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14. J.D.Powell , , septembre 2015

Valuri De Mătase: Two Albums from Quebec's premier classical duo


Valuri De Mătase, comprised of flutist Terry Ellen Christopherson and Romanian guitarist Mircea Trifan, accomplishes much during their recordings. The flute and electric guitar are both contrasting and complementary instruments, as they both have freedom in tonality and volume, bringing to life many old traditional songs from around the world. These graceful sounds are what make Valuri De Mătase uncompromisingly timeless.


Since the duo's inception, the band has produced two full-length records, a self-titled debut and A Year's Day, which followed several years later. While Terry and Mircea call Quebec, Canada home, their songs hail from as far as Ireland, Hungary, England, the U.S., and Mircea's own Romania. More staggering still is that the two musicians wrote their own arrangements and for both albums, and did their own recording, making Valuri De Mătase a trial of love and focus.


Some songs are classics: “Greensleeves” remains one of the most arranged and still welcomed classical songs of all time, but part of this project's mission was to introduce listeners to the vastness of traditional music, and within the confines of flute and guitar, for audiences to deduce similar sonic qualities no matter the country of origin. It is with this intention that one fan stated Valuri De Mătase as wielding “Curiosity about music.”


Most of the songs are short, below four minutes, and few of the songs are slow, making both Valuri De Mătase and A Year's Day tight albums rich with motion and emotion. A handful of the songs grew, in fact, from Celtic and Irish traditional reels and ballads, making for often rambunctious offerings showcased here in the sparse yet authenticity of flute and guitar.


“Batuta la Rand”, off of A Year's Day, risks with confidence some spoken word at the beginning, (in Romanian, I think), and then launches into the quick-paced hammered-guitar technique that Django Reinhardt popularized, and yet, instead of Stephan Grappelli, Mircea is balanced by Terry, who weaves a tapestry notes, able to flutter like a butterfly, push like ants marching, and surrender like waves crashing on an isolated shore. This latter metaphor is especially apparent on “Pobjednicki Cocek”, which also pushes Mircea to leave chords behind for something of a sultry bassline.


And while A Year's Day succeeds at expanding classical sounds, the duo's self-titled, humble beginnings offer a more niche sound without compromising integrity. An example of this beauty is the aptly titled “Romance”, which the duo filtered into shimmering electric guitar finger-picking and falsetto flute that too often pierces the speakers, and yet Terry is able in this instance to harness the high-pitched energy, making for an almost operatic performance.


Key tracks on the first album include the castle-in-the-clouds wonder of “Lamentation”, the song “Cannon”, and the closer “Trees On The Mountain”. A Year's Day has the playful “De Doi Clarinet”, the infamous “Celtic Waltz”, and “Florile Dalbe”, another song featuring vocals and arguably one of the duo's greatest achievements.


Placid and also adept, Terry and Mircea's Valuri De Mătase is simultaneously familiar and utterly unique. Guest musicians, such as clarinetist Marie-Eve Simard, connect so well with Terry and Mircea that they've created the “clariflute”, and singers Gabriela Danila and Ariane Roberto add new textures to the compositions.


Those interested in traditional music, classical music, and flute, which is key to the duo's agility, should seek out Valuri De Mătase and their two albums, to turn your hours into beautiful platforms for a musical journey around the world.

13. George Young - Ccountry Club Productions, Texas, Australia – Comment on the second CD – A Year’s Day - May 27, 2008

          Great work on this disc full of wonderful music that allowes the mind to wander the world. Beautiful work. 


12.Michael Criddle OzRadio, Australia – Comment on the second CD – A Year’s Day - april 5, 2008

What a great sound you have,  ......

12.Paul De Micheli, Mondo Blu Radio Barcelona – Comment on the second CD – A Year’s Day - decembre 27, 2008

It's exactly what I was hoping for! To start with, they show a breadth of knowledge and curiosity about music that you might only find in bands such as Pink Martini - one of my favourite tracks is the Huron Carol, which is over 350 years old and was totally unknown to me. They also have a way of breathing new life into overly familiar tunes such as "Dark Eyes", which must have been in every "East-European-restaurant" scene that Hollywood has ever made!

11.Mitchell Mendys, WKNH Radio, New Hampshire, US, 2007-04-28 10:17:55

...   marvelous cd! The music is lovely, seeming to float out of a mist of ancient revery and permeate the near air with bright soothing flouishes of sprightly ribbons of melody! Relaxing yet energizing and interesting! Much like the goft of oxygen to the cells! I'll be playing it alot on my Saturday morning show"PLANETARY PRISMATIC SONICS" I like every track!! Truely it is for the mind what a drink from cool mountain spring is to the pallette! You have achived a marvel of clarity and joy!!! 

10. Scazzola Giovanni Pietro, Radio Gold Popular Network, Carpeneto, Italy, April 1, 2007

Valuri De Matase There's magic into this album. To choose a great repertoire, made of immortal melodies, is a middle victory. Then the challenge is the interpretation. And the magic is just in the instrumental playing of TERRY ELLEN CHRISTOPHERSEN's flute and MIRCEA TRIFAN's electric guitar. It's from the art of refined chords and breaths that rises a new lymph able to make even more interesting and full of pleasure a classic canon (PACHELBEL), the Irish folk tradition, the blood from the Balkans. The poetry of music. Preferred tracks: 1 Balada - 3 Hora Staccato - 10 Czardas

10. Tony Bates,100.7FM, Highlands , Australia, January 01,2007

An excellent mix of varying styles with a great input from the flautist and guitar player. An album for all seasons.

9. RadioMike, Sep 17, 06 | 11:54 am. Exclusives From The Avantgarde Festival in Schiphorst And A Host Of Other Characters

VALURI DE MATASE  is a duo who formed out of their Love for many Different musical forms.  They’ve taken those forms and that love and created something wonderful, an amalgam of Celtic, Rumanian, Jazz and Classical rhythms.  You see why we like it?  It’s unusual and has just the right edge to keep ours and anyone’s interest.  Listen and Listen often..  And support all good music.

8. Selections from RadioDirectX (Radio Promotion Company) feedback:


… Great display of artistry and elegance. Henry Brun … KRTU  radio,  Saint Antonio, Texas …


…  An excellent listen and eclectic mix of melodies. The music offers a nice blend between what which you can enjoy without focusing upon and a reward for those that closely attend its subtleties. (Lee Davies - Canada) …


…  a very smooth and inviting sound ... (Paul De Micheli – Spain)


… really beautiful sounds ........... Great late night chill out. (Jeff Mifsud, 3NRG Radio, Australia)


… Thanks for a superb CD. (Sheril Berkovitch, 2CX Radio,  Australia) …


…  Nice gentle album. The flute and guitar arrangements work well. Simple and elegant. Favorite tune: TheClergy's Lamentation (Andy Dooley-Miller – KVMR Radio, CA US) …


7. Les Immigrants de la Capitale (The Capital's Immigrants)- november 2005 - by Mihai Claudiu Cristea

 .... or the dialogue absolutely magic between the guitar and the flute ....

(translated from French)

6. Pagini Romanesti (Romanian Pages) - mai 2005 - by Adrian Ardelean

A genealogical musical tree … exquisit …

 ...  Mircea Trifan and Terry Ellen Christophersen give life - on their first CD - to a couple of very different musical genres. (Balada by Ciprian Porumbescu, “Hora Staccato” by Grigoras Dinicu, Celtic music, Irish music, even an Hungarian Czardas); but joining all this is not by hazard as it seems.  …. They say that there it is, somewhere back in history, the Celtic civilisation and the East-Europeans – so the Romanian civilisation too –  have an area of intersection. In short, it seems that one of the branches of the Celtic civilisation has roots somewhere close to the Carpathian Mountains - the Balkanic area. This is why there are some “almost Romanian” colours in “Nynth Gwcw” (“Nyth y Gwcw” to be more precise – “Coocko’s Nest” in the old welsh). From this point, to the selection of a Romanian - Celtic repertoire there it was only one tiny step. On another hand, the province of Québec is itself a multicultural place par excellence, who’s large potential has to be fully exploited  ..

(translated from romanian)

5. Prestige Magazine - Québec - April 2005 - Behind the scenes (page. 67)

The first CD for Valuri de Matase

(J.F.) - Founded by Terry Ellen Christophersen -  flute and  Mircea Trifan - Electric Guitar, the Québec duo Valuri de Matase is launching it's first CD. The musicians, having very different  musical backgrounds -classical music for Terry and power metal and blues for Mircea- and playing instruments considered almost incompatible, meet on a common ground for putting together, on the same CD; classical music, Celtic, Hungarian and Romanian music, and having the ambition to integrate all of this in a new and coherent  style. Mission accomplished ! Here is real  proof that, ultimately, music is a universal language. Oh, yes, Valuri de Mătase stands for <Silky Waves>. (Valouri dey Matassay - pronunciation for the Romanian name) ....

(translated from French)

4. Romanians from Quebec (en) - Les Roumains du Quebec (fr)- Romanii din Quebec (ro) No. 10, January - February 2005, page. 15 :

Silky waves is making .... waves

The launch of the 'Valuri de Matase'  CD enjoyed a big success amongst the Romanians from the capital and elsewhere. Terry Ellen Christophersen (flute) and Mircea Trifan (guitar) celebrated  Christmas Day playing  in the Notre Dame de Jaques Cartier Church. The pieces performed- especially  Balada, by the Romanian composer Ciprian Porumbescu- unleashed memories and went directly to the hearts of the people. The album, having the same name as the group, is proof of talent and originality and demonstrates  that  ethnic roots are not a barrier  in the universal language of music. Congratulations Valuri de Matase ! We wish you many waves of success !

(translated from Romanian)

3. Quebec Chronicle Telegraph, Wednesday, February 2, 2005, page. 10:

Valuri de Matase Romanian and Celtic music for Quebec City - by Cristina Artenie

Quebec City musician and flute player Terry Ellen Christophersen is about to launch an exquisite Cd at Archambault on February 11: Romanian and Celtic music in an original arrangement under an original name, Valuri de Matase - Romanian for 'Silky waves'.

....  The beauty and the novelty are due, probably, to the fact that Christophersen arranged the Romanian pieces and Trifan the Celtic ones ....


    (the Archives  Nr. 15, 10-2004  Zilele Culturii şi ale Culturilor...  Les Journées de la Culture et des Cultures.:

... The duo Valuri de Matase, with flutist Terry Ellen Christophersen and guitarist Mircea Trifan  ... send vibrations through the  hearts, without exception, with an exceptional performance of the Balada by Ciprian Porumbescu, followed by 'Poor Little Heart of Mine'. It's an extraordinary feeling to play here songs from my home, which I carry  deep in my heart Mircea confesses. 

(translated form French)