Cronshaw, Aleksanyan & Blake

Cronshaw, Aleksanyan & BlakeAndrew Cronshaw, Tigran Aleksanyan & Ian Blake

Andrew Cronshaw might be described as 'a doyen of the spaces between', playing a richly spacious-sounding electric zither, the rippling harmonics of a huge Slovak fujara whistle, chiming marovantele (his own double-sided Finnish kantele/Malagasy marovany hybrid), the soft-toned Chinese brass-reeded wind instrument ba-wu, and other instruments from the shelf marked 'what is that?' With Tigran Aleksanyan, Armenian master of his country’s heart-pausingly serene-sounding national instrument, the fat-reeded duduk, and the deep woody and soaring tones of Australia-based Ian Blake’s bass clarinet and soprano sax, the trio makes wide-screen, atmospheric new music drawing deep on the traditions of Armenia, Finland, England, Gaelic Scotland, Galicia, Serbia and other parts of Europe. 

Andrew’s 9th CD “The Unbroken Surface Of Snow” (Cloud Valley, 2011) features all three of them (plus a contribution from Sanna Kurki-Suonio, singer in their quartet SANS)

From reviews of  “The Unbroken Surface Of Snow”:

"Delicate, haunting... glacial" - Robin Denselow, The Guardian 

"This remarkable, quiet, haunting piece of folk art... The 34-minute title track is a Finnish creation myth set to a musical landscape that is as close to silence as a heavy snowfall, and more beautiful" - Tim Cumming, The Independent

"Stunningly beautiful" - Fiona Talkington, BBC Radio 3

"Absolutely exquisite" - Mary Ann Kennedy, BBC Radio Scotland / BBC Radio 3

"Sublime" - Max Reinhardt, BBC Radio 3

"Music of snowflake-like singularity" - Ken Hunt, fRoots

"A palpable sense of space and peace" - Norman Chalmers, Scotland on Sunday

"Spacious, gracious, subtle, quietly surprising" - Doug Spencer, ABC Australian national radio 

"Unfolds, seduces and ultimately mesmerises" - Tony Hillier, The Australian

 "The music is sparse, glacial and utterly beautiful, with a wide, panoramic sense of infinite space; you will happily lose yourself again and again in the title track, a far northern wilderness transformed into sound" - Tim Cumming, Songlines

"Deep, unfolding music... and like snow itself, it falls silently and accumulates additional weight and resonance with repeated listening" - Lee Blackstone, Rootsworld, USA

"If the BBC ever make a sequel to Frozen Planet, here surely is its emotive soundtrack" - David Quantick, Uncut

"Ochre was already a masterpiece, but The Unbroken Surface of Snow is a musical paradise on earth" - Marius Roeting, New Folk Sounds, Netherlands

"Here is a great beauty that you might not notice immediately; it took me several months. The music just came flowing towards me, as if I was on a summer meadow, looked up at the sky and saw white clouds drift past. Or a winter night out in the country with the Milky Way's glittering ribbon of stars.  Such occasions when there is all the time in the world and no boundaries" - Lennart Wretlind, Swedish national radio P2