Thursday, April 29, 2010
On a bit of a different topic, the thread on the forums is pretty interesting too, especially where it branches off into in some experienced listeners' impressions of American old-time fiddle styles; they find the style closer to Shetland fiddling rather than to the mainland Scottish or even Irish that one might expect.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
And I was going to keep this post short and strictly hornpipe. . .but I have a terrible weakness for this tune, which is evidently from the same concert, and it's a nice arrangement:
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Mostly the kind that didn't even pretend to have a butterfly in 'em.If you can somewhat make out the shape of the insect in the picture below, memorize it, then avoid any similar creatures at all cost. They are cruel beyond measure! I tell you, whenever I was deleting useless photos (I had plenty, as you can guess) or callously attempting to shoot "just flowers", I'd have a pipevine swallowtail come gracefully wafting within inches of my nose. They have an impeccable sense of timing, and will hover, quite boldly, watching your finger on the shutter button, count the milliseconds it will take the shutter to close, and dance off, just before the picture is actually taken.
It is enough to make anyone quite bitter.And other than that, I can scarcely tell you what a pleasant afternoon it was!. . .Yet it was indeed.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Saint-Valéry-en-Caux is not over-far from Dunkirk where, in World War II, the British Expeditionary Force was so successfully evacuated, against stiff odds. While the action at Dunkirk resulted in future opportunities for the BEF, the concurrent events at St. Valéry culminated in the wholesale imprisonment of 8,000+ troops, largely from the 51st Highland Division. Among those captured was P/M Donald MacLean who was later to commemorate the 51st with a 3/4 march which he entitled "Heroes of St. Valéry."
The tune plays in the background of this very informative page on the 51st Highland Division.
You can read a bit more about P/M MacLean here on Jim McGillivray's inexhaustible website. And for those who thought the name sounded familiar, yes that is the Donald MacLean of Lewis, who is, in turn commemorated in Donald MacLeod's smashing march. (To take an entirely different tack, those unfamiliar with "P/M Donald MacLean of Lewis" can get a taste of the first two parts on harper Wendy Stewart's album Standing Wave--it's the seventh track.)
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Of all the forms of tunes in vogue in the piping world, I have to say I have a particular fondness for hornpipes, even--or perhaps even more particularly--some of the really "swaggering" modern compositions like "Desert Storm" by P/M Robert Matheison of the world-class Shotts & Dykehead Pipe Band. That is the first tune in (or about the first minute and a half of) the medley above, nicely turned out by Turriff and District Pipe Band last year.
Monday, April 12, 2010
Friday, April 9, 2010
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Ah! Here's a video I've been hoping for ever since I heard Nine 8th's Irish last year. Unfortunately, it doesn't quite catch the interplay of the fiddle and whistle that was obvious in the very small venue that I was lucky enough to catch them in (let alone pick up much of the bodhran at all). . .but this is a neat arrangement, eh? I think it's probably pretty obvious from the sound, if you didn't catch the first Nine 8ths Irish post, but their specialty is indeed Irish music, and yes, they do some pretty cool things with bluegrass when they get ahold of it.