|Dimensions||21 × 15 × 1.5 cm|
Ecopella ‘Songs in the key of Green’ CD Review by John Williams
Ecopella have been performing their environmental music for over a decade now and this CD is a celebration of that fact. They are certainly doing their part in arousing the awareness of Australians towards the downward slope we are on environmentally. The CD is produced and mainly arranged by Miguel Heatwole and also includes three tracks he wrote. A busy bloke indeed! Miguel’s first song, ‘My Kyoto’ shows what an individual can do to help the planet and was written when the previous Government refused to sign the Kyoto treaty. ‘Weary’ is about how those who protest get tired. ‘Restless’ shows how the ‘powers that be’, including the tabloid press, will try to twist things in their favour but gives hope that many voices can stop them. The choir performs a beautiful version of Phyl Lobl’s classic ‘Shannon Rise’ about the flooding of Lake Pedder in Tasmania. It was probably my favorite track on the CD. They also do a great version of Judith Wright’s poem ‘Eroded Hills’ which was written over half a century ago and is still powerful now. John Warner’s tribute to one of our iconic rivers, ‘Murrumbidgee Water’ is also given a delightful rendition. ‘Wings of a Seabird’ by Nicholas Carlisle is a poignant track about the degradation of the sea through over fishing and the methods used and the ruination of so many island homes of seabirds by sailors, rats, cats and goats over the centuries. An interesting inclusion is the traditional Irish song ‘Bonny Portmore’ which is about environmental destruction and was written over two hundred and fifty years ago. Will we ever learn? The song is beautifully sung by Rosemary McArdle. ‘The People Are Scratching’ is also a delight. It warns us to be wary of those who wish to get rid of every problem by poisoning nature and what eventually happens. ‘The Vegetables From Hell’ is one of the best comebacks for those in favour of genetic engineering of our food sources. In all there are seventeen tracks on the CD so you get your money’s worth. Look for Ecopella performing near you in the future. Not only will you hear beautiful music but you will be inspired to help save our home. It is the only one we have after all. In the same vein purchasing this CD will help this group to continue to spread their important message.
CD Review by Graham Blackley
Before diving into the melodic treats featured on this album, it is helpful to read the eloquent liner notes on the inside cover of the CD, as they provide thoughtful insights into the key themes explored on each of the songs.
As you can probably guess from the playful album title, and the glorious green cover, the focus here is very much on environmental issues and in fact, a quick check of Ecopella’s website reveals that they describe their ensemble as “an environmental choir”.
A glance at the rather large list of singers involved in this opus is quite mind-blowing as there are eleven sopranos, seven tenors, thirteen altos and eight basses.
The studio must have been a busy and bustling hotbed of harmonic creativity!
As you can imagine, this album is full of vocal harmonies and they are quite spectacular.
For instance, although packing a punch with its thought provoking political content, “Five Hundred Years” has the type of sunshine drenched sparkle and summery vocal harmonies that infused the work of the Mamas & Papas and Peter, Paul & Mary.
It’s a treat to encounter an album that conveys potent political and philosophical messages while lifting the spirits with punchy melodies and joyous harmonies.
9 in stock (can be backordered)