Recorded in May of 2005 at Bias Studios in Springfield VA, Alta is the first self produced, studio recording made by Ensemble Galilei. Working with award winning engineer, Bob Dawson, and mastered by Airshow's Charlie Pilzer, this recording is considered their very best work.
The lineup of the band has remained the same: Liz Knowles on fiddle; Sue Richards on Celtic harp; Debbie Nuse on Scottish small pipes and fiddle; Kathryn Montoya on recorders, whistle, shawm and oboe; and Carolyn Anderson Surrick on viola da gamba. For this project, Ensemble Galilei enlisted percussionist Laura Jordan, and piper Kieran O'Hare, and their work matches the brilliant virtuosity of the group.
Trademark repertoire choices abound - a medieval set of dances is followed by an Irish march, followed by an original composition. A breathtaking, deeply orchestrated lament by Turlough O'Carolan is followed by a stunning six minute fiddle solo. The strengths of these six musicians are brought to every second of these performances and the engineering of Dawson is masterful. Add to that, unorthodox and highly effective sequencing, and you may find yourself traveling an unusual and rewarding road while listening. Enjoy.
Based in Annapolis, Maryland, the group has recorded eight CDs, has been interviewed on NPR's Performance Today, All Things Considered, Talk of the Nation, and the Diane Rehm Show and has toured this country, Mexico and Canada. They have performed with Scottish balladeer, Jean Redpath, XM Radio's Robert Aubry Davis, and regularly tour with NPR's Neal Conan who is their resident narrator for their groundbreaking work, A Universe of Dreams.