Siubhal 2, 2007
This CD is a useful introduction to the elusive and difficult world of pibroch, or piobaireachd, the ancient high-art music of the Scottish Gaelic bagpipes. This is a formal baroque music, usually formed of a tune and complex variation set. It has been passed down as a living tradition from the 16th century to the present day, but due to cultural politics this music is rarely heard and is almost always played in an obtuse modern style that is hard for outsiders to appreciate. On this CD Allan takes a brave yet tentative step away from the piping enclave and re-interprets the repertory with a fresh approach drawing on Gaelic song as well as variant readings from the earliest manuscript sources.
To set the "big music" in a broader cultural framework, Allan sings in Gaelic, and on one brief track Javier Sáinz plays a 17th century Gaelic harp tune, Port Jean Lindsay, making this the first published CD to feature Javier's playing on his replica of the medieval Lamont harp. The CD is accompanied by a 70 page book with commentary on the individual tunes and on pibroch in general by historical pibroch pioneer Barnaby Brown, scholar Hugh Cheape and others.
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