The Broken String

from by Kate Fletcher

/
  • Compact Disc (CD)

    A startling collection of womanly songs, deeply original & darkly traditional. Beautifully crafted with voice, guitar, oboe, kantele & flute, & expertly produced by Robert Harbron. Wistfulness, sadness, beauty & hope. Quietly stunning.

    "... she is defiantly a solo artist, affording us an intimate glimpse into her own distinctive and private creative world.

    Hers is an unusual and intriguing soundscape, rejoicing in a subtle and unpretentious use of a variety of instrumental colours and timbres...with unobtrusive production by Robert Harbron, there's a homespun, primitive immediacy to the proceedings that's really attractive...

    Kate's songwriting is honest and succinct, understated and refreshingly non-self-indulgent,...The standout tracks for me are highly contrasted: on one hand the disturbing, stark and broodingly strange Midnight, which tells of a modern-day haunting, and on the other the comforting haven of the beautiful Beyond The Silence.

    Kate's work is quietly stunning..."

    Reviewer: David Kidman, Stirrings Magazine.

    Muse Magazine:

    "...inspiring arrangements of traditional songs. My immediate reaction to hearing the music of the Dorset songstress was very pleasurable."...."Kate's haunting vocals result in desolate and beautiful renditions."..."Kate Fletcher has created a down to earth folk album which seems to transport you outside of the confines of your home into the countryside's open spaces and rolling hills."

    Sacred Hoop Magazine:

    Kate Fletcher, a good English name for a good English singer with a considerable amount of good feel for good traditional English music flowing from her first solo CD. Her voice and style come across as very traditional folk, and four of the songs are folk songs, the rest all bar one, are written by Kate herself. She also plays most of the instruments herself too, including one I had never heard of - kantele, a Finnish plucked psaltery.

    The songs range from love songs to songs about the elements and the four directions, spells and witchcraft, Pennant valley (the shambhala of Mid Wales), and the San Bushmen. All the songs are well crafted and played, with no evidence of any self indulgence. Throughout her voice is charming and strong, and I especially like the song she wrote for Pennant, which I first heard on a day of 'wall to wall computing'. It made me stop and wonder what the hell I was doing typing a keyboard all day long.

    Reviewer: Nick Wood.

    The Druid Network:

    The blurb on this CD says it is a 'startling collection of womanly songs' and this is very much the case. Here there are spells and ballads, and each one feels wholly to be the call and cry of the female soul. Each is sung with a softly clear voice, to acoustic instruments (guitar, oboe, kantele), all played and sung by the artist except the mouth bow, played by Corwen ap Broch. There is a medieval element in places, which is where I feel she is most captivating. Other sources of inspiration are Northern European and the Kalahari, but always she is haunting in her expression of emotion - not always raw but ethereal and questioning. It is worth listening to as a whole, and some tracks are worth dissolving into completely.

    Reviewer: Emma Restall-Orr

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about

These are the words of Xaa-tting, a San Bushman, on the death of his friend who was shot whilst going forth in the spirit shape of a lion. His words were transcribed by Wilhelm Bleek, a Dutch linguist, who opened his home to Bushmen convicted of stealing cattle and studied their language and culture.

In 2005 we made a pilgrimage on foot from
Dorset to Fistera in Galicia. We raised a little money for Survival International’s Bushmen Appeal Fund. In December 2006, while this recording was being made, the Bushmen won their case against the Government of Botswana and have been allowed to return to the Kalahari, their ancestral home. See Survival's website for more info.

lyrics

BROKEN STRING

My father used to sing that the string has broken
The string he used to hear when Rainmaker called forth the rainbull
And that is why things are so different now
For things continue to be unpleasant to me
I cannot hear the ringing sound in the sky I used to hear
I fear the string has really broken leaving me
So when I sleep I cannot feel the string which used to vibrate in me as I lay asleep
I fear the string has really broken leaving me
I cannot hear the ringing sound in the sky I used to hear
I fear the string has really broken leaving me
My father used to sing but the string has broken
I cannot hear the ringing sound in the sky

credits

from Fruit, released January 1, 2007
Kate Fletcher

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about

Kate Fletcher & Corwen Broch Scotland, UK

Kate was raised on porridge and song in a family of eccentric musicians in Reading. Wrote my first song at 19. Bought a Narrowboat to live on. Everyone said it was a phase. I still have the boat.

Corwen grew up in Dorset with his grandparents who were The Last Of The Victorians. He was instilled with a love of spartan living, open fires and outside toilets.

They make beautiful music together!
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