"Wow ... the more I listen, the more I like
"Beyond the Waves" is an impressive production; energetic, exciting,
fresh and original ... and always musical. It consists of fourteen
tracks: mostly small ensemble, some just harp and bass, two harp
solos. The ensembles masterfully blend the harp with cello, violin,
soprano saxophone, and accordion, in turns, as well as bass and
percussion. The harp is never lost; it weaves beautifully with the
sax, for example. Sharlene is a strong and masterful player.
The ensemble musicians are excellent. The sax and violins merit
an x-rating (for excellent). I must mention the use of the accordion
as a single-line solo instrument. I don't recall ever hearing accordion
like this. It adds a marvellously delicate, plaintive voice (along
with violin) to "Habanera Gris," among others.
Latin-American rhythms predominate (I would say nine out of fourteen
cuts). In fact, two of the pieces are by Alfredo Rolando Ortiz.
One of them -- "El Rio" -- is absolutely delightful. (I'm not surprised;
I was impressed by Sharlene's performance of Alfredo's "Llano",
on an early recording.) It begins with an octave ostinato on the
harp, adds a repeating bass pattern, and builds. It made me feel
like I was standing on a mountaintop, watching the sun rise."
— M. Landy, Folk Harp Journal (2005)
"Sharlene is ... one of our most important lever harp interpreters
and composers. This CD ("Beyond the Waves") has a general water
theme, and the tunes, particularly the ones she has written, are
connected to that theme in various ways. But these are not of the
dreamy meandering style - they're much more exciting than that.
Many of the pieces feature the addition of one or more instrumentalists
from a great 'back-up' band of cello, accordion, violin, bass, percussion,
and (my favourite) soprano sax. The accompanying is easily among
the most tasteful (to my ears) and musical I've heard in a good
while. Sharlene's playing is stellar: rhythmic, clean,
(very clean), and precise; always going somewhere, but never rushing.
Really something to strive to emulate! Sharlene has composed 9 of
the 14 tracks; the others include a couple of tunes by Alfredo Ortiz.
Great artwork and design, too, further indications of Sharlene's
creativity and attention to detail.
— Marilyn Rummel, British Columbia
" This is not just your harp music with a pretty
face - it is smoky, saucy and flirtatious, serving up a delicious
blend of drama and daydreams. "
— by Susan S.H.