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Hanz Araki: Flute, Vocals

Kathryn Claire: Fiddle, Guitar, Vocals

With Special Guests:

Cary Novotny: Guitar

Joe Trump: Percussion

Suzanne Taylor: Piano

Finn MacGinty: Spoken Word

Music for The Seasons: The first of 4 releases reflecting the music of the seasons, as featured in Hanz & Kathryn's very successful touring shows. Hanz Araki and Kathryn Claire , joined by special guest artists, musicians and dancers lend their individual expertise, lyrical knowledge and love of Celtic music to four, theme-based concerts that present some of the strongest and most beautiful elements of the Celtic tradition.

Two of USA's most beloved touring musicians turn their talents to the UK, with a mind boggling schedule of releasing 4 CD at once. The 4 CDs reflect their 4 different seasonal shows which they have been delighting audiences all across the USA. We at Copperplate are delighted to be collaborating with Hanz & Kathryn and hope to enlighten the UK to these two brilliant musicians. Their first CD is a seasonal blend of song and dance music appropriate for this time of year.


The 7 Joys of Mary:

Apples in Winter:

The Wexford Carol:

Track Listing

  1. "I Heard a Bird Sing" - Oliver Herford
  2. Jeanette Isabelle/The Sussex Carol
  3. The 7 Joys of Mary/Coppers & Brass
  4. Remember O Thou Man
  5. Christmas Eve
  6. In Dulci Jubilo/Drops of Brandy/ Three Sea Captains
  7. The Coventry Carol
  8. Pat-a-Pan
  9. Apples in Winter/The Frost is all Over
  10. The Wexford Carol
  11. "Ring Out, Wild Bells" Alfred, Lord Tennyson

A Winter Solstice Celebration.

The longest night of the year is made bright with the light of music, storytelling and wonder. Ancient carols and winter songs of the Celts are given new life with stunning harmony, and the collection of brisk dance-tunes are sure to keep you warm even on the coldest nights.

'Each of us bring to the table a varied collection of songs and stories that reflect the same themes of longing, love, loss, beauty, and celebration. These concerts give us the freedom to explore some of these experiences thoroughly through the music that has arisen from the last several hundred years of human existence,' said singer and flautist Hanz Araki.

Press Reviews

The Living Tradition June/July 2013

This is one of four CDs by these two Americans reflecting the music of the seasons. They have good lyrical knowledge and love of Celtic music. The longest night of the year is made bright with the light of music, storytelling and wonder. Ancient carols and winter songs of the Celts are given new life with stunning harmony and the collection of brisk dance tunes is sure to keep you warm on the coldest nights.

From I Heard A Bird Song, The Sussex Carol,Seven Joys Of Mary and Christmas Eve, to In 'Dulci Jubilo, Coventry Carol, Pat-a-Pan, Apples In Winter and The Wexford Carol, the CD then finishes with the glorious Ring Out, Wild Bells by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

Hanz and Kathryn come from a background of music ~ Kathryn's family were all musicians and singers and Hanz's father was a professional musician and master of the shakuhachi(bamboo flute). The album is mostly recorded live, with very little overdubbing. They bring old tunes to life with impeccable flair ~ a magical treat to your spirit. Kathy and Bob Drage

Hanz and Kathryn may not be household names over here in the UK, but on the Pacific Northwest coast of the US they've acquired a healthy reputation for their interpretation of Irish traditional music. He is a flute player par excellence, specialising in the wooden flute (his Japanese ancestry placed him ideally for an early career playing the shakuhachi), whereas she's a classically trained fiddle player who also plays guitar; both of them sing too (and really well). They make a fine musical partnership indeed, and have become popular on the US touring circuit, presenting a choice of theme-based concerts that examine elements of the Celtic tradition.

In that connection, they've recorded and released no fewer than four studio CDs within the space of one year, the first of these being A Winter Solstice Celebration, which serves up a spirited, warm-hearted and intelligently realised half-hour-long menu of ancient carols, winter songs and brisk, sprightly dance tunes. Many of the selections turn out to be favourites of Kathryn's from her childhood, and the genial affection with which they're played here bears ample testament to this. The disc's various medleys are creative conjoinings of fondly remembered tunes: particularly successful I thought was the Jeanette Isabella/Sussex Carol set, and there's also a nicely paced version of In Dulci Jubilo for us to savour midway through the CD. Of the several vocal items, the highlights are probably The Wexford Carol and the duo's haunting a cappella rendition of The Coventry Carol; and the disc opens and closes with a (very) brief snatch of poetry recited by their friend Finn MacGinty. Other contributors to the mostly-live recording sessions are special guests Cary Novotny (guitar), Joe Trump (percussion) and Suzanne Taylor (piano). And the inserted liner note sheet contains some intriguing (if occasionally rather odd) details regarding the duo's sources (for instance, we learn that the song Remember O Thou Man was learned from a video of Richard Thompson singing it in a taxi cab).

The whole musical experience is attractively harmonious and pleasing (if over rather too soon), and should bring an appropriate measure of comfort and joy to the purchaser. David Kidman

Folkwords web site

The timing is perfect. Forget the rampant commercialism. Concentrate on the tradition. And if Celtic winter traditions are your delight then 'A Winter Solstice Celebration' by Hanz Araki and Kathryn Claire (collectively part of The Celtic Conspiracy) should make it on to thousands of Christmas lists.

Released for the first time in the UK, this album is integrated within a quartet of CDs under the Celtic Conspiracy banner - but back to 'A Winter Solstice Celebration' - these are tunes and songs designed to grace the longest night of the year. From the depths of tradition half-whispered within ancient carols, through the long-established discourse of time-honoured narratives, to scintillating tunes that hold the promise of light returning after the winter nights — this is a winter solstice celebration to savour.

The rich tones of Finn MacGinty open and close the album with two short spoken exhortations — one from Oliver Hexford to open, 'I Heard A Bird Sing' and to close 'Ring Out Wild Bells' by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. The old carolling tradition is well-represented by such stalwarts as the devotional 'The Seven Joys of Mary' the 12 th century Irish nativity carol 'The Wexford Carol' and the 16 th century mystery play carol 'The Coventry Carol' . To dance your way through the solstice night there are classic tunes from 'In Dulci Jubilo/Drops of Brandy/Three Sea Captains' to 'Apples in Winter/The Frost is All Over'. Seeking their music and songs from England, Ireland and Scotland, Hanz and Kathryn, accompanied by an acclaimed group of musicians, have delivered a perfect seasonal package.

Performing on the album are Hanz Araki (flute, whistles, vocals) Kathryn Claire (violin, guitar, vocals) joined by Cary Novotny (guitar) Joe Trump (percussion) Suzanne Taylor (piano) and Finn MacGinty (spoken word). Reviewer: Dan Holland

Price: £13.99

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