After years of collaboration this is the first duo album from Nick Hart and Tom Moore.
‘The Colour of Amber’ is a collection of traditional material, brought to new life by these two irresistible musicians through viola, viola da gamba and voice.
Nick’s singing is of the line of master folk-song interpreters, showing a deep understanding of the tones and shades of traditional music – caring and fond in the haunting version of ‘Bold Riley’, and genial and good-humoured in ‘Three Jolly Sneaksmen’, (still the jauntiest song I know about captured and hanged thieves!). The near-keening accompaniment to the title song chimes perfectly with the verses in this little piece of melancholy heaven.
On the four instrumental tracks the deep understanding of the material and of each other’s playing neither needs nor gets elaborate arrangement. Underpinned by drones and basses, viola and viol invite you to moments of expressive contrapuntal joy, weaving through dance tunes and rounds. In the rhythmic stepping of Morris-based tunes, this album is a shining example of the best in fusion and musical progression, an absorbing essay on the progression of English tunes from palaces to parishes; the courtly setting of a tune changing over the centuries to a public folk dance, charted so splendidly by these two quintessentially renaissance instruments.
Treat yourself for Christmas!