Close Your Eyes
So let me set the stage. Close your eyes. Really. Imagine a deep, lush green forest. A mist is in the air. Twilight is upon you. Now bend down and look under the piney bough. You’ll see a tiny, round hut made of sticks. Peer inside the window and you will see all the fairies getting ready to put their fairy babies to bed. So they call upon their best and sweetest amhránaí. The fairy singer, Sarah. Now play the music.
Although the New Age band 2002 has been making exceptional music for more than two decades, it is only recently that they added the talents of their singer and multi-instrumentalist daughter, Sarah. There is no doubt that the inspiration for much of their music is now the star of the show. Celtic Fairy Lullaby is twelve delicately sweet tracks of music that will soothe the soul of anyone, size notwithstanding.
The album opens with the doublet Seoithín Seo Hó (Hushaby, Hush)/ Gartan’s Mother Lullaby. Right away we get a sense of the sweetness of Sarah’s baby soft voice as she sings the flowing tune. Ironically, Seoithín Seo Hó is a plea to the fairies to allow the baby to sleep and not take her away to the fairy lands. Gartan’s Mother Lullaby is also in part plea for safe keeping.
Cariad had such a yearning tone to it, it was almost heartbreaking. That is the beauty of voice as an instrument. Cariad is Gaelic for Beloved and the song is an impressive melody to tell yours that you love them and you will protect them forever. This was one of many favorites.
Even little people need stories of adventure. Take for instance the tale of Ned from the Hills, an Irish bandit that lived the life of a Robinhood in County Tipperary. Expressed with harp, gentle strings and Sarah’s seraphic rendition, Eamonn an Chnoic is the bold story of Ned who turned on the British and foiled them night after night in daring robberies and such. Everyone needs heroes.
I actually remember my mother singing Ar Hyd y Nos to my baby sister when we were young. I remember it as “All Through the Night, and what a satisfying memory it is for me. Losing a parent when you are a child is devastating, but having such a wonderful recollection reminds me that she is always with me.
Perhaps your life is charmed when you have a goddess on your side. Bonnie Prince Charlie, a heroic figure of the 18th century who was much maligned, but true to his nobility had the goddess Éire praying for his return in the song Mo Ghile Mear (My Gallant Darling). A dramatic flourish of cymbals and strings emboldens the tune, making it a remarkable ballad. Sarah’s’ voice comes out of the misty hills of Scotland to tell the tale of this European soldier/poet.
The album closes with the incredibly soothing tune, Thugamar Féin an Samhradh Linn (We Brought the Summer With Us) Sarah has a sound that is timidly dulcet as she sings about the celebration on the first day of summer. There are lines about fertility and growth and such, but also a plea for the fairies who walk upon the earth to be kind.
Most of the music on the album is dreamy harp, guitar and strings that has a warm, fantasy quality to it that is enchanting, but that is to be expected considering the overall theme. Of the dozen tunes on Celtic Fairy Lullaby, two are sumptuous instrumentals, but vocals are definitely the showcase on this New Age recording. It does not take a Delphic oracle to see that 2002 (Randy and Pamela Copus) has ascended a musical plateau with the addition of Sarah Copus as lead vocalist. The view at the top must be spectacular for all. I can see that the candle burns low, the fairy babies are all asleep, and so I bid you a fair and goodnight.
RJ Lannan ~ Zone Music Reporter
"Celtic Fairy Lullaby is the eagerly awaited new release from the award-winning group 2002, one of the world’s premier new age music ensembles. While husband and wife Randy and Pamela Copus have produced many albums as a duo, their last few releases have featured their daughter Sarah in supporting roles. Now at the age of 11, Sarah, who is truly a rising star, shines in the spotlight as the lead vocalist, as well as on harp, in this enchanting collection of soothing ancient melodies. As always, the album’s production is superb; enhancing the lush soundscapes the group is so well known for. Fans of Enya, Loreena Mckennitt, and Clannad will find a lot to like in the magical music of Celtic Fairy Lullaby."
Michael Diamond – Music and Media Focus
"2002 (originally Pamela and Randy Copus) have had a long and highly acclaimed career, going back to 1992’s Wings. With the addition of daughter Sarah (now all of 12 years old!) on lead and backing vocals (first heard on 2014’s Trail of Dreams), the trio has reached a height that eclipses all their previous accolades. Celtic Fairy Lullaby is a magnificent recording, rife with deep mysticism, heartbreaking beauty, and many moments that are likely to have you catching your breath in wonder. The album contains twelve rapturous Celtic lullabies, sung by Sarah in Gaelic, Welsh or English and accompanied by Pamela and Randy’s superb instrumentation (guitar, bass, piano, keyboards, flute and harp)."
Bill Binkelman -Retailing Insight Magazine