Elinor EvansElinor Evans
Album: Kaleidoscope
Label: Self Released
Tracks: 10

Elinor Evans, recent graduate from the Royal Conservatoire Of Scotland, is a player of the clarsach who's now following the approved course by releasing her debut album (already?, I hear you say… ). Laying aside the suspicion that to do so is rather the done thing these days, we must consider the album for what it is - and it's a very attractive product, with an eye-catching package design that represents Elinor's bright, joyful personality, being clustered with beautiful butterflies - a veritable kaleidoscope (that's the collective noun for butterflies, didya know!) of fluttersomeness that ideally reflects the flighty, glittering sounds conjured up by Elinor's sparkling, nifty fingerwork.

She's highly adept on her chosen instrument, and even at this early stage of her musical career has a feel for transcending technical ability to deliver sounds that are accessible and mean something more than the notes. She also has a gift for composition, for all but two or three of the tunes on this disc are of her own devising. She still relishes giving traditional tunes a modern twist, though, emphasising the interconnectedness between traditional and new music styles, and throughout Kaleidoscope you'll find plenty of instances of this approach on her traditionally-inspired creations, including the momentum-rich Journey To Perth (inspired by an unusually entertaining train trip), the frisky pipe march Herding The Sheep and the finale Bedging set. Eiinor's ingenious adaptation for clarsach of Tim Potts' joyous Kwela Ceilidh proves as persuasive as slower items such as The Sleeping Child.

Elinor's booklet notes are gleefully anecdotal and full of fun, well complementing the music on the CD itself. Although this is billed as a solo record, just half of the tracks also feature the instrumental skills of two musician friends, Sally Simpson (fiddle) and Charlie Stewart (double bass). It's a nicely coordinated set all round.

David Kidman

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