Grammy-winning CELTIC SOLSTICE by Paul Winter and Friends: Irish and American musicians in a musical celebration of the Summer Solstice in the world's largest gothic cathedral

Grammy®-winning CELTIC SOLSTICE by Paul Winter and Friends
Irish and American Musicians in a World Music Celebration of the Summer Solstice and Longest Day of the Year

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Celebrating the Summer Solstice
CELTIC SOLSTICE by Paul Winter and Friends

celtic solstice
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  • Artists
  • Tracking
  • About CELTIC SOLSTICE



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  • cathedral of st. john the divine
    Grammy-winning CELTIC SOLSTICE buy CELTIC SOLSTICE now!

    CELTIC SOLSTICE
    Paul Winter and Friends
    (01048-81529-2) LMUS0036

    Grammy-winning CELTIC SOLSTICE was born from the creative interplay of Irish and American musicians in a contemporary celebration of the Summer Solstice and the longest day of the year within the magnificent space of the world's largest gothic cathedral, New York's Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

    "A wonderfully produced and uplifting album"
    (BILLBOARD Magazine - spotlight review)


    ARTISTS  |  TRACKING  |  ABOUT 'CELTIC SOLSTICE'

    ARTISTS

    Playing soprano sax, Paul is joined on CELTIC SOLSTICE by:
    • renowned Uilleann piper Davy Spillane, of the original 'Riverdance' cast
    • fiddler Eileen Ivers, an original and current 'Riverdance' soloist
    • vocalist Karan Casey, from the band 'Solas'
    • whistle-player and flutist Joanie Madden, founder of the group 'Cherish the Ladies'
    • piper Jerry O'Sullivan
    • Paul Winter Consort members Paul Halley on pipe organ and piano, along with percussionist Jamey Haddad
    • Zan McLeod on guitar
    • Carol Thompson on Celtic harp and Welsh triple harp
    • Austin McGrath on bodhran
    • South African bassist Bakithi Kumalo, featured with Paul Simon for many years since playing on Simon's GRACELAND album
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    TRACKING

    1. TRIUMPH
    Paul Winter
    Paul Halley
    Davy Spillane

    2. GOLDEN APPLES OF THE SUN
    Karan Casey
    Paul Halley
    Paul Winter

    3. HOLLOW HILLS
    Davy Spillane

    4. O'FARRELL'S WELCOME TO LIMERICK
    Jerry O'Sullivan
    Joanie Madden
    Paul Winter
    Paul Halley
    Carol Thompson
    Zan McLeod
    Bakithi Kumalo
    Austin McGrathJamey Haddad

    5. DAWNWALKER
    Davy Spillane
    Paul Halley
    Paul Winter

    6. MY FAIR AND FAITHFUL LOVE /
    BLARNEY PILGRIM

    Paul Winter
    Joanie Madden
    Eileen Ivers
    Jerry O'Sullivan
    Paul Halley
    Carol Thompson
    Zan McLeod
    Bakithi Kumalo
    Austin McGrath
    Jamey Haddad
    celtic music for the summer solstice

    7. SWEET COMERAGHS
    Karan Casey
    Paul Winter
    Paul Halley

    8. AFTER THE FLEADH /
    RUNNING THROUGH THE WOODS WITH KEETU

    Jerry O'Sullivan
    Eileen Ivers
    Joanie Madden
    Paul Winter
    Zan McLeod
    Paul Halley
    Bakithi Kumalo
    Jamey Haddad

    9. THE MINSTEL'S ADIEU
    Carol Thompson
    Paul Winter

    10. FAREWELL TO GOVAN
    Paul Winter
    Eileen Ivers
    Joanie Madden
    Jerry O'Sullivan
    Paul Halley
    Carol Thompson
    Zan McLed
    Jamey Haddad

    11. GOLDEN APPLES OF THE SUN (Reprise)
    Karan Casey
    Paul Halley

    12. DAWNWALKER (Reprise)
    Davy Spillane
    Paul Halley
    Paul Winter

    Produced by Paul Winter and Dixon Van Winkle
    Associate Producer: Davy Spillane

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    ABOUT 'CELTIC SOLSTICE'

    In the liner notes to CELTIC SOLSTICE, there is a summary of an Irish fairy story concerning the legendary Irish hero, Fionn Mac Cumhail, and a debate between himself and his followers as to what might be the finest music. "The music of what happens: that is the finest music in the world", asserts great Fionn. Paul Winter tells the story of how his annual Summer Solstice Celebrations in New York evolved and the musical event CELTIC SOLSTICE happened; how his hearing the beguiling voice of singer Nóirín Ní Riain and the magical piece 'Midnight Walker' by Uilleann piper Davy Spillane led to a series of creative encounters which spawned this new album of original pieces and traditional Irish, Scottish and Welsh songs.

    The opening piece of CELTIC SOLSTICE is the perfect illustration of music which happened, and of the creative communion between three fine Irish and North American musicians. Entitled 'Triumph', it is a once-in-a-lifetime trio improvisation, among Winter's sax, Spillane's pipes, and Halley on pipe-organ.

    A cornerstone of both the album and the evolution of Paul Winter's annual Summer Solstice event is the mesmerizing song 'Golden Apples of the Sun', sung by Karan Casey, based on W.B.Yeats' poem 'The Song of Wandering Aengus', a poem of yearning and questing. It introduces the motif of the "golden apples of the sun" from the musical branch of the Celtic poet, used by Winter for the cover of the album. "The experience of hearing Karan Casey singing 'Golden Apples of the Sun', with the pipe organ, in this mystical pre-dawn space of the Cathedral, was epiphanic for me. I felt deeply the call of the quest in Yeats' lyric, intermingled with the sense of promise -- of life's possibilities -- that seems to be in the air at the beginning of summer. I imagined then an entire album coming forth from the ambience of this song and this event."

    Material on the album CELTIC SOLSTICE ranges from new originals written by Winter, Davy Spillane, Paul Halley, Joanie Madden, and others, to new arrangements of traditional tunes. Besides 'Golden Apples of the Sun', Karan Casey sings 'Sweet Comeraghs', celebrating the beauty of the Comeragh Mountains in County Waterford. The extraordinary ensemble of nine instrumentalists plays new arrangements of the slip-jig 'O'Farrell's Welcome to Limerick'; the slow reel 'After the Fleadh'; the Scottish song 'My Fair and Faithful Love'; the jig 'Blarney Pilgrim'; and Phil Cunningham's poignant ballad 'Farewell to Govan'. Paul Winter and Carol Thompson play the 19th-century Welsh song 'The Minstrel's Adieu', as a duet for soprano sax and Welsh triple harp. Davy Spillane contributes two original pieces; the haunting 'Dawnwalker', an air for Uilleann pipes, accompanied by Paul Halley on the Cathedral's pipe-organ and Paul Winter on soprano sax; and the low-whistle solo 'Hollow Hills'.

    Though the music of CELTIC SOLSTICE emerged from Paul Winter's annual Summer Solstice celebration, its appeal extends far beyond the summer season and beyond the confines of rigid interpretations of what 'Celtic' might be. Winter observes that in all probability there actually were no traditions of celebrating the summer solstice among the Celts. "It might be said that 'Celtic Solstice' is something we invented; but I think it would be equally true to say that 'Celtic Solstice' invented itself."

    Rich and varied, CELTIC SOLSTICE is a musical offering born of an event. An innovative musical adventure, both the event and the album are an illustration of the way in which musical traditions are living and constantly evolving. CELTIC SOLSTICE presents music that happened.
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    davy spillane, eileen ivers

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    joanie madden, karan casey
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