ECSTASY & POSSESSED reviewed by German magazine Toccata

Two reviews from TOCCATA ALTE MUSIK AKTUELL by Robert Strobl translated from German.

From the passion to ecstasy is a small step, at least for us because we simply change the CD. And yet this new recording by Dulra brings us on a journey far to the north. It’s insular music again, this time from Ireland. Here Caitriona O’Leary combines early music, world music and contemporary classical music and uses it to brew an intoxicating elixir that gives rise to the lost world of Ireland and it’s joy of life before our eyes and ears. Joy of life united with passion, debauchery, enthusiasm, dedication and exuberance in itself – it’s the festival of Bealtaine and the music revels in this. Once again this is a first-class interpretation by this ensemble, which has already produced a number of surprises in the past.

As always, it is the voice of Caitríona O’Leary that captivates and captures the listener immediately. But the instrumentalists (Adrian Hart, Emer Mayock, Kate Ellis, Mel Mercier; and guests: Deirdre O’Leary, Erin Headley, Dave Redmond, Francesco Turissi) are at their best and the result is truly overwhelming. This is partly early music and partly world music. But one hears no separation between the two, nothing appears too modern or trendy, rather the result seems timeless and it goes immediately into the blood, the heart and the legs!

And then we are all possessed, for Possessed is the title of the latest production by ensemble eX. Here, too, Caitriona O’Leary is responsible, though now together with Clara Sanabras, Steve Player, Paulina van Laarhoven, Harvey Brough, Francesco Turrisi and Andrea Piccioni. A few centuries ago, this project would have been extremely dangerous. After all, he who was possessed was either exorcized or burned at the stake. Everything which was inexplicable, was considered the devil’s work. The frontier between the rational and irrational world, stretching for miles like a great stone boundary through untouched nature? The Devil’s Wall, better known today as a UNESCO World Heritage Site Limes!

eX investigates the subject of possession in music with much wit and slyness, the booklet is nicely illustrated and Sigmund Freud of course must not be missing here. The combination of musical styles is a success you can hear Latin American sounds as well as the Tarantella, Athanasius Kircher, Santiago de Murcia, Guillaume Dufay, Hildegard of Bingen and many others. Where does possession end and where in the eyes of Western Christian mysticism does the experience of God begin?: ” Fides piorum credit . Non discutit “says Bernard of Clairvaux , the pious crusade preacher ( The pious do not discuss faith, they believe) .

Both the idea for this recording and its execution are captivating. It was high time to trace this strange chapter of the human race in music!

Tocatto reviews

ECSTASY and POSSESSED are available to buy from the Heresy shop