Dónal Lunny about Sylvain Barou (Jan 2012)

 "In the course of my musical career - particularly in the earlier
years, I have wandered in and out of many different genres of music.
Looking back on the journey, it feels like just that; a meandering
exploration which lacked a particular direction until one day I
realised that I was more connected with Irish music than any
other.From then on, the itinerary became simpler; a more direct route,
but not without occasional diversions into other regions, which
helped, and still help to replenish my passion for music generally.
Extending the analogy of travel and exploration to Sylvain, I think of
him as a mountaineer. Not only is he avidly interested in music from
every corner of the world, but he also seeks out challenges; peaks of
musical achievement which can normally only be accessed by musicians
who have been born into their particular culture, and who have served
arduous apprenticeships in their chosen disciplines. Reaching these
heights demands a degree of musicality one encounters only
occasionally.
This album is an exotic collection of music by any standards. In the
traditional tunes, the listening experience is all the more intense
and exhilarating because of the depth to which Sylvain has penetrated
the culture from which each piece originates. And in the treatment of
the newly composed pieces, the buoyant dynamic power and fluidity of
the playing is obvious.
The ongoing pursuit of musical knowledge and technique will continue
to inform and improve Sylvain's playing in different ways; most
importantly it will enable him to keep giving joy and pleasure to
those who listen to his unique voice. I feel honoured to share this
part of his great journey."

Dónal Lunny
Jan 2012

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