Sleeve Notes for Here and Now by Moirai
The awaited second album from the wonderful group Moirai - pronounced 'More-eye')
Jo Freya, Melanie Biggs and and Sarah Matthews are three women who manage to create an orchestra and a choir of sounds and yet there are still only three of them. Throw away your preconceptions about what constitutes folk music and open your minds to a colourful pallet of sounds and song. They will take you on a roller-coaster ride through beautiful traditional tunes, haunting and buoyant compositions and songs that will pluck at your heartstrings as well as have you holding your sides to prevent bursting with laughter.
Many bands can do beautiful music, many bands can do comedy, many focus on instrumentals others on their vocals, here you get it all in one tight but fluid package.
Between them you get accordion, flute, fiddle, viola, guitar, traditional whistles, soprano and tenor sax, clarinet and bass clarinet and three voices.
1 Dust If You Must
lyrics Anon / Sarah Matthews / Jo Freya
Lyrics found on that well known traditional source, Facebook, by Anon. It was suggested in one comment that someone should set these words to music - so Sarah came up with the melody to the verses here and Jo added the catchy chorus.
2 The Black And The Grey / The Green Ship
Trad / Trad
Jo found this first tune within the archive of wonderful material held at Halsway Manor and just fell in love with it. The second piece is one of those haunting and memorable tunes that reached all of us through session playing over the years and seemed to complement the set.
3 Rolanda’s Grandmother
Jo Freya / Trad
This powerful song, written by Jo, is dedicated to Fatima Maria Ibler. This is her family’s story and tells of the profound and repetitive repercussions of the treatment of wartime victims. A traditional French 2/4 Bourree, Voille au Vent, creates the mid section of the piece.
4 Doffin Mistress
Sarah learnt this from the singing of Corinne Male. The song is based around the Doffers of the linen milling industry, their hard life and the Doffin Mistress who led them in their work.
5 Muna And Mimi / Steve Fisher’s Lament
Jo Freya / Mel Biggs
A poignant pair of mazurkas here, the first of which was written by Jo for her dear friend Linda Thompson. Following four lovely grandsons this tune celebrates the arrival of the first granddaughter. The second melody Mel says she found in Steve Fisher’s BbEb Hohner Piccoletta melodeon when she inherited it, had it restored, and played it for the very first time.
6 Here And Now
Sarah first heard this song performed by the composer, Daz Barker, in around 1995, and loved it every since. Living in the world of here and now and realising this moment wears a crown are important ideas to sustain us in this busy and ever changing world.
7 The Bedmaking
The Cuckoo’s Nest tune has many variations and the term is a euphemism for the charms of the female sex. The first tune is a Gloucestershire version. Intertwined around the verses is another Cuckoo’s Nest variation and the Coleg Y Brifysgol Abertawe from Welsh fiddler Pat Shaw. The words, whilst to a jaunty melody, really tell of the abuse of power by those who have it on those who do not.
8 The Bellamont Sisters
This is a traditional tale from the South Derbyshire region about how and when the Swarkestone Causeway Bridge came to be. Verses and melody set by Sarah with a little help from traditional Morris dance tune, The Princess Royal, in the middle.
9 Brexit Biscuits / Calarem, Calarem Pas
Mel Biggs / Trad
So very saddened and disturbed by the political happenings of June 2016, Mel turned to eating biscuits to console her feelings. Features of the arrangement are from a dream Mel had where this tune was conceived. Jo was introduced to the 3/8 Bourree that follows by Anna Pack, who plays it with Dave Shepherd. A powerful track venting how we were feeling at rehearsal that day!
10 The Hare
A magical misty introduction created by Mel and Sarah, sets the scene for Jo’s song about the folk tale of the origins of Easter bunnies and painted eggs. The tune in the middle, written by Sarah, is a variation on the initial melody, only moving more like a hare, or Special Big Fast Rabbit (if you can’t think of the word!).