WH-1031 Billy Oskay and Micheal O Domhnaill Nightnoise
Nightnoise is the first Windham Hill album to include Celtic music influence, at a time before Celtic music was considered one of the pillars of New Age (along with synthesizer washes and the more folk-inspired music that Windham Hill is best known for. Regardless, Oskay and O Domhnaill cover new ground here and there is much to like.
Both artists have such a large body of work, and such an impressive story to tell that I have held off writing any reviews on their work hoping to have the time to do justice to their efforts and to tell their story in a way that would enhance your enjoyment of this rich and ambitious album. That’s not going to happen, but I encourage you to do a little searching and you’ll quickly find a lot more to listen to that is well worth your while.
Within the Windham Hill catalog, Nightnoise fits well within the trajectory started by Clockwork with ensemble performances emphasizing song structure and ambience over individual performances. There is enough complexity to the music to sit and listen to it with focus, but the moods shift subtly, and the feeling is always so pleasant that this has become one of my go-to dinner music albums, where it serves as a background to friendly conversation and relaxed entertaining.
Like Montreaux, the album name became the de facto name of the band for future releases.
Nightnoise Track Listing
- Nightnoise 4:17 B. Oskay
- The 19A 3:08 M. O Domhnaill
- Bridges 7:43 M. O Domhnaill
- False Spring 4:12 D. Bottemiller, B. Oskay
- City Nights 3:26 B. Oskay
- After Five 3:12 M. O Domhnaill
- Menucha (A Place with Water) 4:33 B. Oskay
- The American Lass 3:05 M. O Domhnaill
- The Cricket’s Wicket 6:16 M. O Domhnaill
- Billy Oskay: Violins; violas; piano on False Spring, City Nights and Menucha; harmonium on Menucha
- Micheal O Domhnaill: Guitars, whistles, piano and harmonium on Bridges, After Five and The American Lass, The Cricket’s Wicket; and harmonium on The 19A
- Tommy Thompson: Bass on Nightnoise and City Nights
- Cricket: itself
- Produced by Billy Oskay and Micheal O Domhnaill
- Engineered by Billy Oskay with assistance from M. O Domhnaill
- Recorded during 1983 a the home of Billy Oskay, Portland, OR
- Mixed in February 1984, Recording Associates, Portland, OR
- Mix engineered by Billy Oskay and Mike Moore
- Mix engineering consultant: Steven Miller
- Original mastering by Bernie Grundman Mastering, Hollywood, CA
- Cover Photo by Steven Harper
- Liner Photo by Michael Moran
- Graphic Design by Anne Ackerman Robinson
- Special thanks to Windell Oskay, Peggy Feindt, Tom Bocci, Barry Poss, Steven Miller and Mike Moore
- 1962 Viola, 1964 Violin; Wm. F. Oskay
- 1977 Guitar: Kenny White
- Yamaha C7D Grand Piano, Harmonium and Whistles
- Manufactured by Windham Hill Records, A Division of Windham Hill Productions, Inc. Box 9388 Stanford, CA 94305
- (c) (p) Windham Hill Records, 1984
- Distributed by A&M Records, Inc.