After his 2016 concept album The River and the 2018 folk concept album The Railway, former Back of the Moon multi-instrumentalist Hamis Napier released his third folk concept album The Woods last Friday -the 20th of March- in a spontaneous Facebook live community listening session, due to the corona restrictions preventing the originally planned release mini-tour to go through. We, as CeltCast did not let this opportunity to listen to the new album together with so many other fans pass by, and I can assure you The Woods has been spinning its rounds many a time at CeltCast HQ since that moment.
Just as The River and The railway before it, The Woods is a themed Celtic folk CD, in this case, sponsored by Cairngorms connect, a partnership of neighbouring land managers, committed to a bold and ambitious 200-year vision to enhance habitats, species and ecological processes across a vast area within the Cairngorms National Park, Scotland.
Hamish Napier himself writes about this album:
– “We humans are tree creatures. After the last ice age 100 centuries ago, the forests expanded across the barren landscape and with it the human population.
Woods and man evolved together. Let us regain the forests and our common knowledge of them. The 18 letters of the Gaelic alphabet were traditionally taught to children through the old names for the native trees (plus a few shrubs). I have written a tune for each letter and included all the native trees that can be found locally in the wild. There are 2 trees for each of the letters G, R and U. There are tunes for forest flora and fauna listed in Scots. I have included descriptions, facts and uses for each tree. All 26 tunes are rooted in traditional Scottish folk dance tune forms, woven in contemporary arrangements and enhanced with field recordings made in the woods. For me, this is an album of identity, exploring my native languages, music, folklore and natural environment. “
All this inspiration accumulated in a beautiful conceptual Celtic folk CD with equally stunning artwork according to our reviewer Cliff.
As you read this we are hard at work to try and add The Woods – as well as The River and The Railway – to our radio stream AND you can expect a full review of all three albums by Cliff in the coming weeks.
The Woods is available through Hamish Napier‘s bandcamp page.