Altar Wind is "open and airy and reflective" with beautiful old Celtic Harp instrumentals that George has carefully researched and arranged to preserve their Irish flavor. It leans slightly more in the contemporary direction than the others CDs in this set, slightly more serious, brooding with a touch of drama. Anwyn backs him up on the hurdy gurdy, bowed psaltery, hammered dulcimer. Anwyn performs three delicate vocal tracks, featuring Baedon Well an original song that ponders the plight of two lovers caught in a reincarnation dilemma. Altar Wind is as warm as a winter's fire and as plaintive as the blowing wind outside.
George & Anwyn Leverett BIO
Ancient, Traditional & Contemporary Celtic Music
2007 marks the 15th anniversary of the acclaimed Celtic music duo, George & Anwyn Leverett. They have
played such diverse venues as Celtic and Blue Grass festivals, Nevada casinos, pubs, fairs, school assemblies and sold-
out concerts. They performed the "Green Show" of the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival for seven years, before moving
They have a passion for Irish and Scottish music that proclaims itself with each performance. Ancient,
traditional and contemporary Celtic music comes to life with their wide variety of old world instruments. Anwyn and
George play Irish fiddle, cittern, guitar, mandolin, hurdy-gurdy, zither, hammer dulcimer, bowed psaltery, penny
whistle & recorder but George's main instrument is the beautiful self-made 36 string "Lady Harp" They blend a
kaleidoscope of sounds and textures that makes no two songs sound the same.
George hand-built all the old-world instruments used on their recordings for the best possible tone and
authenticity. The combination of these rare ancient instruments creates a beautiful, ethereal sound that is no longer available in modern music.
Their CDs, Skye Boat, Songs from Shadow Wood, Altar Wind and Christmas Around the Hearth have sold over
50,000 copies. Relaxation and gentle peace are the keywords to describe this collection of CDs. Skye Boat has an "ocean feel", Songs from Shadow Wood has a "forest feel". Their new release, Hearth Light is a cheery collection of jigs & reels, with 3 light vocals, as warm and lazy as a walk down an Irish country lane and bright as a dancing candle flame.
George & Anwyn Leverett's music is played on Celtic music radio shows across the US, Canada, Australia,
Ireland, Russia and Brazil. For more information visit their web site at aroundthehearth.com. For information on hand made old world instruments by George Leverett go to altarwind.com
Harp Beat Magazine Altar Wind review by Drew Ward
Those who have had the pleasure of meeting Anwyn and George Leverett at fairs and conventions remember this
remarkably talented couple as warm, charming, and thoroughly engaging. Their fourth offering, Altar Wind possesses
those same attributes.
The Leverett's find inspiration in their environment (currently O' Brien, Oregon.) This does not result in New
Age "fluff" rather it seems to foster a potent bond between their technical skill and heartfelt connection to the creation of music.
The Altar Wind play list is a rich mix of Celtic, classical "Gymnopedie" compositions of their own "Danu's
Kiss" and "Baedon Well" and familiar standards such as "Loch Lomond". Combining disparate musical themes into an
album that doesn't change course abruptly is a particularly notable skill. It seems that the artists' instincts found a
balance of pieces that shared complexities that delight the ear while maintaining a consistent sense of happy relaxation. The pieces never jars, nor do they lull one into inattention.
Altar Wind enhances beautiful harp performances (Celtic and Celtic wire strung) with the addition of recorder, pennywhistle, bowed psaltery, hurdy gurdy, guitar. Mr. Leverett also builds beautiful instruments with fine voices. On this album, all the instruments were fashioned by his hands. Close inspection of his instruments by experienced harpers reveals a knowledgeable dedications to both aesthetics that delight, and the fine musical function urging the player to bond with the instrument and coax the sound from within. For more about his instruments, visit his web site www.altarwind.com.
Harpers will appreciate the subtle and inventive phrasing and smooth flow of the music on this album. The
Leveretts clearly move beyond mere technical prowess to an evident love and connection with their instruments.
Listeners who simply enjoy outstanding performances that showcase the beauty of the instruments will be delighted.
I have yet to purchase one of the Leverett's CD's and not count it as among the favorites in my collection.
Altar Wind Review by Elizabeth Barrette
Altar Wind as a richer, more somber tone than their other CDs. The diversity is broad. Traditional tracks are
good, particularly "Eleanor Plunkett" and the haunting vocals of "Loch Lomond". My favorite of the original tunes is "Baedon Well, consider these lines: " I walk into the moonlit maze and through the shifting haze, I search for a peace I have never known. All the strife and the hunger, when the world was younger, Strange but I long for those ancient days."
Interestingly, the cover picture was shot at a reconstruction of Stonehenge in the state of Washington. The liner notes muse, "While at Stonehenge, we felt the breeze play across the stone altar. We wondered, does the altar make the wind scared? Or does the wind make the altar scared?" Both Songs from Shadow Wood and Altar Wind are memorable additions to any musical collection. If you want to take home a piece of the Renaissance Faire or of Faery!-- then treat yourself to these recordings.