Album: For Reasons Unseen
Performer: Hanneke Cassel
Writer: Hanneke Cassel
This song came into my life fairly recently. My first exposure to the it was actually hearing it played by my friends Maggie Chaffee and Laura Epling for Laura’s senior recital (she’s a violinist). It was a surreal moment. We were rehearsing over at Maggie and Laura’s house and I was only playing on a couple tunes so I was just chilling on the couch. I had nearly fallen asleep as they started playing this tune. I was entranced. I was in that weird stage of sleep that’s kind of pre-sleep. You know, where you feel like you might still be awake but your body feels like it’s full of sand? That’s where I was. I think they ran the tune a few times. I could have listened to it forever.
I will always associate this song with that first time I heard it. That day had been hard. Honestly the couple months before that day had been hard. I was still getting ready for my own recital, in the throes of working on my senior thesis project, and had just returned to Nashville after my uncle’s funeral. I was exhausted. In a time when my stress was running on an all time high, this song caught me off guard and broke down my defenses. Something about the song gave me the feeling of extreme vulnerability. It’s such a tender melody which intertwines with the cello harmony and seamlessly flows between the two instruments.
The modern celtic style is very interesting. The melody feels like it could be easily fashioned into a pop ballad but Hanneke Cassel uses a technique called a “cut” to give the violin a unique sound that takes the song beyond simply being a nice, singable melody [visit this site: http://stringsmagazine.com/how-to-make-irish-fiddle-music-sound-irish/ for more information about Irish bow techniques]. The violin and cello parts complement each other well and do not ever feel like they are in competition. This is a song that I keep coming back to because it is beautiful and it takes me back to that night when its performance calmed my heart in a way only music can.