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: MARTIN SIMPSON Medley: Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms & Waters of Tyne, Shepherd's Delight, Lowlands of Holland STEVE BAUGHMAN Bony Crossing The Alps, Ramble To Cashel, Cullen Bay PIERRE BENSUSAN Murtuch McKann, Flammogan Air, Medley: Merrily Kissed The Quaker & Cunla DUCK BAKER The Duke of Fife's Welcome to Deeside, The Golden Keyboard, The Fairie Queen, Planxty Kelly TOM LONG Hardiman The Fiddle, The Butterfly, Banish Misfortune PAT KIRTLEY Morgan Magan, Fanny Power, Chase The Weasel, Finn MacCool's Reel EL McMEEN Danny Boy, Star Of The County Down
Running time: 62 minutes