featuring: Pierre Bensusan, El McMeen, Martin Simpson, Pat Kirtley, Duck Baker, Tom Long & Steve Baughman
This collection of traditional music from Ireland and Scotland arranged for solo guitar is the result of a passionate study of the tradition by some of the finest musicians playing in this genre. The idea of arranging this music for solo guitar is still relatively new. Looking back less than a century, you would find this music performed on fiddle, pipes, button accordion, flutes and whistles, in solo and ensemble settings, but never guitar, even in its basic role of providing rhythm.
The challenge for those who attempt to translate Celtic traditional music for fingerstyle guitar is to preserve the unique qualities which are the essence of the style. This has been achieved by taking a minimalist approach in arranging, and by using alternate tunings. The minimalist direction is characterized by the thought that most of this music consists of but two elements: melody and rhythm. Harmonization, in the classical sense, tends to sound out of place. With this standard musical device unavailable, successful approaches are found in fiddle-and-pipe-like embellishment of melody, and rhythmic bass patterns.
The popularity of alternate tunings in this music tends to come from two different directions. One is in the desire for production of tonalities of droning instruments, la the bagpipes, and tunings such as DADGAD and EADEAE make this effect relatively easy. On the other hand, there are guitar tunings which lend themselves easily to the melodic steps and fullness found in the diatonic Celtic harp, such as DGDGBD (open G tuning) and the CGDGAD.
Titles include: PAT KIRTLEY Planxty Irwin, Rodney's Glory, Moran's Return, South Wind MARTIN SIMPSON Medley: Rosie Anderson, The Shearing's Not For You & Bogies' Bonny Belle STEVE BAUGHMAN Bill Malley's Barndance, Fanny Power DUCK BAKER The Blarney Pilgrim, The Rakes of Waterloo, Medley: Sergeant Early's Dream & Chief O'Neil's Favorite, Medley: Miss Forbes Farewell & Poll Halfpenny PIERRE BENSUSAN Medley: The Pure Drop & The Flax In Bloom, Sheebeg An Sheemor, Heman Dubh TOM LONG Jenny Picking Cockles, Broken Pledge EL McMEEN Medley: Jock O'Hazeldean & The Castle Of Dromore, Carolan's Farewell To Music
Running time: 60 minutes