Serving as a sublime antidote to the ‘consumer Christmas binge’ (below) and the onslaught of the ubiquitous ‘Noddy Holder / Roy Wood / Shakin’ Stevens / Paul McCartney / John & Yoko’ medleys in our stores, I am currently listening to Trio Mediaeval’s ‘Folk Songs’ on my favourite label, ECM: http://www.ecmrecords.com
As an aside: interestingly, whilst perusing the shelves of my local 24-hour Tesco at the weekend, I was aware of their ambient in-house Eno-like soundtrack consisting of a single chord which ‘came and went’, overlayed with subtle bird calls. It lasted for the duration of my shopping visit and was quite acceptable – certainly more than those nauseous, repeated airings of the ‘Best Christmas Album Ever’ (which one shop assistant recently told me would “drive her crackers” by Christmas Eve!)
With this excellently-produced collection of Norwegian a cappella vocals and percussion, Trio Mediaeval definitely win my vote for the perfect way to brighten winter’s dark days. And, of course, with ECM, the music is only half the story – the other being the beautifully designed, collectible packaging.