Already the cover artwork of Tirill Mohn’s debut album is extraordinary: it goes hand in hand with the meaningful title, yet it’s not too accessible or in any way pretentious, it really hints at a hidden beauty which is clad in mysterious shadows. And so is the music as well: not “sensational” in any superficial regard, but with so much depth and atmosphere that you can close your eyes and easily imagine the artist sitting next to you – maybe at the fire deep in the woods – and playing her breathtakingly beautiful songs. The first eight tunes are undoubtedly the ones which embody what Tirill calls “Norwegian melancholy”. The record starts with “Nights Are Colder”, but Tirills voice is actually quite warm when she invites the listener to “come closer to the fire”. The song itself is beautifully arranged with Tirill partly whispering and Odd Håkon Solbakken singing some lines as well. It’s not a question what happens on this album, but simply how it happens – the second song “Don’t dare to love you” lasts “only” two and half a minute, yet it develops a spellbinding atmosphere like only few tunes did that I heard before. All songs on “A Dance With The Shadows” are created with deep love on the one hand and with a seldom carefulness on the other. Once again: it makes not much sense to explain that Tirill plays some kind of silent folk music if that information doesn’t go along with a description of how she and her gorgeously talented guest musicians play her songs. It’s indeed shadowy music, but in the shadows the listener’s imagination might create individual stories inspired by personal remembrances and Tirill’s obviously personal and sometimes impressive naturerelated lyrics: “Dressed In Beauty” is for example a song that reflects some sceneries in such a calm manner
that the listening experience is nevertheless overwhelmingly beautiful – at least for me. I lack the right words to describe the much more than fascinating character of Tirill’s music, yet I can only give you the advice to take enough time to discover the manifold
beauty behind the shadows…
This is a beautifully moving debut album
Helped by a cast of a dozen musicians,including members of her old band White Willow, Tirill Mohn has recorded an immediately seductive album of folk pop. Her songwriting is elegant and graceful,never lowering itself to the common denominator, yet remaining easy to grasp. The arrangements are rich in Nordic folk, progressive and gothic elements. The result is an album that sounds slightly medievalesque without surrendering to the clichés of the genre (like Blackmore¹s Night, for instance) or adopting a dark atmosphere… ..In short, A Dance with the Shadows is a complete success and a revelation of Tirill Mohn¹s talent. It has a lot of crossover appeal. Fans of Loreena McKennitt should definitely give her a try….
François Couture, All Music Guide
Dette har blitt en udiskutabel perle
der det handler om lavmælt, vakker, mystisk og spennende musikk. Akustisk gitar, fløyte, trekkspill, fiolin, stemninger og ikke minst Tirills vakre stemme har gjort dette albumet til noe helt spesielt. Jeg tenker på Maddy Prior til tider, både hva stemme og komposisjon angår. Hør for eksempel den usannsynlig vakre “Dressed in Beauty” og dere skjønner hva jeg mener. Det er selvfølgelig en smakssak, men jeg tror de fleste med sans for det vakre og stemningsfulle vil få stort utbytte av dette albumet.
Bjørn Nørsterud, Scream Magazine
A Dance With The Shadows is a magical mix
of classical, folk, and even gothic elements, full of emotion and fire, where flashes of bright melodic color are juxtaposed with dark somber tones, all to wonderful effect. Tirill’s expressive vocals and lyrics are supported well by the beautiful and delicate instrumental mix, the overall tone freely shifting from ethereal and atmospheric to moody and pensive without warning, all within a gentle and warm blanket of nordic folkiness. Additional musicians support on cello, accordion, additional guitars, bass, woodwinds, glockenspiel, bouzouki and percussion. The vocals are often double-tracked and harmonized, whispered, and occasionally treated for a beautiful haunting effect, as on the opener Nights Are Colder, where she is also joined in harmony by a male vocalist and a masse choir effect at the crescendos. The listener might at times be reminded at times of the Linda Perhacs album Parallelograms, at least in overall tone and approach. In all, this is a stunning debut that should interest fans of the gentler and folkier side.
Peter Thelen, Expose
This is a definite singer-songwriter album
sung in English. It’s well arranged, basically acoustically, with lots of attention to detail, with compact clear folksongpop-oriented tracks with a dreamy sensitivity, with a flavour of a warm wind and early spring (“Dressed in Beauty”), with some pastoral aspects of acoustic music (but here and there also with some real folk elements, like on “Golds of Morning”, with a fresh sound of chamber music arrangements, always sung with a slightly whispery voice and additional voice arrangements. A couple of tracks (like “It Was Blue” , Ruby”& “When you sleep”..) also have some accordion arrangements. Very good!
The ambience throughout is one of haunting beauty
–of mystery, longing and calm. The tone is set even before the CD is removed from its case, by a wonderfully presented booklet, with its subtle, ghost-like eroticism. This is continued as the album weaves through an almost impossibly beautiful 50 minutes. Though each of the eleven songs maintains the same, tranquil atmosphere, the arrangements are amazingly varied. Oystein Vesaas’ wonderfully liquid production lifts each instrument from the speakers,especially the vocals which are delightfully intimate…
Stephen Lambe, Musical Discoveries
Tirill Mohns første soloalbum er et faktum.
Hun har fortid i White Willow, og med seg herifra bringer hun sansen for det subtile, atmosfæriske, vakre og varierte. Plata rommer impulser fra klassisk musikk, pop, visesang, folkemusikk, symfo og prog. Dens fortrinn er at den vokser over tid, samt at den har en aldeles fenomenal avslutningslåt i “When you sleep”; ikke ulik Silje Viges beste spor. Personlig hadde jeg forventet mer progressivitet, men finner hennes sjarmerende uttrykk uimotståelig.
Geir Larzen, Monster Magazine
A truly stunning recording full of light and shadow
, from sun gilded meadows to firelight dancing off the trees at the deep heart of the darkened forest. At once contemporary and ancient, earthy and grounded and ethereal and otherworldly, joyous and sorrowful, deeply emotional and stirringly cerebral. Tirill’s acoustic guitar work is classical in influence as well as rooted in folk musics and Scandinavian melodies, at times recalling some of the playing of Duncan Browne and Nick Drake. Her violin work is sublime and lyrical and her voice is nothing short of angelic! (think a Nordic Linda Perhacs even…) She is backed by some amazing musicians making this cd truly an experience? whilst incorporating neo classical, folk, progressive and even gothic elements she has created a lovely netherworld all it’s own! David Tibet (Current 93) said this of the CD: “a beautiful box of kaleidoscoped ghosts”… A haunting and timeless recording that grows deeper with each listening! Highly recommended!!!!
Michael Piper, The Wild Places
Tirill’s album is out!
While we’re all waiting for the new WW album, here’s something to shorten the time and warm our days. Tirill has finally released her wondrously great debut album, “A Dance With The Shadows” on The Wild Places. The release party was in Oslo, and it was quite an event, with label prez Michael Piper flying in from New York and everything. For those of you who don’t know her, Tirill was part of the original White Willow line-up, playing violin and guitar and contributing to the songwriting on “Ignis Fatuus”. The last few years she has been concentrating on a solo career, and the album is the fruit of 3 years of labour – a labour of love by the sound of it. Anyone who likes the gentler sounds of early White Willow, or has a sweet tooth for mysterious, melancholy songs infused with folk and classical elements, this is the best thing you’re ever likely to hear. Forget about Loreena McKennitt – Tirill has it all! A stellar cast of musicians (including White Willow’s Ketil Einarsen and Sylvia Erichsen) and a wonderfully transparent production courtesy of engineer Øystein Vesaas – along with a beautiful booklet (photos by WW stalwart Teresa K. Aslanian) combines to make this the most moving experience of the year. Even before its release, the album was already making waves all over the world – appearantly, one of her most ardent fans is David Tibet of Current 93!
Jacob Holm-Lupo, White Willow
Tirill Mohn may be familiar to many of you as the violinist/former member of White Willow that played on Ignis Fatuus. Tirill (who is an extremely talented musician and vocalist) has been working on this debut solo effort for quite some time. This is gorgeous laid back progressive folk music that will send chills up and down your spine. She has an ethereal quality to her voice and the accompaniment of flute, keys, acoustic and electric guitars, violin fit the music perfectly. Other White Willow members past and present appear – flautist Ketil Einarsen plays flute and helps with arrangements. One of the tunes features Sylvia Erichsen on lead vocals.
A stunning effort…please Tirill don’t take so long for the next one!!!
Ken Golden, The Laser’s Edge Records