This release on the Ergodos label sees pianist McHale tackling Beethoven's Appassionata and Moonlight sonatas, interspersed with shorter pieces by Linda Buckley and Áine Mallon. Despite my interest in contemporary music, I mainly bought it so that I could have a copy of the Moonlight Sonata to listen to. McHale's performance of this feels a bit non-standard, with the playing seeming to be a bit more delicate than other versions I have heard. I am not familiar enough with the Appassionata to judge this rendition, but the playing seems a good bit more in your face than on the Moonlight Sonata. The two short contemporary pieces meanwhile function effectively as introductions to the Beethoven sonatas, with Buckley's piece played with the diffidence of the Moonlight Sonata, while Mallon's "Raindrop Prelude" has the more aggressive playing of the Appassionata; it could also be said to have notes invoking falling rain.
Overall an enjoyable listen but I think I would need to listen more closely to a standard performance of the Moonlight Sonata to appreciate the deviation here. You can check it out yourself on Bandcamp: https://ergodos.bandcamp.com/album/moonlight
You will recall how impressed I was by Ms Cormorant Tree Oh, the mysterious balalaika playing lady who played support to local gothgazers A Ritual Sea. It turns out that Cormorant Tree Oh is actually a stage name, and her real name is Mary Keane. On stage she came across as a bit of an outsider artist weirdo, albeit one with clear musical talent and application, but here we have a record that is much more form the world of spooky weirdo folk, with songs about werewolves and stone circles, while the music is a mix of electronic and acoustic instruments. There is not much in the way of credits on her Bandcamp page, but I suspect this is something she knocked up herself, and extremely impressive it is too. Its eerie, ritualistic sounds have been on repeat here in my brane and I suspect they would be in yours too if you give this a listen. I see she is releasing another album in September… which may mean that she will do another live show. Exciting. Check out her stuff on Bandcamp: https://cormorant-tree-oh.bandcamp.com/music
Fears is the recording name of Constance Keane. I bought this after liking a track on a friend's compilation of their favourite tunes of 2021. This album, whose title must surely be unpronounceable to anyone who has not been through the Irish education system, is a collection of downbeat electronic sounds over which we get Keane's delicate vocals. The lyrics touch on Keane's mental health issues, which on occasion saw her in psychiatric institutions, but just letting the beautiful music wash over you stops this being a harrowing trudge. You can listen to it yourself on Bandcamp: https://fearsrecords.bandcamp.com/album/o-che-2 images:
Cormorant Tree Oh (Bandcamp)