14 tracks: Valley Of The Moon Reel * Between * Alien Ceilidh * Salamanca * Cuillin Nights * John MacDonald’s * Miss Laura Risk * Giga De Tenerife * Natalie Mariah * Trip To Pakistan * Christina * Cameron’s Capers * Willie Fernie * Rob Fraser’s Welcome To San Francisco.
In The Moment follows on from Alasdair Fraser (fiddle) and Natalie Haas’ (cello) award-winning album Fire And Grace, which won high critical praise and 2004 STMA Album Of The Year.
Bringing a fresh sound to an old tradition, the album mainly features original music written by Alasdair Fraser, with a new composition by Natalie Haas, as well as traditional tunes and their performance favourite Trip To Pakistan (by Niall Kenny).
Alasdair Fraser is unquestionably one of the finest fiddle players in the world, both in performance and his tireless promotion of Scottish music. His repertoire spans the centuries of Scottish music with a willingness to push those forms in new directions.
Natalie Haas first came to Alasdair’s attention at age 11 while attending one of his Valley of The Moon Scottish Fiddling School camps in the USA. Encouraged by Alasdair, she began to investigate the cello’s potential for rhythmic accompaniment to fiddle tunes.
In 2004, both musicians joined forces for Fire And Grace, which showcased a wide range of styles, from sizzling reels and airs to the lush melancholic pieces that are also a hallmark of Celtic music.
This subsequent album is just as well balanced, with Alasdair and Natalie sharing the spotlight and complementing each other with effortless grace. Alasdair’s fiery fiddle is matched and mellowed perfectly by Natalie’s rich, sonorous cello.
Guest artists include Hanneke Cassel (piano) and Eric Rigler (pipes).
‘Four Stars! Scots fiddle master Alasdair Fraser and young American cellist Natalie Haas have already created a considerable stir in their concert performances… A highly engaging session.’ (The Scotsman)
‘So the idea of pairing a master fiddler such as Alasdair Fraser with the sublime cello playing of Natalie Haas might seem like a stroke of brilliance, something bold and new. But according to Alasdair, it’s a pairing that has deep roots in Celtic tradition - ‘People may be familiar with the gorgeous, melodic cello sound,’ Fraser says, ‘but they’re surprised to learn that the cello used to comprise the rhythm section in Scottish dance bands.’’ (Eugene Weekly, USA)