France, 1970, Breton Celtic folk

Alan StivellReflets: The first time I heard the tune that’s used for “Son ar chistr” was on Anaïs Mitchell’s rendition of Child Ballad #6. Although the tunes are the same, the feeling of the songs is completely different. Stivell’s otherworldly voice and ethereal harp transport the listener to another time and place, but in a way, so does the Mitchell rendition, especially since it deals with magic. What’s remarkable about this music is how Stivell plucks the harp more often than simply strumming it. Each note is discrete and powerful.

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