CD Review by Greg Barnett
Psallite is a medieval folk early music a cappella ensemble performing a large range of early music (13th to 17h Century), from a variety of sources and covering the transition from what we think of as ‘monkish’ to more complex ‘modern’ harmony.
All tracks are unaccompanied except for the occasional use of the eponymous plumpett, a medieval percussion instrument, usually a gourd and stretched animal skin.
Based in Western Australia, Psallite has been involved in performing at festivals for many years.
The four highly skilled vocalists comprise the female soprano and alto, and male tenor and bass.
Although medieval performances would no doubt have occurred at the time in the great stone churches/cathedrals of the all-pervasive Catholic Church, it sounds like this album was recorded in a similar environment.
Personally, I would have preferred a more intimate ambience with less reverb, but the album is quite unlike anything else I’ve heard in Australia, and one is captured by the ancient ‘otherness’.
21 tracks and 41:49 playing time.
6-panel booklet provides credits, track notes, group info and contact info.