Mozaik: The Long and The Short of it review – Couldn’t be more timely

The Long and The Short Of It
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Artist: Mozaik
Genre: Traditional
Label: Independent Release

Shot through this third collection from Mozaik is a visceral love of the other, of the music and songs that know no borders. The brainchild of Andy Irvine, Mozaik's compass blithely points towards Appalachia, Budapest, the Peloponnese, Peru and so many other points in between, and the band voraciously digest and distil the best of those regional styles and accents, making them their own.

Andy is the band's true north, his timeless voice steering a course through picaresque tales of Peruvian whaling and the derring do of Harry Houdini, while Dónal Lunny stitches intricate patterns in, under and around the melodies. Bruce Molsky, American singer, fiddle and banjo master, brings his characteristically big hearted songs and high lonesome singing.

The combined forces of Renz van der Zalm and Nikola Parov on a slew of instruments are the perfect foil for the plaintive vocals of guest, Chrysoula Kechagioglou. Her presence lends a whole new colour range to Mozaik's palette, as they tease out yet more subtleties in her gorgeous song book.

Although recorded in 2015, the release of an album that sees borders as invitations to conversation, couldn’t be more timely.

Siobhán Long

Siobhán Long

Siobhán Long, a contributor to The Irish Times, writes about traditional music and the wider arts