CA­TRI­ONA MCKAY Starfish Glim­ster Records

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Music Reviews -

Whether divine in­ter­ven­tion or dogged hard labour have fu­elled Scot­tish harper Ca­tri­ona McKay’s latest col­lec­tion, Starfish is a thing of ex­tra­or­di­nary beauty. Jet­ti­son all pre­con­cep­tions of the harp as an ef­fete in­stru­ment. McKay, a fre­quent col­lab­o­ra­tor with Chris Stout and mem­ber of Fid­dlers Bid, is on in­ti­mate terms with her cho­sen in­stru­ment. She flexes ev­ery mus­cle and sinew of its length and breadth here, in the process cre­at­ing densely packed, com­plex tunes and tun­ings that goad, chal­lenge and ap­pease in equal mea­sure. Mat­ters mar­itime per­me­ate Starfish, with Cape of Good Hope build­ing to a de­cid­edly east­ern-flavoured crescendo in trib­ute to lone sailor Ellen McArthur, with fid­dler Don­ald Grant and gui­tarist Fionán De Barra widen­ing McKay’s hori­zons ever fur­ther. Lay­ered de­lights re­veal them­selves with each suc­ces­sive ex­po­sure: a sure recipe for longevity. www.ca­tri­on­amckay. co.uk SIOB­HÁN LONG Down­load tracks: Green­man, Swan LK243

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