CD: Weaving Worlds
Artist: Aryeh Frankfurter & Lisa Lynne
Contact: (Aryeh) &

“Weaving Worlds” is a harmonic convergence of the first magnitude. Lisa and Aryeh reprise the collaboration that began with their first CD together, “Two Worlds One” and adds the masterful flute work of Lisa’s long-time musical friend George Tortorelli. Listening to this music is like getting into a time machine and going back to when life was much simpler and music was “unplugged”… played on instruments handcrafted of wood and wire. No synthesizers, samplers, or digital effects are in evidence here. Although Lisa and Aryeh are known for their harp artistry, there are a wide variety of instruments from around the world that lend their traditional folk tonalities to the mix. Lisa, whose music on the Windham Hill and New Earth labels has sold over one million recordings in the past twenty years, plays Celtic harp, Ukranian bandura, bouzouki, guitar & bass. Aryeh, who has performed around the world – from large outdoor festivals with thousands of people to a private performance for Prince Charles, adds Swedish Nyckelharpa, viola, violin, cello, guitar, cittern, hammer dulcimer, and Celtic harp. As mentioned, the duo is joined by George Tortorelli who plays bamboo flutes, whistles, recorders, and a bit of guitar as he has on Lisa’s last ten albums, as well as on countless recordings of top new age and world musicians. Incidentally, George designs and builds flutes out of bamboo, which he grows himself near his home in Florida (

One thing I appreciated while perusing the information about this CD on Lisa’s website, was when she talked about how in the “old days” albums came on vinyl with large covers and lots of notes about the artist, the making of the album, photos, etc. Given that the format has shrunk so much with CD’s, not to mention having become non-existent with online downloads, the fact that she dedicated so much space to talking about the production of this album and included notes on each track was like finding a goldmine of fascinating details and insights. I found that hearing the first track, “Aurora Borealis,” for example, had much more meaning after reading Lisa’s account of what inspired the composing of it as she watched the heavenly lights in the Alaskan sky with tears freezing on her face so many years ago.

“Weaving Worlds” which runs just about one hour in length is composed of fifteen tracks – ten of which are full-length pieces and are interspersed with five interludes, or short pieces that are just one mood or musical thought. According to Lisa, “we both love interludes. Every album we always wanted to put some in, so this album we finally did.” The music has a peaceful magical quality which  creates a wonderful atmosphere. There is something about the crystalline purity of the harp strings that speak to the soul like no other. While the other instruments added emotional shadings that were entrancing and evocative. I found that I got the most out of the music listening with eyes closed, so as not to be aware of the contrivances of modern living that surround us. I couldn’t help but reflect on what life must have been like when these kinds of sounds created the pop music of the day. There is a sensitivity and sweetness to it that feels unhurried and heartfelt.

In addition to the aforementioned “Aurora Borealis” other highlights for me were George’s wistful flute playing over the lilting strains of “A Fond Wish,” as well as “My Lagen Love,” which highlighted Aryeh’s lush arrangements, and a tune called “Roundelay,” that the duo created together out of a jam they had early in their musical connection on a sunny day in Golden Gate Park. I also really enjoyed the cascading harp melodies and lively violin playing on “Autumn Waltz,” and the sense of inner peace and contentment I felt while listening to “A Bountiful Life.” I found it interesting, as someone who listens to a lot of electronic music, the emotions that were awakened by this earthy acoustic music. Although not totally surprising given their mission to listeners as related by Lisa, “We hope it makes them feel what we feel… the love and reverence for the instruments and sounds, the music that comes into the heart, out of the hands…hopefully into other hearts.” This goal has certainly been achieved with sweet soulfulness and stunning virtuosity on the gentle tracks of “Weaving Worlds.”