Ray goes from Classical to Celtic
The Celtic and the classical easily coalesce. Just ask singer Celeste Ray who naturally pairs the two genres. “There’s a huge correlation between classical and Celtic music, and people don’t realize [it]” Ray said, “There’s just a little difference in rhythm and style.” Ray recalls that it was easy for her to transition to Celtic music from her classical background. Now, interpreting Celtic music with a classical style is the hallmark of Ray’s group, Four Celtic Voices — an American quartet who has adopted Irish and Scottish music as their genre. Today, Four Celtic Voices — made up of Ray, Alison Crossley, Carol Crittenden, and Maria Banks — are gearing up for a tour to coincide with the launch of their album, “Four Celtic Seasons.” … Read More »
— Colleen Taylor, Irish Echo, Arts & Lifestyle
Your music selection was excellent, performed at a high skill level, using some very unique instruments. Your verbal presentation was informative and easily understood. You developed a good rapport with the audience. You are a quality touring artistic group.
— Dave Peterson, Concert Coordinator, Anoka Community Concert Association
These ladies do it all from providing their own accompaniment to lifting their voices in a sweet harmony that is bold and vibrant in character. Four Celtic Voices provides much more than four voices on stage–they bring life and magic to the music that elevates the senses.
— Bill Wilson, Director, Morganton Municipal Auditorium
Celeste’s voice is a warm and pleasant instrument. One of Celeste’s distinctive calling cards is her skill with the bowed psaltery…the sound is at once fresh and other-worldly.
— Los Angeles Times, Josef Woodard
Celeste Ray’s Celtic songs enthralled the audience in Brooklyn Heights. In the hands of Celeste Ray, the psaltery became an instrument capable of fierce expression. The audience came alive with the traditional numbers, keeping the beat with clapping hands and tapping feet. Ray’s apparent enthusiasm for her music invigorated the small hall, and gave a taste of another time and place…the songs were all energetic, accessible, and beautiful.
— Brooklyn Heights Press
Celeste Ray sang and played traditional Celtic tunes and original music on a bowed psaltery at Clark Hall last night and the audience gave the group a standing ovation.
— The Daily Southerner
Combining instrumentals with vocal tracks, Ray is able to display both her skills with the bowed psaltery (“Psaltery Danse No. 1” is a knockout) and her wondrous voice, which is best showcased on “Come by the Hills” and “Blessing for Setting Forth.”
— Alternative Rock Review
Completely faithful to her music’s Celtic roots, Celeste Ray creates a time-spanning experience that takes the listener to faraway lands. The hauntingly pretty “Scarborough Fair,” reflects its medieval majesty with Ray’s bravura performance.
— CD Reviews
The beautiful Blessing of the Elements is attributed to St. Patrick. Blessing of the Guardian Angel and Blessing for Setting Forth are ancient Celtic blessings; the latter, which is suitable for any journey, whether geographic or spiritual is especially haunting, healing, timeless and gorgeous.
— Ladyslipper Publication “Music for Women”
Ray’s instrument of choice is the bowed psaltery, and it creates an evocative sound that’ll feel new to most of you. , Ray has a voice that seems to have been ripped from an earlier age; her vocals — and style of singing — Whether or not you like Celtic tunes, this is accessible material, and it is consistently bright and engaging.
— Ink 19 Review