Album Maryann’s Garden – Cristine Merienne

Cristine Merienne – Maryann’s Garden
texte de Vincent Blot

« Maryann’s garden » follows suite to Cristine’s previous album « Madame est dans le jardin » (Madam is in the garden in English) and offers a performance with only a singer and her Celtic harp. We are being guided in an initiatory journey that recalls her days as a young musician, and her evolution towards becoming a professional artist. Intimate and moving, it has a real unity, nothing is  out of place. If you look deeper you will find out that, with this new opus, Cristine shares strong moments of her life as an artist.

The album is made of arrangements and compositions for the Celtic harp, making us travel through time and space into traditional celtic music. Annaig Kalvez is a traditional tune arranged by Diminig Bouchaud, a harpist living in Finistère (western Brittany). It is sung in Breton, and you can find a video clip going with this song. Baz Valan is the second song, and is a composition by the late Kristen Noguès. Cristine got involved with the collective ARP and they pays tribute to Kristen in a show called Diriaou.

La verte épine (The green thorn) is a traditional arranged by Clotilde Trouillaud. It is a well known song that I witnessed many young harpists enjoyed learning and playing during learning courses.

Le voyageur (The traveller) is a piece written for Cristine by a friend met at the Breton mission in Paris arranged by her. It is followed with Sangshyttevalsen composed by Eva Saether, a series of songs that you could recognize from the album « De l’autre côté » (On the other side) recorded with a former duo called Sedrenn. Then comes a strange poem in Breton, called An dekred 666, written by a poet friend.

Cristine composed three pieces : the touching Une sorte de valse (A type of waltz), the stirring Jardin suspendu (Hanging garden) and the unsettling Machinerie (Machinery). Through these pieces, we get carried away into her musical world allowing us to fully value her talent.

Traveling north, some traditional tunes complete the album like The Brig O perth, from Scotland written by Corrina Hewat, The trees they grow high, a traditional of Great-Britain with a jazzy arrangement, and Glommy winter’s noo awa, another traditional Scottish song.

As Cristine is a calm and timid person in everyday life, it is always impressive to see her onstage beaming with a moving and confident voice coming with her very personal way of playing harp. It is so special that I am certain I could recognize her playing with my eyes shut !

In a nutshell, “Maryann’s garden” is an album to glimpse at Cristine Merienne’s universe and influences : she helps us discover her compositions and her love for many poets and composers, a true invite on a journey. This album is an acoustic recording by Ralf Kleeman (also a harpist that I encourage you to check out) in a German chapel in April 2016. It is available for purchase at Coop Breizh.

Cristine Merienne released another album in 2018, following the show « La note rouge » (The red note). For more information about albums or concert dates, visit www.cristine.fr (french only).

The collective ARP also offers promotional videos and « stories » on Youtube.com where Cristine tells us more about her experiences.

Find out more at  Youtube/ARPcollective.

20 July 2020

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