the return of a progressive Celtic band

Shadow of Time (Windham Hill)


By John Goodin

Nightnoise lives!

After Windham Hill issued a Nightnoise retrospective in 1992, it appeared that their gentle, reflective approach to Celtic music had run its course. With Shadow of Time, we find Triona Ni Dhomhnaill (keyboards, vocals), Micheal O Dhomhnaill (guitar, vocals) and Brian Dunning (flute, whistle) reinvigorated by Scot fiddler Johnny Cunningham to produce what may be their finest work.

Followers of the Irish siblings since their Bothy Band days will be happy to find that Triona has written four of the album's tunes and Micheal three. Triona's "Shadow of Time" is one of her finest songs ever, and her driving instrumental "This Just In" is delightful. Micheal's "Sauvie Island" is a perfect example of his guitar style and his moody, introspective synthesis of Celtic tradition and modern composition.

Johnny Cunningham's aching "Night in That Land" is the disc's emotional, and literal, centerpiece. Flute wizard Dunning's two contributions are the equal of his bandmates. His "Silky Flanks" being a good tune with a great title. The group performs an interesting, soft-focus version of the "The Rose of Tralee" and gives us a fun remake of the Bothy Band "hit" "Fionnghuala (Mouth Music)" for good measure.

All told, Shadow of Time is a fine addition to anyone's collection of Celtica. The rebirth of Nightnoise is good news indeed.