Album of the Week this week is Idiom from Jennifer & Hazel Wrigley.
COMBINING mastery with mischief, and tradition with modernity, Jennifer and Hazel Wrigley, the internationally acclaimed fiddle and guitar duo from the Orkney Islands, have a magical new album to perform.
Idiom is a sparkling blend of traditional, contemporary and original material, invigorated with jazz, blues and ragtime flavours. Like an Orkney sunrise, Idiom bursts with light, colour and outrageous and dizzying energy. Idiom has woken the timeless standing stones of Orkney and made them dance again. Idiom reflects a confidence and maturity honed from years of touring and playing.
Wrigley and the Reel is a 4 to 6 piece band where Jennifer and Hazel are joined by ‘The Reel’; comprising of outstanding
musicians who are regular visitors to the sessions at The Reel in Orkney with boundless musical dexterity and vitality, Orcadian wit and good fun!
After years of touring, the Wrigley Sisters returned to Orkney and in 2004 set up ‘The Reel’: predominantly a music school but also encompassing a cafe & bar, music shop, venue and exhibition space. The school now has in excess of 600 students, allowing the lasses to ‘put something back into Orkney.’
Hailing from Orkney, the twin sisters began performing together – Jennifer on fiddle and Hazel on piano and guitar – when they were 8. Their universal audience appeal reflects both the calibre of their music and the effervescent charm of their performances.
Their recorded output – from their 1991 debut Dancing Fingers recorded between the age of 13 and 16 years, its successor The Watch Stone (1994), third album Huldreland, fourth album Mither 0′ The Sea, fifth album Skyran and their sixth and most recent release Idiom – reveals their assurance and sophistication and reaffirms their international prominence.
Jennifer and Hazel have undertaken three world tours, visited forty seven countries (including fifteen trans-Atlantic trips) and appeared in countless television and radio productions. They have undertaken many musical and education related initiatives and collaborations; several with internationally renowned artists such as Evelyn Glennie. In addition they have also undertaken and delivered extensive teaching and music workshop initiatives throughout the world. The sisters were extensively involved in
‘Live Music Now’ – a tutorial initiative whose patrons are Yehudi Menuhin and Prince Charles.
Jennifer and Hazel have won a number of national and international awards, with Jennifer Wrigley herself a past winner of the BBC Young Tradition Award, the UK’s premier accolade for emerging folk music talent.
The sisters are unquestionably two of the highest profile cultural and creative arts ‘ambassadors’ to emanate from Orkney and are clearly appreciated as such within their home community.