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Concerts until very recently. My
reasoning goes that if I missed them
some of you may have to (although
The Pipeline
I admit I could be in a minority of
one here). They played at Celtic
Connections in January so more
of you may have already had the
chance to check them out, but they
definitely deserve not to be missed. by Chris MacKenzie
On the recent release front check
othing, apart from the
out new CD’s from Canadian piper
words Drum Fanfare, fills
Jori Chisholm, Bagpipe Revolution,
me with dread more than
and Niall Matheson, The Shores
the word fusion. When applied
of Loch Ness. These are two very
to restaurants it inevitably
different CDs. Jori brings an army
means that two world class
of musicians to his revolution
cuisines will be shorn of their
including Gerry O’Beirne on guitar
subtleties and flung together
and ukulele and Orville Johnson on
in some ridiculous tower of
guitar and steel guitar - something
food that does not do justice
that works surprisingly well with
to either. The same applies
the pipes. Niall on the other hand
to music. Generally fusion
eschews all accompaniment and
music is not actually anything
has produced something more akin
of the sort but is instead a
to the piping albums of old. With
forced marriage of two, or
this album, Alasdair Gillies’ cracking
more, musical genres with little
album Lochbroom and Stuart
thought to actually producing
Liddell’s equally cracking Inveroran
anything remotely listenable. Photos by John Slavin @
all being released on Macmeanma
Instead the aim seems to be to
Thomas Zöller and Allan MacDonald perform at Celtic Connections 2009
give each player an extended
with the cross-cultural ensemble, Homebound.
and all being unaccompanied,
clearly a resurgence is taking place.
opportunity to show off before
has a relaxed Indian vibe (as you’d
introduce the audience to the scale),
Also in what is rapidly turning into
melting back into the general
expect) to which the tabla and
it is the similarities with the previous
a Christmas tradition the Red Hot
stew of sound. Thankfully the
surprisingly the jew’s harp, played
piece that resonate across the
Chilli Pipers released a new CD.
above is a generalisation and
by Allan MacDonald, are added. As
continents and centuries.
Blast sees the boys recorded live
when the fusion works both in
the piece comes to a crescendo, in concert in the Old Fruitmarket in
cuisine and music the result can
Joachim’s resonant Cello closes it Those similarities continue as Glasgow. They are in cracking form
be intense and invigorating.
out beautifully. Indeed Joachim’s Thomas and the crew play with as they blitz through their sets and
cello is the backbone of the a couple of well known medieval have the audience in rapture. Not
One such case is the strangely ensemble with its vibrant tones tunes, Pavane and Skudrinka only can you hear this but you can
named Homebound Concerts. adding depth and producing (for those of you well up on your also see it on the accompanying
This is a curious collaboration of a sumptuous backdrop for the medieval tunes). This gets more of DVD. The other Christmas issue
Scottish, Indian, Classical and stridency of the pipes. Joachim a Jazzy treatment with Joachim’s that is becoming a regular is a
Medieval music brought together does get to take centre stage with Cello taking on a more urgent and release from the Royal Scots
by a German. Marrying any when he plays the middle section almost brassy tone. With other sets Dragoon Guards. This year they
two of these genres would be a of Paul Hindemith’s Sonate for including tunes from the William released a follow on to last years
challenging task to bring the four Violincello Solo Op, 25/3. Strange Dixon manuscript and a gaelic Spirit of the Glen called Journey to
together and make something as it might seem, and even as I waulking song (Latha Bha Ridire Ag the Line. Partially recorded in Basra,
coherent, and importantly listenable, write this, it still feels strange to Ol), the music inspirations for this this CD sees the band tackle tunes
is nothing short of miraculous. To have a classical piece slap bang CD are wide and varied. Yet this is such as Abide with Me, Dawning of
be fair Thomas Zoller and his crew in the middle of gaelic songs and no rag bag of styles - Thomas and the Day, Greensleeves, Auld Lang
don’t throw everything into the pipe tunes. It works brilliantly the band have created a vibrant and Syne and Flowers of the Forest.
mix on each track but instead mix both because it just seems to be coherent body of work that has a
and merge them over the course a natural continuation from having common thread running through it
Finally, in Scotland, 2009 is the
of the CD, producing a complex the cello in the background and whether it has a medieval, gaelic,
year of the Homecoming. There
and varied sound that surprises also because it is a passionately or Indian root. With consummate
will be many different events over
at every turn. At the heart of this played and deeply moving passage musicianship the band have
the course of the year with a lot of
collaboration is the twin pipes of of music. created a sound that draws the
them having a musical flavour. One
Thomas, an RSAMD graduate, listener in and rewards with every
that definitely will have music is
and Allan MacDonald (he of the
In Fhir A Chinn Duibh, an old gaelic
listen as the subtle contributions
the Tattoo Hebrides taking place in
brothers of Glenuig). Whether
song (Oh man of the black head)
from each of the players slowly
Stornoway in the Western Isles on
on one of Thomas’s tunes or one
and arguably the best piobaireachd
reveal themselves. All that said
the 7th and 8th of August. The 78th
rescued from the archives, Thomas
ever written, The lament for the
perhaps the key point for me is that
Fraser Highlanders from Canada will
and Allan provide the melodic
Children, are segued together
Homebound Concerts have melody
be leading a Tattoo of local and not
drive that the others relate to. And
because - as the notes point out
at the heart of everything they do,
so local pipe bands on the Friday
how they relate! Ute Meck on
- many feel they are related. Allan’s
the tune is slap bang in the middle
night, with a concert featuring them
harp, Vijay Kangutar and Sascha
authoritative vocals lead the song
here and while it gets all the support
and Dougie Maclean following on
Gotowtschikow on assorted drums,
with the others joining in to create
it needs, it never gets lost in a fog
the Saturday night. As they have
Joaachim Schieffer on cello and
a sound that has echo’s of church
of instruments. That makes all the
moved the Stornoway Carnival to be
Pedro Aibeo on guitar all bring
presenting in the highlands of
on the Saturday (with all the bands
something unique and delicious to
Scotland. The piece that follows taking part) it promises to be a
the party.
Fhir A Chinn Duibh, The Healing, Now some of you will be thinking special weekend. If you have Lewis
moves the musical landscape to why am I banging on about a CD connections, or even if you don’t but
Sunset on Rishikesh, a piece India yet, as Thomas plays the intro that was released in 2006. Well want to hear some great music and
penned by Thomas, reflects on in the style of an ‘alap’ (a piece the reason is that for some reason enjoy a cracking party then head to
Rishikesh in northern India and played before Indian music to I completely missed Homebound Lewis for that weekend. q
The Living Tradition - Page 66
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