SINGLE REVIEW FOR Annie Locke “Waterford Remembered” Review by Kerry Barnes
I’m crystal clear in my thoughts about this gorgeous new track from Annie Locke. It has a strong stamp of Celtic quality, like a brand of exquisite glassware made in a land where the River Suir gives birth to the Atlantic ocean. It has this depth.
To start, two briefly suspended notes of melodic introduction, then no hanging about – straight in with the main theme and it’s beautiful accompaniment. I’m transported to many different places on listening, but by far the strongest image of all is an Irish Whistle Ensemble with a melody so catchy that I smell a turtle-neck, hand knitted sea shanty coming on! Immediately, Annie’s left hand accompaniment is so serene, gently buoyant, like calm blue ripples on water and the perfect backdrop and guardian of all sounds on high. At this point, I think of Annie’s hand shape and position that allows this beautiful accompaniment to be. Her technique is very similar to Horrowitz, that of a relatively ‘flattish’ hold on the keyboard, with very relaxed fingers that almost look like they’re not doing anything. This is none more evident than in his performance of Rachmanninov’s third concerto. I’ve seen footage of Annie playing in Berlin, and I immediately thought this.
There’s sublime use of major 2nd’s in the right hand melody, and they don’t resolve which makes them even more intoxicating! The choice of ‘triple-measure’ (maybe 6/8 or 3/4) is just right, and becomes custodian of this Celtic mood. A winning combination for sure. Why do I have colours coming to me now?? …..green grass, orange sun and a white sky…….I think it’s those gorgeous modulations again, and the beautiful way that Annie teases us with the melody, first in middle position with divine ‘cantabile-tone’, then as sparkly sprinkled staggered octaves. My ‘Rose and Jack’ are Annie and Francis at the helm of this Irish invention, and I just want to sing it to them, and for them. They wait in hold, as beautiful little ‘major thirds’ tell us of a false ending, please no, I want this music to go on and on, just like a heart, in ‘My Heart Will Go On’ still beating.
Annie’s reputation for excellence takes us to Waterford Quay, at night, beautifully lit in it’s maritime temperate climate, founded by Vikings in 914 A.D. Also, so excellent, is Annie’s musical patience, quite content to make us wait while a little broken chord of same make-up sailing in one place, like a little wooden boat, tethered, but happy to be so. This nectar rich music is perfectly pollenated and fits the brief, and we are now ready to accept those pretty little ‘thirds’ again, we know what’s coming, and the time is right. Our shoulders lower, our lungs exhale, and we hope that Francis has loved this dedication, how lucky is he, how spent is she, she gave everything and her music speaks for itself. Bravo Annie