A Hymn for Ancient Land is not an album I could listen to while doing anything else. It would be like texting while taking a walk in a breath-taking landscape – missing the beauty. Inspired by his home in Moss Valley, the Peaks and the Dales, this is exactly what Jim purports he is doing in this album.
“I wanted to bring in wider instrumentation to somehow resemble the landscapes which musically I could hear in my head. It was at this point I became fixated on connecting the two worlds of classical and contemporary folk”
Arguably some of his most accessible work, A Hymn for Ancient Land is a fusion of classical and folk. Verging on the orchestral at times, the sound is not over-complicated and the quiet and careful layering in the tracks leaves a sense of space to meditate. It is highly emotive, especially the yearning Fortingall Yew which has a wistful melancholy. The deeply personal attachment is clear throughout, especially through the ‘Banks of Mulroy Bay’ and the story behind it:
“I was learning about my family’s history in Ireland, who farmed on the West in County Mayo. “| came across this old Irish travellers folk song in the selection of my Granddad’s tapes. I was inspired to record my own version after hearing the stories of my families past.”
A particular highlight is the opening track, Home for Moss Valley. A distillation of the immersion in nature that Jim Ghedi has weaved throughout this album. Overall it is inspiring, and I, for one, look forward to Jim’s next albums, which promise to be exciting, with a unique sound, if A Hymn for Ancient Land is anything to go by.
Album launch shows:
Friday 16th February – St John The Evangelist Church, Ridgeway (Moss Valley)
Saturday 17th February – The Upper Chapel, Sheffield