The Juniper Project: Fragments

review juniper project x1 cong
Some flute-based releases we’ve reviewed have included the words “challenging” or “for lovers of technical flute playing”, euphemistically used for “verging on unlistenable”. Now comes this delightful album.

It’s the music from a heavily costumed romance drama, the scene where the lovers float down the river on a sunny day (in a boat, obviously), the light dappling through the leaves and only the heavenly music of flute and harp providing an aural feel of the contentment the couple feel.

Bernard Andrè’s Algues is first, “algues” meaning seaweed, the sound of seawater gently washing on a sunlit beach (see above).

Fellow French composer Jacques Ibert follows, his Trois Pièces Brèves being incidental music for El Médico De Su Honra (English: The Surgeon of his Honour) a tragedy about a misunderstanding that leads to the honour killing of the protagonist’s wife; yet another a love story where boy meets girl, girl meets scalpel.

Elsewhere Syrinx is a little more celestial, but never less than relaxing and a cover of Greensleeves is rather delightful without sounding cliched; the tune has not stayed popular since 1580 without reason.

The Juniper Project is Anna Rosa Mari on flute and Eira Lynn Jones, and this is their debut duo recording. Rosa Mari has taught flute at Salford University; she regularly leads creative workshops and performances in schools. Jones has performed at the Hollywood Bowl and under “Dippy” the dinosaur at the Natural History Museum, as well as leading the RNCM Young Harps Project.

This was recorded at St Thomas’s Church, Stockport.

Out now on Divine Art, DDA25179.

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