The Warm Elegance of Fraser Fifield’s In Buenos Aires-Listen Today!

The Warm Elegance of Fraser Fifield’s In Buenos Aires-Listen Today!

Fraser-Fifield

Musician photo from his official website.

Jazz is not the popular culture. Jazz is in the same position in our culture as classical music. A very small minority of people really love it. John Corigliano

I think the same can be said about music that is not part of the mainstream like Celtic music. I have followed the musical career of Scottish musician Fraser Fifield and every album from him is an exquisite art meant to be savored!

There is that kind of alchemy that happens when you put two contradicting forces together: the clarity of the instruments against abstract melodies. If you want to know what I mean, try listening to ‘Lament” from  Honest Water. That tune still haunts me just like the day I first listened to it. In-Buenos-Aires-1.jpg

In Buenos Aires highlights the warm and playful side of his musical range. From the liner notes:

Beautiful album of original pieces, recorded in Buenos Aires, Argentina. A unique combination and sound!

Featuring the composer’s soulful low whistle and bagpipes with bandoneon, guitar and double bass from three of the most highly regarded exponents of New Tango, Walther E. Castro, Quique Sinesi and Mono Hurtado.

Recorded & Mixed by Hernan Caratozzolo.

The album cover features an original art by Victoria Fifield.

In Buenos Aires has eleven original tracks. My personal favourite is Cordoba Canntaireachd due to the interesting pipe sound. There are other tunes not to be missed like As A Child, Gaita Y Bandoneon, Improvisation 3 and the rest.

This album is a good one to chill to. Especially when you are in a quiet coffee shop, munching oatmeal cookies and enjoying your espresso. Your fixed gear bike awaits outside, ready to tango with the wind. Yes just like this album. So beautiful and true.

You can buy a copy of  In Buenos Aires from his own website.

 

Repair by Fraser Fifield

Repair by Fraser Fifield

https://soundcloud.com/fraserfifield/7a-1

I was perusing my Soundcloud wheimagen I found that Scottish piper Fraser Fifield has a new tune out. It is called Repair and it is a gradual tune that has the same abstract beauty as his earlier releases. What I admire about Fifield is his ability to make timeless melodies. They don’t sound tired after repeated listens even for years. Part of me loves Jazz and this is the element that he introduces to his compositions. Repair evokes the calm of the Scottish countryside. The title speaks to me in a personal level in a sense that is what I am doing with my life. Slowly but surely. Somehow we have to get back to the loop of things but we do it in a phase that is right for us. I hope you enjoy this track and give the man a follow.

Escaping Reality with Esotero

Escaping Reality with Esotero

Fraser and Graeme

Traditional Scottish and Jazz. Those are the two styles that define the new album Esotero by Fraser Fifield and Graeme Stephen. It is a work layered in intricate textures. I encourage you to give it more than twenty spins before you say anything what the album.What I am saying here does not even define the whole album because, Esotero has MORE to offer as part of your listening experience. But we can agree that it is an impressive album with loads of surprises.

I like the how space is given emphasis between instruments and tracks. It is almost like stepping into this white room and seeing a few instruments on display. It is easy to get lost in the passion behind the making of tunes like the title track Esotero, The Bank of Time and Immigrant eyes among others.

These two artists go all the way back with an impressive  array of albums to celebrate. I would like to unlock the secrets to the melodic alchemy of Fraser Fifield but it is hard. His approach is always unique and sometimes the way he plays with scales is uncanny. His delivery gives a sense of atmosphere and mystical qualities to each track. And yes, the guitar works of Graeme Stephen completes the alchemy, giving Esotero a timeless and satisfying listening experience for all.

Buy Esotero here: http://www.fraserfifield.com/shop/

Esotero Sampler

Esotero Sampler

Listen t this sampler.

One of the most anticipated releases this year is out. Esotero is a joint project between two fantastic artists in the Celtic fusion scene. And this sampler will give you an idea what the album is all about. A few weeks ago, Fraser Fifield was a special guest on my weekly radio show and I really enjoyed that time with him. He even did an impromptu low whistle performance!

Esotero is a musical project between Fraser Fifield and Graeme Stephen. These two artist go all the way back and they already collaborated in many projects including Traces of Thrace and Slow Stream.  You will hear elements of Jazz, Prog rock and world ethnic influences. There is always something for everyone.This is a fun album that you will enjoy this holiday season.

http://www.fraserfifield.com/shop/esotero/

Celtic Music Fan Podcast # 7

Celtic Music Fan Podcast # 7

This is the podcast version of my radio show last Saturday at http://www.radiohappy.eu. Yes just music without me talking. I have added links to the band page and yes you better listen to my fantastic interview with Fraser Fifield!

The Indulgers-Ceili Mor
Qristina Bachand; Quinn Bachand-Spootiskerry/High Road to Linton/Big John McNeil
Keltic Trancefusion-Abberance
Fraser Fifield and Graeme Stephen-Esotero
Interview with Fraser Fifield
Ensemble Eriu-Jurna
Irish Moutarde-Glasses to the Sky
Taran Celt-Taran
Kyle Carey-One Morning in May

www.radiohappy.eu

Celtic Music Fan Podcast #6

Celtic Music Fan Podcast #6

Ok the sixth episode of my radio show on www.radio-happy.com is up with lots of Celtic music goodies. I apologize for the bad sound quality when I speak . I had no idea the there was electrical grounding when I started the show. But never mind my speech. Listen to the music because I featured the best and the brightest in the world of Celtic music!

Campfire in the Dark by John Breen 
Danny Boy by Marc Gunn 
No Pasaran by Daonet
Ghosts by Douglas McQueen Hunter 
Humours of Tulla by Steven Hawson 
Lament by Fraser Fifield 
Loving Hannah by Enda Seery 
Marga’s Moment by Athru 
Siachran Si by Ensemble Eriu
Spike Island Lassies by Moxie 
Tartan by Taran Celt 
Tarbolten by The Feekers 
Whiskey in the Sauna by Sliotar 
Ciudad de las alturas by Brutus Daughters

Celtic Music Fan Podcast #5

Celtic Music Fan Podcast #5

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Last Saturday’s playlist is here. But due to unfortunate circumstance (the computer did not record my stream) I had to reconstruct the playlist track by track and in order that I played them. So it’s the still same. Only this time you can’t hear my voice.

Enda Seery-He is part of the Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann and teaches weekly flute and whistles classes in Co. Westmeath. He has released two albums The Winding Clock and he is going to talk about the new one!The interview starts around 15:55.

Ballybrolly Jigs-Flook
Morning Nightcap-Lunasa
Lament-Fraser Fifield
Interview with Enda Seery
Sailing-Moya Brennan and Cormac DeBarra
All Around Town-The Rattling kind
A Winter’s Night-The Picts
Bantry Bay-Samuel Smith
Easter Lily-John Breen
The Black Mill-Irish Moutarde
Martyn’s Yellow Tea Pot by Nua
Beauty’s Daughters/Thy Name The Spriggans

Listen every Saturday 3 to 6 pm (with 1 hour auto dj) German time @www.radio-happy.com

Elle Marie O Dwyer, Orriel Smith And More Soundcloud Tunes

Elle Marie O Dwyer, Orriel Smith And More Soundcloud Tunes

Elle Marie O Dwyer

Elle Marie O Dwyer

Elle Marie O Dwyer has a kind of voice I would describe as crystal clear and bright.  Her music is mellow. It’s the kind that would you would be looking for after a hard day’s work. The kind of sound to listen to when you are reclining and letting the evening breeze take you to the land of imagination. The arrangement is more minimalistic. She does have songs that are comprise of strings but most are her clear soprano embellished by nothing but the piano.

This is the title track of Elle Marie O Dwyer’s first album “Where the Allow Waters Flow”. The 12-track album includes songs like “The Cottage With the Roses Round the Door”, “The Land of the Gael”, “Brosna Town” and “My Bonny Labouring Boy”. The album can be purchased on Claddagh Records at http://claddaghrecords.com/WWW/catalo…
Like the facebook page http://www.facebook.com/ElleMarieODwyer to keep up to date with all events and gigs for Elle Marie

http://www.ellemarieodwyer.com/

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Orriel Smith

Orriel Smith

Orriel Smith

Her soprano voice is recognizable. She has the ‘it’ in operatic singing. Yet she also possesses the kind of quality that appeals to the wider audience. Most singers with operatic background aren’t easy to listen to because the style is targeted to specific venues and moods in listening. But Orriel Smith promises to delight even those that are not into classical singing.

Danny Boy is a traditional Irish song covered by many. But it is not often you come across an artist who can nail it with precision and true sentiments the way she does. It is a beautiful haunting track marked by her crystal clear voice.May she get discovered by more enthusiastic ears so that she can record more tracks with exquisite beauty attributed to the gods!

http://www.orrielsmith.com/

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Here is my other soundcloud account. Like what I mentioned in my earlier issue there are tracks here that are Celtic and non Celtic. This is due to me running another site called www.spheremusic.wordpress.com  So just enjoy the music regardless of the genre because they are all amazing music. I mean seriously, when have I given you bad recommendation huh? Hahahaha ok enjoy!

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Huzzah!

Hello everyone. Welcome to our Friday edition of the Celtic Music Fan. In my part of the world which is the Philippines, it is the start of summer. You can feel it as the heat stings your skin. It is like this deep low drone of  uilleann pipes followed by the sharp wail of the bagpipes. It is hard to ignore because it is really saying ” I am here.”

It is an exciting month because big bands like Solas and Lunasa are giving everyone lovely music.

Kevin O’Donnell

Deep Is The Well by Kevin O’Donnell

Those who are based in Chicago should follow Ceolwind Productions. So what’s cooking? According to owner Noah Smulkis:

I have an early copy of a new release due out this May from Irish folk singer-songwriter Kevin O’Donnell. It’s practically more American folk than Irish and it tells the story of descendants of Irish immigrants in America from the late 1800s to present day. I think you’ll like it and may be interested in featuring it prior to the release. Produced by Maurice Lennon and featuring many Irish and American folk music guests including Maurice, John Williams, Kathleen Keane, Finbar Furey just to name a few.

Ceolwind Productions is owned by Noah Smulkis whose friendship with The Celtic Music Fan go as far back as 2009. And yes this is prior to the creation of Ceolwind Productions. Check out http://www.deepisthewell.com/ for a sneak peek.

For a sneak-peek: www.deepisthewell.com

Jeremy King

Click to go to the Poitin page.

Poitin lead man Jeremy King made the moment epic with his vocal rendition.It is  a rare treat because he is first and foremost and instrumentalist. But here he shows he has such golden pipes! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLaElv4FXcs&list=PLB43F7C6C3626BC92&index=1 You can also check more of the pics from last night’s session here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151315040436431.1073741830.105492236430&type=1

Local Kyle Burghout playing some Irish music in an extremely fine fashion. Thank to Irish Music Ottawa for introducing this fine artist: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZrvTiPdFMM&feature=share

Dom Duff

Dom Duff

Breton Celtic rocker Dom Duff has a new video Dom DufF – Buan Yann Buan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8D6cT9Kuf8&list=PLD3AA89794FE71CB2&index=1

Buan Yann Buan is a track driven by instruments like the mandolin acoustic guitar, harmonica and fiddle. The only difference between this song and his other works is the emphasis on lush instruments . The explosive salvo of sounds feel like a rush of a big wave. There is also something optimistic and an adventurous atmosphere throughout the song which lasts 3:38.

Patrick D'Arcy and Quincy Jones

Patrick D’Arcy and Quincy Jones

The picture above tells a thousand stories. Yes that is our very own Irish piper Patrick D’Arcy sharing a cool moment with Jazzman Quincy Jones. According to D’Arcy:  ” Quincy Jones and myself enjoying a few Black Velvet’s, courtesy of Bono, for his birthday party at his house tonight. Q loves the uilleann pipes. Beautiful experience and a really lovely family. We can all only wish to be this elegant at 80!”

Aside from working on this site I also give my blogging talents to several sites. So just to give an idea , here are the following:

Garrett Hacking  of Photography G was introduced to me by Damien McCarron of the Indulgers and The Mile High Celtic hour. http://americanmadeinsider.com/2013/03/14/photography-g-capturing-the-spirit-of-the-moment/

For those who love Celtic inspired wood carvings, here one from Celtic Woodworks: http://americanmadeinsider.com/2013/03/22/interesting-wood-decorations-from-celtic-woodworks/

Garrett Hacking of Photography G

Garrett Hacking of Photography G

And finally my music posts via Expats Post once in a while featuring Fraser Fifield and the Nordanians: http://expatspost.com/entertainment/videos/the-nordanians-featuring-fraser-fifield-daraa/

While watering the plants, I was playing this Celtic band from France called Caliorne. These guys play Breton inspired tunes led by the bagpipes of Francois. Teens decided drop by. Then one of them could not resist it. He asked what I am playing. I told him. More of the music of Caliorne here: http://soundcloud.com/caliorne

Happy Birthday to Jacob McCauley! Wishing you more music to make and more bodhrans to beat.

In case I miss something in this edition, The next one will be this Sunday 🙂

Brian Cunningham Says “No One is Too Old To Learn the Sean-nós Dance” (Interview)

Brian Cunningham Says “No One is Too Old To Learn the Sean-nós Dance” (Interview)

Brian Cunningham Atlantic Steps

Brian Cunningham is in the middle of his Atlantic Steps tour. It is definitely gaining momentum as more venues are filled and more dances performed for the pleasure of the eager crowd. It is doing great that reaped a positive review from The Boston Globe. The Irish and the whole Celtic music scene are  excited as something fresh is making its way into the mainstream consciousness. Yes fresh but actually taken from something ancient. This is the beauty of Sean Nos dancing. It is definitely Irish all the way. It is also a kind of dance that has become obscured but now found a new audience in both young and old. I first got acquainted with the term after reading Dark Dealings by Karen Victoria Smith. At first, I thought Sean Nos only referred to the type of singing which also translates to “Old Style.

An observer of Sean Nos dancing who is new to this art would notice similarity to American tap dance. But remember that American music and dance are both influenced by the Irish culture. Brian Cunningham answered these question between sessions. He was  prompt friendly in getting back to my questions. The thing about real artists is that they are both eager to perform the art tell the world about it.

Here is a brief info about Sean Nos dance from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sean-nos_dance: Sean-nós dance is an older style of traditional solo Irish dance. It is a casual dance form (as opposed to the more formal competition-oriented form) of Irish Stepdancing. “Sean Nós” in the Irish language means “old style” and refers to various activities, including sean-nós song and sean-nós dance. These less common forms of Irish dance and traditional Irish singing have been documented by folklorists and song collectors (AKA ethnomusicologists), but still often form part of the traditional dance scene in Ireland.

There is a huge resurgence of Sean Nos dancing not just from Ireland but also from the whole Irish diaspora. How to you feel being in the middle of it all?

It’s great to be in the middle of this huge revival of an ancient dance form sean nos dance. It’s a well minded and respected art form, so it’s important that it’s revived in a special way.

So tell us more about Atlantic Steps. You are in the midst of a tour I believe? How’s it going so far?

We just finished our USA tour with Atlantic Steps, and it’s flying high thank God! More info about the tour available here :www.atlanticsteps.com

How did you develop the love for traditional dancing?

I developed my love for sean nos dance at the age of  five. I love the freeness and excitement it brings to me and the people I perform to.

 Can you cite the dancers who influenced your desire to follow this path?
I learned how to dance from my father, and he learned from his grandfather. I was also influenced be the great Mairtin Beg O Griofa and Seamus Devan. It all comes from the heart and our culture in Connemara.

If someone who is new to Sean Nos dancing  asks you ‘what is sean nos dancing,’ what’s your answer?

If someone asks me what sean nos dancing is, I would say it’s not just ‘steps of a dance.’ Sean nos is a story, and the oldest dance story we have in Ireland. It’s the feeling you get and the passion you feel. When you do  sean nos dancing, the rhythm is coming from inside.

What will happen this year in terms of Atlantic Steps and side projects?

My plans for the next year is to keep working on atlantic steps and most of all to keep trying to take part in the revival of sean nos dance. My biggest goal is to tell the story and as it was not just dance.

Points to remember when someone as old as 38 gets into Irish dancing?
When someone is getting into Irish dancing, the thing to keep in mind is, there are no rules or regulations with sean nos. People of 60 years and up, werethe best dancers. They had the style mastered even back in the day when it was danced in country kitchens around the open fire.

Brian Cunningham is performing in Boston this weekend.

Brian Cunningham

Video:

‘Atlantic Steps’ is the inspiring epic story of Ireland’s oldest dance form, portrayed through the music, song, dance and Atlantic-Ocean-inspired energy of the Connemara region. For booking information, contact JRA Fine Arts at info@jrafinearts.com or 888.939.ARTS (2787).

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Huzzah!

Here we are again with our fabulous edition of the Huzzah! following the Brian Cunningham interview above. I am dizzy while writing this because it is past 11. Sometimes I think I am getting old due to my ‘punctual’ sleeping habits. So what’s up? Well I want to touch about amusing pictures on top of our usual musical recommendation.

I want to say that The Folkalists made amusing pictures via their fb page. Take a look at these:

Click to enlarge

the folkalists

If you want to know how they sound like, then just try to imagine, Simon and Garfunkel with a good dose of The beach Boys and Planxty for the good measure. The sound is characterized by tight harmonies and lush instrumentation. Can’t wait for an actual album from The Folkalists. Here is a link to their demo: http://soundcloud.com/stubbornassmusic/i-will-always-be-around

Check out this amazing link: Caitlín Nic Gabhann wins Traditional Album of the Year 2012

Sliotar is preparing for their march and April gigs. For those who are new to the band, this video gives you an idea about the music: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=939HwEOslR8

Saw Doctors to hit Cleveland this March: http://www.examiner.com/article/saw-doctors-to-bring-irish-rock-back-to-cleveland-march-21st

Fraser Fifield

Click to enlarge

Scottish piper Fraser Fifield is in Holland performing with The Nordanians. Here is a video of the music for those who are curious: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5WiGLCIeKs

Martial Tricoche (Manau) continues to make waves in France with the release of his new album plus an interesting music video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F89yQ0Ty8nk&feature=share

Corrina Hewat

Corrina Hewat

Corrina Hewat is busy with www.pathhead.info and for those who are curious to visit the venue check this link for details: http://www.facebook.com/events/429483663803297/

Our previous featured artist Nick Burbridge has a recording up via bandcamp:

Wild Irish Poet

Wild Irish Poet

Poetry reading of The Purge – Michael Hartnett- Read by Alan Cooke – aka Wild Irish Poet: http://youtu.be/tA3aJP0vZlQ

An interesting version of She Moved Through the Fair by the sister of Eve Williams: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMU0fkNlcJY&feature=share&list=UUiM_gxyu6Ii3np7Z8ga-F1A

That’s it folks. Now don’t worry if you think I miss something. I will make it up on the next edition which will be on Friday!

Fraser Fifield: Relationship of sounds and styles(Interview)

Also in this edition: Colin Nea, Therese Honey and Enda Seery

Fraser Fifield: Pic by Barryjohn Bj Stewart

Plays: saxophone/whistle/kaval/bagpipes/percussion/composition

From: Edinburgh, United Kingdom.

About: musician, composer and producer.

With the excitement of an upcoming album, Fraser Fifield talks to The Celtic Music Fan about music and what makes collaborative musical work interesting.

This week’s special attention is given to Scottish musician, composer and producer Fraser Fifield.  I was captivated the first time I listened to one of his tracks. There’s sensitivity, intricacy and a sense of underlying elegance in his musical voice. I think I read and heard his music a couple of years ago, way before I even started writing about Celtic musicians. It is only now that I got an opportunity to communicate with him directly for this edition.

He plays the traditional instruments in a way a Jazz musician would, and then reverse the process with the Traditional instruments. It is like what happens when you put different people in different attires and situations and see how they react or how they look in that environment. This is what he did with music and instruments. I think his striking importance is being able to walk between different worlds and still maintaining the authenticity of his artistry in playing. This edition is about relationships: between different types of music, musicians and instruments.

I think you will enjoy how this interview turned out. I had fun making this one.

What’s keeping you busy these days Fraser?

What’s going with me? Well, the main thing just now is having eventually started recording an album with Graeme Stephen, guitarist and long term colleague – just duo, focusing on live performances basically – meaning played live together, not actual concert recordings..lots of electronics too but hardware boxes used in live performance on the whole as opposed to studio laboratory type of process – which is cool, but not what we’re doing here.

So we started that last week…and will be ongoing as time permits over the next wee while. Just had a flurry of CDs through the door as other projects I’ve recorded on came to fruition – Maeve Mackinnon, Sophie Ramsay and Wingin It…maybe you’ll hear some of these soon

Looking forward to playing London jazz festival with the Take 5 Europe ensemble plus a couple of gigs in Poland one with Maciej Obara 4tet and Take 5 again. Playing duo with Graeme in St Andrews Scotland in a couple of weeks…

Doing a recording session for Angus Lyon this week and hooking up for a small gig with an old friend – wonderful clarinet /sax player Dick Lee..

With John Surman and Tom Arthurs last week on Take 5 Europe. By Emile Holba

 What can listeners expect from this new album in terms of style and sound?

I’m hoping folk will hear two musicians enjoying playing together who’ve built up strong dialogue between them (we’ve been playing together some 16 yrs I think). A general rule seems to be emerging – remember we’ve just started – to avoid layering performances/multitracking ourselves i.e. you’re essentially going hear two musicians playing live together, there’s no click track etc… that’s not too say sonically the record will be simple – early results suggest anything but…this is often just low whistle and guitar but like you’ve never heard.

A bold statement perhaps..but I’m being fairy serious… The live recordings on the soundcloud page hint at the sound of course, but I am enjoying working a little more on our recordings after the initial performance, resampling ourselves in a way, extracting small bits of audio and changing it’s function…I’ll say that much. Will it sound folk or jazz – I’m bound to be asked that… and the answer is I have absolutely no idea..a bit of both, or plenty of both actually. The compositions are mine but compared to my previous records I’d say improvised passages will turn out be more featured.

I think making music is also a relationship between you, your fellow musicians and your fans. What have you learned so far in maintaining this relationship since you started? What are the things you avoid now and what are the things you consider essential?

….Essential in regard to making music with other musicians, for me, is a sense of openness, trust and maybe some kind of mutual understanding of what it is we’re doing, not necessarily verbalized but that the feeling of all being well is present…all makes for a good starting point, at least musically; you could be having the worst week imaginable, but sometimes these things can twist around into good musical moments. Sometimes, hopefully not often, one can’t get into the right vibe to make music creatively for whatever reason, cat gone missing, who knows, but assuming all is fine there should be something you can switch on to be excited about what you’re doing, if you’re not already. Basically it helps to be in good mood is what I’m saying I suppose.

Musical situations I try to avoid are those where none of the elements to my previous answer are present. Also I’ve not been drawn into a ‘band’ situation for a wee while now, which is maybe down to my personality, I don’t know..I kind of miss it in a way, the band thing, but at the same time value the diversity of music I’m currently able to fit on my modestly sized internal drive.

Be nice to audience members if they’re being nice to you…i.e. paying to hear you play….would be a good general rule…

Try and have a relationship with the people that enjoy your music, if you want to that is…unless you have some Garbarek like qualities, and I try to mean that in a nice way, it’s a probably good idea business wise to interact a bit.. which I guess is what I’m doing right now..but I’m sort of enjoying the therapy of answering your questions. How’s this piece shaping up now by the way ?

Oh this is shaping my work nicely!

If you evaluate all the tracks you composed throughout your career, which one has an impact to you in terms of the manner it was composed and the inspiration behind it?

I’ve chosen the track called Psalm from my first solo album Honest Water as it’s perhaps the tune or idea which has had the longest and most interesting journey with me to date. The first idea was to try and imitate the sound of psalm singing from the Scottish Gaelic tradition – a most beautiful and peculiar art form in itself. My approach is a very simple one and one that has worked for me in many situations over the years, the more instruments playing together the better the effect, so great if working with groups of students of varying levels of ability for example.

Most recently I used this idea in the opening section of my piece ‘Playground Tales’ written for the group Mr McFalls Chamber with guests Corrina Hewat, James Ross, Aidan O’Rourke and myself – hopefully a recording next year. So the track Psalm from Honest Water began life as one of five parts of a suite for saxophone quintet titled Traditions – one of the first years of the ‘New Voices’ series of commissions made annually by Celtic Connections, and it’s still running – quite a body of work in there now. My turn was 2001, a long time back now!

I’ve never played the tune much on my own gigs for some reason, actually probably no reason, but have used it often in a variety of other settings, I recall…a group of 7 different European bagpipes at Rudolstadt Festival Germany, recently with Dutch trio the Nordanians, with the Take 5 Europe group this year, it’s served me pretty well, and I think it’s a nice melody.

With Corrina Hewat

If you have the time, the energy and the means to be an album producer, whom would you work with and what types of musicians would you help in producing records?

Well I’m doing that very thing right now in a kind of self-medicating manner along with Graeme Stephen in the making of a duo album together which is actually a bit overdue I feel, but at last is progressing nicely. I’ve always enjoyed being very hands on with every aspect of my own record making, from the engineering through arrangements, performance to mixing. I like having the freedom to work at my own pace with things and review/adjust at will…does end up taking forever sometimes though…and that’s not so cool always.

With other artists I’ve occasionally become involved in the role of producer or perhaps co-producer in some instances – for example where a group has developed a sound collaboratively and go on to then record. I’ve never been great at adopting a workmanlike attitude when it comes to making records. I think its quite a big deal. An example I can think of is with my friend Mick West, a traditional singer from Glasgow whom I first met whilst a student there. I’d played with him in various line-ups of the Mick West Band ever since, so when the chance to make his last album ‘Sark O Snaw’ came round I really wanted to do it, not least because having played with Mick for many’s the year he’d never properly captured the best of his music on record – I wanted to change that, and I think we did, to cut a long story short. It was a labour of love like most records I’ve worked on, probably ending up with a negative hourly rate or something close it, who cares, it’s a lovely document to have.

In terms of who to work with…if they can play well with heart and soul and give and take, and we can get along well, that’s the only ingredients required. I’m pretty happy doing a lot of the work I do for those very reasons.

Take 5 is an ongoing project you are involved with. Can you tell us a little bit about it and how’s it going so far?

It’s been a very nice experience. Firstly Take 5 then this year Take 5 Europe which is new extension of it. It’s about artist development essentially, through talks/discussions/networking (that mostly over one week) and making music with the other Take 5 participants you’re given tools or ideas at least aimed at perhaps focusing one’s career, taking a look over what you’re doing and what you might be doing…it’s positive certainly if anything at all.

This year the ensemble of musicians on Take 5 Europe proved to be a surprisingly cohesive group – not a typical line-up – 2 basses, vibes, drums, guitar, trumpet, 2 saxes + me. They’re a very nice bunch of people and amazing players, in late 20s or 30s – 2 each from Netherlands, France, Poland, Norway and the UK. We’ve been playing at the festivals run by partners of the scheme in Molde, Rotterdam, Coutance, with just 2 performances left to do in November in Poland and London. Playing and hanging out with John Surman on both these Take 5 weeks was certainly noteworthy, great musician and lovely chap.

I know you have played the bagpipes for a long time. But if you were a listener, what makes a bagpipe and amazing instrument?

There’s something primal going on with it that’s for sure. I can’t get into any physics that’s for sure too…I can but agree there is something about the sound that speaks to an enormous variety of people from every part of the world. Being very loud (if we’re talking the GBH here) is surely a bonus.

-Fraser

http://www.fraserfifield.com/

There you have it folks. Be sure to keep track of  his schedules and keep him on your radars. The new projects sound amazing!

Fraser Fifield

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Pic of the day: Colin Nea-Between the Jigs and Reels

COLIN NEA will be launching his CD ‘Between the Jigs and the Reels’ at 9pm, Thursday the 8th November in the Temple Gate Hotel

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Enda Seery: Website updated and revamped!

The musician/composer of The Winding Clock has introduced a new feel and look to his official website. Visit : http://www.endaseery.com/

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Featured Video: Therese Honey: Paddy Cronin’s Jig – Jenny Pippin from ‘Summer’s End’

Yes yes! We have a new addition to our list of harpists to watch out for. Therese Honey creates a relaxing wall of strings with with the talent of Jenny Pippin. Have a listen 😀

Track 2 from the 2012 http://www.Waterbug.com release, Summer’s End. Photos of the Dingle Peninsula were taken in April 2011 by Therese Honey and Larry Mallette. Therese learned Paddy Cronin’s Jig from Gráinne Hambly. Jenny Pippin is from O’Neill’s “Music of Ireland,” 1903.
www.theresehoney.net