Frail and haunting, beautiful and dreamy, Gayle Ellett and Todd Montgomery's acoustic music has a sound that is both traditional and contemporary. Highly cinematic and with a strong pan-cultural vibe, they have created a new hybrid style that is uniquely their own. And it is these qualities that make the instrumental music of Fernwood the perfect antidote for the stresses of our modern life.
The title of Fernwood's new album: Arcadia, is loosely based on a narrative that suggests an endless search for an unspoiled wilderness of great beauty, a utopian paradise.
With an expanded palette of world instruments from which to choose from (actually a small orchestra consisting of 25 different acoustic stringed instruments largely invented before the mid-19th Century), Todd Montgomery and Gayle Ellett create acoustic music that is both familiar and exotic, lush and melodic, warm and inspirational.
Their unique music combines modern and classical music concepts, with the traditional sounds of Greek & Irish bouzouki, sitar, dilruba, quirquincho, Chinese ruan, Turkish cumbus, Moroccan oud, harmonium, gimbri, rababa, bulbul tarang, jal tarang, dotara, surmandal, tambura, manjira, tumbi, bugchu, gopichand, violin, mandolin, acoustic guitar, baritone guitar, tenor banjo, tenor ukulele, bells & chimes, acoustic piano, rhodes piano, upright bass, field recordings and other sounds.
And then these exotic tones are used like paint, to create the dramatic visions of immense beauty that is the music of Fernwood.
Their stunning new album Arcadia continues in the same direction and philosophy that the group has been pursuing for the past several years, but with an even grander vision. Deeply beautiful acoustic music, with masterful compositions and dynamic orchestration, and an immense attention to detail, all come together on this high-quality recording.
Arcadia was released on vinyl, as a Special Limited Edition LP of only 300 copies, pressed on 180 gram Audiophile-Quality vinyl, to the highest standards possible.
FERNWOOD's MUSIC on TV:
Their music can be heard on such TV series as "Strange Sex" and "Equitrekking" among others. Fernwood's haunting melodies added a special vibe to the CNN International TV commercials for CNN's "A Stand In The Sinai" documentary. They can also be heard on The Discovery Channel, The Learning Channel, Oprah's OWN, and on additional networks throughout Europe, Canada, and South America.
Here are some "Bullet Point Reviews" ... the full reviews are on the following pages.
"Wonderfully melodic, expertly layered, masterfully interwoven, luscious yet rootsy."
GUITAR PLAYER MAGAZINE
"Sangita is most rewarding and truly brilliant, a genuine masterpiece."
MUSIC STREET JOURNAL
"Fernwood creates a global chamber music with Americana accents and cinematically inclined melodies."
"Almeria" was chosen as the "Number 4 ALBUM OF THE YEAR"!!!
"One of those rare albums that probably will remain with you for a lifetime of appreciation."
"On their debut Almeria, they established the template for a global Americana music, mixing banjo and bouzouki, sitar and mandolin into a soundscape that's as sweet as a country fiddle tune and as beguiling as a raga, creating a gentle, slightly surreal sound like a music box with Indian tines being cranked in the Ozarks."
John Diliberto of ECHOES RADIO
"Fernwood conjure up an image of a Sitar-toting Chinese cowboy wandering through the Appalachian mountains, sailing the seven seas, and fighting dragons....much more cinematic than most world music out there."
SOUND ON SOUND Magazine (United Kingdom)
"Writing, arranging and performances are of the highest order...
"Gayle Ellet and Todd Montgomery, are obviously extremely talented, but use their talents at the service of the compositions, rather than showing off their chops."
AMOEBA MUSIC (Music We Like)
"Each piece has a cinematic feel but is complete in itself, the sounds all slot satisfyingly into place, and the album makes a cohesive, diverse and very rewarding listen."
fROOTS (Folk Roots) Magazine (Ireland)
"As a listener I was kept enthralled, as each track opened new possibilities. An enchanting, beautiful and captivating aural pleasure."
Conclusion: 9 out of 10
DUTCH PROGRESSIVE ROCK PAGES (Holland)
"Solemn, progressive and crystal-clear produced world-music."
iO PAGES (Holland)
"Almeria is a breath of fresh air and is a welcome alternative to today's electronic and synth dominated music."
"Theirs is the kind of music one can sail away on. It swirls and flows in unexpected and delightful harmonies"
"Progressive" in the purest sense of the term."
SEA OF TRANQUILITY
"It's cowboy, it's jazz, it's Oriental. Absolutely enchanting, a brilliant mix of interesting textures and layers of exotic acoustic timbers. A tantalizing taste of otherworldly aural delight."
"The music is melodic, carefully arranged, always holds your attention and is at all times accessible; wholeheartedly recommended."
"These compositions are remarkably bewitching, whether the song is expressing cerebral introspection or frivolous exuberance. An agility is found here, not just in the performance but in the melodies, communicating a joyous celebration of life with brisk effervescence."
"Fans of prog, folk, roots, world and jazz music should discover plenty to enjoy here, as each song provides its own distinct sound. 5 out of 5 Stars"
SEA OF TRANQUILITY
"As an acoustic instrumental album, its concentration on melody rather than technique, rhythm, musical cliches or conformity, makes it one of the most different, satisfying and gorgeous albums of its kind around today."
DEAD EARNEST (Scotland)
"The technical expertise required to play all of these instruments as well as the musical vision to combine everything in such a wonderful manner is quite breathtaking... the results are rather beautiful."
DUTCH PROGRESSIVE ROCK PAGES (Holland)
"The structure of the individual compositions is as complex as anything conventionally labelled as "progressive"....Sangita is a beautiful slice of eclectic, wide-ranging music, a finely-crafted album, born of the staunch dedication of Ellett and Montgomery to their art."