If I Had a Key to the Dawn
Love Songs and Laments
from Eastern Europe
“A stark, stunning record.” (Huffington Post)
A “quietly spellbinding debut.” (World Music Central)
This spare and atmospheric album is a journey through the musical landscapes of Eastern Europe. The haunting voice of singer Lily Storm interprets ancient folk songs with fragile honesty and practiced skill. The pieces flow together like a series of dreams, opening with a fragmentary Ukrainian lullaby, continuing with wistful Hungarian melodies, angular Greek dance rhythms, passionate Russian and Bulgarian laments, and a fiery Romanian mountain tune, and closing with a tender Czech ode to the rising sun. The result transcends cultural boundaries and offers fresh awareness of centuries-old musical traditions. Includes 20-page booklet with notes and complete lyrics, with English translations.
I am quite happy with the recording. As many of you know, it has been a long journey. It wasn't what I set out to make; it is sadder, darker and ultimately, I think, more interesting. There are beautiful solos by Dan Cantrell (accordion) and Shea Comfort (duduk), and lovely accompaniments by Ryan Francesconi, Beth Bahia Cohen, Diana Rowan, Joshua Levy, Eric Perney, Peter Maund and Faisal Zedan.
“★★★★ There's some very beautiful music on this CD, culled from all over Eastern Europe and performed with spare, aching loveliness ... nothing is less than excellent. Storm knows her material ... and sings with reverence, real skill, and true emotion. She's most certainly a class act, not appropriating the songs, but disseminating them to a wider audience.” -- Chris Nickson, All Music Guide
“Forget any talk of cultural imperialism, this is someone who feels the music at a cellular level, and performs it with exquisite beauty.... Storm's voice and the songs are what this is about, and on the basis of this, she has a very grand future.” -- Sing Out
“[A] quietly spellbinding debut CD, on which Storm interprets traditional songs in a manner that will have you questioning her American background. She does these pieces a great service linguistically, emotionally and in all other respects, not merely imitating the musical characteristics of the various regions but subtly re-casting them to suit her own considerable vocal prowess. The sparseness not only allows her to really stretch out, but also lets the perfectly suited tones of accordion, violin, duduk, kaval and such add even more heart.” -- World Music Central
“It's GORGEOUS! Her facility, artistry and versatility are totally amazing and beautiful. Choice of material superb.” -- Bon Singer, vocalist, composer, choral director
“A stark, stunning record, unsurprising upon learning that Storm sang with vocal troupe Kitka for a half-decade, whose albums never disappoint. Here she takes on Greece, Aremenia, Hungary, Bulgaria, and more on their own terms, creating a stunning tapestry of sounds backed up by an elegant selection of instrumentalists.” -- Derek Beres, Huﬃngton Post