David Arkenstone

Celtic Journeys

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Contemporary instrumental artist David Arkenstone is prolific. Prolific enough, in fact, to create a compilation consisting only of tracks from his Celtic albums: Celtic Sanctuary (2007), Spirit of Ireland (2007), Be Thou My Vision: Celtic Hymns (2008), Celtic Romance (2008), and Celtic Chillout (2010). As the titles suggest, there are slightly different themes on the different albums, and sampling from them produces an eclectic collection, that is, within the overall Celtic style and Arkenstone's own keyboard-based synthesizer approach. He performs traditional music, sometimes in a traditional manner and sometimes, as with "She Moved Through the Fair" from Celtic Chillout, for instance, with a pop/rock rhythm. He includes recent efforts, such as the Clannad hit "Harry's Game." And he occasionally adds female vocals to familiar tunes like "Scarborough Fair." Throughout, he maintains a high-pitched pennywhistle-like sound to lead the melodies and give the music that haunting Celtic feel. Real Irishmen may want to hear their music played on real instruments, but Arkenstone clearly has cornered the market on the computer-driven facsimile.

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