In the blurb on the back cover, Ensemble Gamut! described themselves as being “in search of new ways to perform early music”. Their repertoire ranges from daringly and freshly arranged folk songs to Medieval and Renaissance compositions. Improvisation and electronics are also included. It probably depends on the listener’s attitude how experimental all this sounds. Something that is relatively moderate for a folk music avant-garde enthusiast may seem utterly radical for an early music audience. Be that as it may, the combination is rich and works well.
The sound of the ensemble rests on the effortlessly flowing voice of soprano Aino Peltomaa, with a harmonic texture provided by recorders, harp and harpsichord. A pleasant feeling of space has been created in post-production. The mood ranges from meditative to raucous. An infectious swing may be found particularly in L’autre d’antan by 15th-century composer Johannes Ockeghem and in Per tropo fede from the Vatican Library; in these, the rough tones of the jouhikko played by Ilkka Heinonen provides a delicious contrast to Peltomaa’s dulcet tones. Many of the tracks are as catchy as any pop tune.
ENSEMBLE GAMUT!: UT
Eclipse Music ECD-2020122, 2020
Ensemble Gamut!'s album release concert takes place at the RotFest on 5 April, 2021. The concert will be live streamed. More information here.
Translation: Jaakko Mäntyjärvi