Note: Some items have been edited for brevity and clarity.

Photograph by Hattie Barham, courtesy of the Shawnee/Merriam Sun
Lane is pictured with her latest harp acquisition, The "Baby Blue" by
Camac Harps of France.

From the "Getting Started" column of The Kansas City Star's Star Magazine for Sunday, January 23, 2000
(click
here to see a scan of the article!)

Love story

by Kate Hunter

Local songwriter Lane Lambert has the perfect CD for anyone who wants a new love story to listen to for Valentine's Day. It's called "Tristan and Iseult: A Celtic Love Story," and it tells the tragic Arthurian tale of the love between a Cornish prince, Tristan, and an Irish princess, Iseult.

Lambert wrote the music and lyrics for 18 songs that range in style from Celtic to ballad to rock'n'roll. Some are instrumental, featuring harp, accordion, keyboard and electric guitar, among others; some have vocals. The songs tell a good story and make good listening.

"Tristan and Iseult," produced by Lambert and Patrick Chambers, costs about $16 at Barnes & Noble (Independence store), Borders Books & Music (Overland Park stores), Aquarius, Mountain Music Shoppe, White Light New Age Books, Crescent Springs Healing Center, Sheehan's Irish Imports and in Lawrence at Borders, Brits, Seventh Heaven and Hoffman Harp Gallery. It's also available online through Amazon.com and at www.lanelambert.com .

- Copyright 2000, by the Kansas City Star Magazine, all rights reserved.

From The Shawnee/Merriam (Kansas) Sun for Thursday, November 11, 1999

Merriam's harp lady plays a tragic song

by Charles Feruzza - Sun Features Editor

It's a sad story, indeed, the legend of Tristan and Isolde. So tragic is this love story of an Irish princess and the handsome soldier who must escort her to his uncle, her betrothed, that Richard Wagner created an opera about the story, "Tristan and Isolde" in 1865. And Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein used a variation on the story as a subplot for their musical "The King and I".

Closer to home, Merriam-based musician and composer Lane Lambert has taken the Celtic love story and, with a little help from her friends, created a new CD, "Tristan and Iseult: A Celtic Love Story." Lambert wrote the music and lyrics for the CD and collaborated with guitarist Patrick Chambers on the finished project, which includes the voices of Johnson Countians Keith Klehm, Rex Deaver and Lyn Wolz.

The project sounds like a stage musical, and that was Lambert's original intention when she decided to set the tale of Princess Iseult (who is also called, in various version of the story, Isolde, Yseult and Isolte) and Tristan to music.

"At first I thought I might set the 'Robin Hood' legend to music," said the self-taught harpist, "but the story didn't really move me. Then, I thought, perhaps King Arthur. But the story of Tristan and Iseult, which is set during the time of King Arthur, fascinated me. It's a subject I've always been drawn to."

Unrequited love is probably not quite the right description of the passion of Tristan and Iseult, who fall madly in love after accidentally drinking a potent love potion. Separated from each other, Tristan marries another woman named Isuelt ("Which is also the name of (her) mother," sighed Lambert, "making the story even more confusing") and is severely wounded. Believing that only the Princess Iseult can save him, he sends for her, but his wife deceives him into believing that his first love has rejected him. Ultimately both lovers die of broken hearts.

Lambert wrote a stage musical around the story and invited several local vocalists and actors to perfrom a staged reading of the piece.

"But the play I wrote and the music just didn't fit together," Lambert said. "The play just didn't enhance the music. I guess I didn't write a particularly good play."

The music, however, was solid and moving, and Lambert decided to toss out the dialogue and concentrate only on the music and song lyrics; thus, her new CD - her fourth recording - was born.

Lambert has been a professional harpist since 1980, just months after teaching herself to play the instrument. Ironically, she bought her first small harp as a gift for her mother.

"My mother didn't play," Lambert said, "but she always loved the sound of the Irish lap harp. So I bought her one for Mother's Day one year. She unwrapped it and I said, 'Happy Mother's Day. Now can I borrow this?' She never saw it again."

Lambert taught herself to play and within months was performing at the Renaissance Festival.

She lives with her husband, Louis (who is not a musician), and 7-year-old son Logan ("He's learning the electric guitar") in Merriam, now owns six harps and frequently plays at weddings, funerals and Irish parades, among other events.

"Tristan and Iseult" was recorded in Lambert's home studio; the CD is available at stores such as Sheehan's Irish Imports, the White Light New Age Bookstore and the Mountain Music Shoppe.

- Copyright 1999, by Sun Newspapers, Inc., all rights reserved.

From the Kansas City Pitch Weekly for December 9-15, 1999

by Andrew Miller

The latest variation on on Romeo and Juliet comes from local songwriter Lane Lambert, who gives this story of star-crossed lovers a Celtic twist with Tristan and Iseult.

Accompanied by guitarist Patrick Chambers and a talented cast of musicians who contribute everything from harps to accordions, Lambert spins this tragic tale through a mix of beautiful instrumentals and heavenly vocal pieces. Among the highlights are the uplifting ballad "Love has Brought Me Here", the eerie "A Knife in the Dark" and the festive "Join Me in the Dance." A few of the poppier synthesized numbers feel a bit out of place given the album's Camelot-age setting and overall musical tone, but for the most part, this material provides a suitable showcase for Lambert's storytelling ability and her dramatic voice.

Hopefully, these songs will eventually make their way to the stage, where their full theatrical potential can be realized.

- Copyright 1999, by The Pitch, all rights reserved.

From The Rune for Winter 1999

Reviewed by She-Wolf

Just in time for Yule gift giving, Kansas City musician and composer Lane Lambert in collaboration with Patrick Chambers brings us a musical love story that, in true Celtic style, contains a fair dose of tragedy. Those familiar with Arthurian legend will recognize the story of a knight who falls in love with a princess who must marry another in spite of where her heart truly lies. The songs follow the ancient and rather complicated story rather like an opera (the liner notes are very helpful in explaining who is in love with whom at any given moment). Betrayal, magic and misplaced love are the themes of the songs and instrumentals that are a pleasant blend of folk and modern styles. Some ring with the traditional and modern Celtic sounds reminescent of Enya and Clannad while others verge on alternative rock. The lyrics are compelling and clever and decent poetry, something not always found in lyrics these days. The Rune's readers may find Iseult's mother's Spellsong especially interesting.

It's hard to pick a personal favorite, there were so many great songs, but the hauntingly beautiful Wanting You sung by Carol Matthews reminded me of the most beautiful of Sally Oldfield's love songs, the sort that give you goose bumps. I also enjoyed the rocking Honest Man and the rowdy Love Isn't Hard. If you don't find it under your tree, you can always give yourself a New Millenium present.

- Copyright 2000, by The Rune, all rights reserved.


Purchases of "Tristan and Iseult: A Celtic Love Story" on
www.amazon.com
have been brisk! Read the reviews of happy CD owners at
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000031XCT/103-6687915-0382264

 

Tristan and Iseult: A Celtic Love Story Reviews Page Updated on January 25, 2000 by Webmaster Patrick Chambers