Review by RJ Lannan
|Music has Charms…Noted harpist Trine Opsahl offers her latest album Add Colors to My Sunset Sky al fresco. This is an album for the out of doors. It is for warming yourself in the sun, letting your bare feet touch the grass, and letting the wind tickle your skin. Unique to this album is Trine’s use of cooing vocals. No words really, but vocal musings created during the breathing process. It is an integral part of the music as is every note from her Celtic harp.
There is an earthiness, an organic element to these thirteen cuts of gentle harp and monochord music. Opsahl’s method is to use music to heal and she does this in very specific terms. She is a disciple of thanatology, the science of coping with death and the mechanics and psychology involved with the process not only for the patient, but their families as well. For many years Opsahl has used her talents to ease the pain in the bodies and minds of the dying, but more importantly to allow the spirit to rise. It is a gift. I have had the pleasure of reviewing her other albums and they are equally meditative and comforting.
The first cut is called Songs from a Mountain I. Trine’s voice is soothingly soft, the monochord drone, almost a one-note hurdy gurdy really, is consoling. There is something spiritual about being in the mountains. Whether it be the altitude or the majesty, it is undeniable. Trine’s melody takes those elements and with her tender vocal, allows us to participate in a sun rise.
There are several tunes about the sun on this album. It makes so much sense. When we have warmth and light, we have life. As the sun warms the earth, the next cut, Sunshine on a Stony Path comes into play. The song is a gentle cadence of notes. The dulcet harp leads over the rocky ground to a place of magnificent quietude. My thoughts hover over me like white clouds teasing my imagination.
For some reason In A Grain of Sand sounded like a very old liturgical song. Trine hums the tune and accompanies herself on the harp and then it sounds like a Baroque chanson. There is a sense of the primordial, yet it is reverent as if it is the first prayer you have ever heard. The music seems to envelop you in a feeling of beauty and calm.
The sun is on high, broad, green leaves are discarding their dewy coatings, and Lightly Dance in the Morning plays in the background. Trine’s musical narrative is an invitation to face the sun and make the most of your day. There is a delicate warmth to the song. It is uplifting
The title tune Add Colors to My Sunset Sky is a metaphor for the time to say goodbye, but not entirely forever. In many faiths, there is something more than a mere corporeal bond to this planet. There is an afterlife. Even in science, the theory that energy can be neither created, nor destroyed is prevalent and widely accepted as a truism. Trine’s beautiful tune opens a door rather than closes one.
As Trine’s music suggests, everyone you meet adds a bit of color to your life. If that is the case, then this album of peaceful songs has added a rainbow or two to mine. I imagine that Trine Opsahl is our modern day Hildegard Von Bigen. Composer, mystic, visionary and so much more. There is no coincidence that you can feel the deep emotion in her music. I said at the beginning that his was an outdoor album, but the truth is it is also an indoor album. The indoor part is within the soul itself, for the music goes that deep and beyond. Highly recommended for its meditative, calming qualities.