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Floriane’s been on my musical radar for several years, often as a collaborator with other musicians – notably, in recent years, with Dermot Byrne, formerly of Altan – and usually she’s been playing the harp. Now she can be heard taking the lead role, and it’s plain that the music world holds her in high regard, given the calibre of those who’ve collaborated with her. The eclectic list ranges from Garry O’Briain and Seamus McGuire to Tim Edey, to name but a few, while the sleeve notes include contributions from Sharon Shannon and actor Brendan Gleeson, so this album’s got something to live up to!

And it most certainly does that. Floriane’s total immersion in traditional Irish music over the last decade or so shows through in the quality of her own compositions as well as in her interpretation of traditional Irish material. There’s also music from other contemporary composers, and even a classical piece by Debussy (beautifully accompanied by Dermot Byrne). There was another surprise in store for me – I had no idea she was such a competent singer, both in Irish and English. On top of this, she plays fiddle and piano, so perhaps you can start to see how the album got its title; it certainly is “a constantly changing pattern”.

There is another thread running through the CD in the shape of Brendan O’Regan, who not only contributes accompaniment on several tracks, but also co-produced the recording to a very high standard. I found this to be an exceptional piece of work on several levels – plenty of variety, an abundance of musical skill, both in execution and interpretation, and easy to listen to. I know that last phrase can be used in a deprecating way, but in this case it’s entirely accurate; anyone with a musical bone in their body should be able to enjoy this CD, whether they be hard-bitten folkies or not. I can think of little to criticise, and have only one regret: it would have been good to hear one song in her native French; maybe next time.

John Waltham

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This album was reviewed in Issue 120 of The Living Tradition magazine.