Sunday, June 28, 2009


The School of Scottish Studies in Edinburgh has some fascinating archival material online here. You'll want to click "Tocher" in the left column, then if you "select articles by type," you will see that there is indeed a category for songs, both in Scots and Gaelic. A good many of them include not only recordings, but transcriptions of the recordings, as well as background on the singers. A prime example is "Fhir a' Chinn Duibh," a piece sung by a Uist piper named Alasdair Boyd. He associates the song with the piobaireachd, "Lament for the Children," though, as he explains, the part of the piobaireachd it most resembles is the second variation, rather than the ground you might expect.

The piobaireachd itself I mentioned in passing a few weeks back, but here is a link again to the Captain's Corner, in case anybody is curious. The recording (Willie McCallum, no less) is about halfway down the page at present, in the Metro Cup-2009 article. The second variation starts at about 5:55.


It looks like the first volume of Bonnie Rideout's fiddle piobaireachd project is finished! You can listen to samples from some of the tracks at Maggie's Music. I'm still a bit up in the air as to how well I take to fiddle piobaireachd (I prefer the simplicity of a well-tuned set of pipes), but it does sound like there are some neat arrangements on here--"Dargai," is particularly lovely--and, of course, the fiddle is pure soul!


. . .And, speaking of piobaireachd, I saw this comic yesterday, and was amused.
EDIT (Sunday, 2:56 PM)
The post went up this morning, and this afternoon, I came across a real gem that was too good to save for later. On the Piobaireachd Society's website, you can hear the full recording of the beautiful modern piobaireachd "Andrew MacNeill of Colonsay", as sung by the composer of the piece, William Barrie.

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