Waltzing in the Trees
We love to play for dancers. We like the energy that flows from our music to their feet and back again. We enjoy jamming and improvising on a great tune until the dancers scream with excitement. We hope that some of this fun appears of this CD. We like romantic and tender waltzes and play a lot of them at our dances. Maro wrote 'Waltzing in the Trees' for some dancers she knew who lived in a tree house. 'Fair-Haired Lass' was given to Danna long ago by a fellow fiddler; we believe it's an Irish air. 'Enrichez-Vous' is a favorite for waltzers, and has had an English country dance written to go with it. When we started playing for dances, we played English country dance tunes. Our name, 'Amarillis,' comes from the dance of that name. We like to play it as part of a medley with two other old tunes, 'Knole Park' and 'Portsmouth.' The modern jig, 'Boys of Antrim,' - usually played for contras - fits beautifully with some other old English tunes, 'Green Willow' and Jacob Hall's Jig.' Sometimes we make up stories to fit the tunes as we work on them. In 'Capt. McCann / The Knott,' we imagine the beautifull girl bidding farewell to the gallant soldier. Contra dancers may be unfamiliar with the slip-jig rhythm (9/8) of 'pembroke / Up With Aily' and 'Round About Our Coal Fire / The Clout.' We love the dreamy yet insistent quality - they give a whole new feel to the dance experience. We included some straightforward contra dance sets and some Scottish jigs that we hope you get up and dance to. From Bob McQuillen: Gosh, that's beautiful music Amarillis has made: the choice of tunes is great and the arrangements are outstanding! Maro Avakian's piano playing is exquisite-so tasteful and melodious. I can't say enough nice things about this CD; it's one of the prettiest I have heard in a long time. I am so glad that Amarillis included my jig Boys of Antrim on it-it sure is in good company! From Ron Houston, Society of Folk Dance Historians: Fine musicianship marks this disc. Composition, modulation, syncopation, whatever--no surprise to Amarillis fans. Allison Thompson, Maro Avakian and Donna Isaac mastered English country dance and then contra, adding delightful and unique touches such as 9/8 slip jigs and tunes by Maro.