“At midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold”
St. Andrew Novena
Performed on a 5-octave Celtic harp and a 118-string salterio, this CD is about the peace and beauty of Christmas - not the shopping malls and parties. Put it on and turn down the lights. Spend some time in gratitude or admiring your Christmas tree. And take a deep breath and relax. And step back into the first Christmas Eve.
Angels and shepherds, a mother and child, birds and beasts – all are part of the mystery of Christmas Eve but so familiar we take them for granted. Legend said that Christ was born at midnight and all creation stopped in amazement. And then began to rejoice! With carols from France, Spain, Germany, Austria, the U.S.A., and Ukraine, as well as a Chaldean hymn from Iraq and a lullaby from China, old favorites share the stage with some beautiful, less-familiar tunes. May this mixture of tenderness and joy bring you closer to all you love in this season of delight.
The salterio heard on three tracks here is a modern child of zithers that date back to antiquity. Its rich, bell-like tone with clouds of overtones is like no other. And Mary Jane is thrilled to be one of the first to bring this marvelous sound out of the monasteries where it was developed into the wider world.
Mary Jane Ballou has spent her life surrounded by music, joining her first choir at the age of three. Early piano studies culminated in conservatory training on that instrument as well as the organ. When the Celtic harp appeared, it was love at first sight and a chance to explore a whole new world of music. Mary Jane’s 118-string salterio from France has pushed the boundaries out even further. Currently based in St. Augustine, Florida, Mary Jane divides her time among performing, teaching, and recording. Her St. Augustine: A Musical Journey celebrates 450 years of history on the harp with a 30-minute musical tour of the oldest city in the United States (also available on CD Baby).
You can find notes on all the songs – and on the magical salterio heard on several tracks at https://www.tradebit.com.
This file is sold by music, an independent seller on Tradebit.