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A Celtic Peace
Like Magic
Theo Paige
Reeds and Rosin
Beyond the Shore
The Truck Stops Here
Garden of Butterflies
A Drop of the Pure
North Amerikay

Beyond the Shore
Beyond the Shore

Deby Benton Grosjean

Navigating Traditional and Uncharted Celtic Fiddle Tunes

Produced by William Coulter

Deby is known for impressing audiences in her live performances with William Coulter, Alasdair Fraser and others and it's no wonder, when you learn that she is a regular teacher at Alasdair Fraser's Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddle Camp and has won the The Pacific Coast Scottish Fiddle Championship several times running and holds the Clan Donachaidh 1st Place Trophy... On this recording she shows a wide range of feeling and style from Irish, Scottish and even a touch of jazz.

I first heard of this recording by accident when I stumbled into a mixing session in the studio where, late at night with the lights down, William Coulter and Deby were mixing Maol Donáidh (The Fisherman's Call to the Seals), a haunting slow air on Highland Pipes and fiddle, and I was mesmerized. The hair stood up on my neck. William and Deby didn't seem to mind my intrusion, and the more I heard, the more mesmerized I became. This is a remarkable, eclectic, gentle and evocative nautically-themed recording by Deby that will make you laugh and may give you the same chills it gave me.
- Todd Denman

Reviews:

"... expert fiddler and her crew bring to life the marine sanctuary through their traditional and creative Celtic music. It will touch your heart and dance your soul. A must to have."
- Connection Magazine

"Her medley of jigs is framed by mysterious wave-like rhythms on fiddle, with deep undercurrents from cello. Add to that beginning such atmospherics as the groaning of a buoy and the tintinabulation of a ship's bell, and suddenly you have a musical tableau evoking the mystery and danger of a rolling ocean on a fog-bound coast. This is further explored by fiddle, cello and the guitar throughout the three jigs with recurring motifs of unpredictable rhythm and unsettled melodic phrasing. The Celtic mist here is of an entirely different order that what is heard on too many albums these days. This is sea fog, and one is delighted to have their ears opened to it! Two of the three jigs in this set are traditional, and the third is Grosjean's. I'm reminded here and elsewhere on this album of William Jackson, with his ability to not only select great tunes, and to imprint them with his own strong musical stamp, but to also compose with a palate of voices and techniques found in orchestral music."
- Scottish Musician

"This collection of sea-related tunes will really bring you to, and immerse you in, the sea itself."

photo of Beyond the Shore album cover

    1. The Mermaid
    This slow Scottish air evokes the image of a barren, rocky cove with dark waters lapping at its shore. On a lone outcrop sits a lovely mermaid, looking seaward, lost in reflective thought as deep as the ocean. In Brian Froud and Alan Lee's illustrated book Faeries, mermaids enchant human lovers with their songs. Is this mesmerizing piece of human or merfolk origin? (Celtic harp, wooden flute, English horn, fiddle)

    2. The Ships Are Sailing / Da Full Rigged Ship
    The first reel comes from Ireland, and the second from the Shetland Islands. In an attempt to explore new musical latitudes with these tunes, we improvised as we recorded, reeling in bigger ideas with every hopeful cast. (guitar, congas, fiddle)

    3. The Female Sailor / Crabs in the Skillet / The Gray Foam on Stormy Seas (D. Benton Grosjean)
    The first jig in this medley, which goes by many names, is a colonial American piece that I have played for contra dances. My husband and I chartered a sailboat down in San Diego in an attempt to glimpse the women sailing America3 during the '95 America's Cup races. These capable women won the hearts of many sailors with their great skill. What an exciting time! The second tune in this medley is an Irish jig I caught while fishing on the internet. I added sextuplets and octaves to this arrangement which made it a slippery catch. The last piece in this medley is my original slip jig (9/8 meter). Several techniques create the imagery of the unpredictable rocking of the ocean's rolling waves. Polyrhythms are introduced by the guitar's harmonics (3/4 within a 6/8 meter) and then reflected in the following stringendo (compressed rhythm) passage of the fiddle. The erratic imagery is further reinforced by my uneven phrasing in the last piece of the medley. The deep, agile cello lines create a stirring undercurrent and the airy ponticello (bowing lightly near the bridge) and harmonics whip up the froth in the foam. (Mile Buoy of Santa Cruz, ship's bell, fiddle, violoncello, guitar)

    4. The Sandpiper (D. Benton Grosjean)
    This 6/8 pipe march took form while I was walking along Sunset Beach and watching the comical shore birds. I invent melodies in my head as I breathe the briny air of the Pacific and chuckle at the sandpipers racing in and out with the waves. They poke the wet sand with their beaks and in a blur of fast feet, they run away squawking. The Sandpiper marched its way to a second place award in its category at the 1996 National Scottish Fiddle Composition Competition. (bass and snare drum, fiddles, Scottish cauldwind pipes)

    5. My Love Has Gone to Sea

    6. The Flowing Tide / The Gypsies / The Roaring Hornpipe

    7. The Bonnie Ship the Diamond

    8. Gray Whales in the Monterey Bay (D. Benton Grosjean)

    9. Maol Donáidh (The Fisherman's Call to the Seals)

    10. Rolling Waves / Cook in the Galley

    11. Crossing to Erin

    12. Spootiskerry (Ian Burns)

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