The Hare, performed with Alasdair Roberts, entwines the motif of the hare with the incantatory ‘in the merry month of May’. Knapp and Roberts’ voices dart after each other, evoking both the hunter and the hunted. In her new take on the Copper Family’s Pleasant Month Of May, Knapp’s unique voice is earthy, elfin and breathlessly mischievous all at once, proving beyond doubt that, whether with self-penned or traditional material, she is an innovator and creative artist par excellence. May just got that bit merrier.

Clare Button

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This album was reviewed in Issue 92 of The Living Tradition magazine.