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This is the first ‘solo’ project release by this Belgian musician playing flutes, whistles and some uilleann pipes in duo with the Flemish guitarist, eminent for his use of DADGAD tuning, Philip Masure, who also contributes a little cittern and percussion. Recorded at Philip’s Folk Studio in the city of Herentals in the province of Antwerp, it presents a mellow melange of arrangements of traditional instrumental material, some grouped into set forms, with some of Bart’s own compositions.

The traditional material comprises tunes derived mainly from the Galician folk tradition (several lively and playful jig-like muineiras, an air, jolly rumba and processional march) but also includes some Irish material - Humours Of Carrigaholt, Kiss The Maid Behind The Barrel and The Day The Ass Ran Away – and the famous parting song Green Grows The Laurel, the vocal delivery of which is perhaps the only unconvincing component part of the whole album.

Bart’s original pieces are the most compelling element of the content. Two accomplished instrumentals annexed to the Aires De Pontevedra in a foot tappingly percussive Québécois style come with another four pieces, suffused with Breton influence, that are very satisfying. 2 Chaises Et Une Bougie has a mesmeric patterned weave and the melancholically tinged Blauwe Mist and airily evocative L’eau Claire are likewise rich with atmospheric quality and movement.

Bart’s playing is masterful and he has chosen the ideal accomplice in Masure whose precise, intelligent and versatile accompaniment offers expressive phrasing aplenty and a wide variety of melodic, rhythmic and tonal detail.

Kevin T. Ward

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This album was reviewed in Issue 126 of The Living Tradition magazine.