Hamish Napier - The River

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Music samples



(February 2016)

11 Tracks: The Mayfly * The River * The Whirlpool * The Dance * The Drowning Of The Silver Brothers, 1933 * Fate Of The Kelts / Out To Sea * Floating * Huy Huy! * Iasgairean nan Neanhnaid (The Pearlfishers) * Spey Cast (Part A) * Spey Cast (Part B).

A first solo album by the multi-talented folk musician Hamish Napier.

The River is Hamish Napier's composition for the Celtic Connections' New Voices series, which premiered at Celtic Connections 2016.

The composition was inspired in part by the River Spey, his family home was close to the river bank.

So Hamish grew up with the Spey as the mighty backdrop to his formative years.

A vibrant variety of styles await as the story of the river unfolds.

The piece features many flute, whistles, pianos and keyboards - core sounds that is his music. Added to that is the alto flute and bodhran combination, played by Admiral Fallow's flautist Sarah Hayes, and Treacherous Orchestra's bodhran player Martin O'Neill.

Also performing are two members of top Scottish folk band 'Breabach': bassist James Lindsay and piper Calum MacCrimmon who is actually not piping but instead singing Canntaireachd ( the ancient chanting language of the bagpipes).

The digipack, includes a 16 page booklet.

Artwork and design by the fabulous Somhairle MacDonald somhairle.co.uk. Also includes vintage photos of the River Spey taken by local photographers in the the 1930s and 40s.

Hamish Napier (whistles, wooden flutes, piano, harmonium, Fender Rhodes, Wurlitzer 200A, bean pod shakers, backing vocals) , Sarah Hayes (alto flute), James Lindsay (double bass), Martin O'Neill (bodhran), Andrea Gobbi (synths and post-production), Calum MacCrimmon (vocals -Canntaireachd), Oystercatchers, Blackbirds, Curlews ,Heron and River Spey (vocals).

"There are so many strands to Scotland's music, it's constantly evolving, borrowing from and merging with other roots and contemporary genres, and I want a reflection of exactly that in all I do. The natural cycle of the river is one epic, glorious and ever-changing dance, we humans seem to think we are separate from the natural world around us, but go for a swim in the eddy under the Old Spey Bridge, and you’ll feel no boundary where your body stops and the river begins. Every object around us is just a very temporary clump of stuff, created from a vast blob of interlocked material. Everything that exists is never a "thing" for long, and will soon disperse itself to form something else." Hamish Napier.

"Napier’s compositional approach wasn’t exactly impressionistic but he did rather cleverly use musical modes – a round, for example, for a section entitled The Whirlpool – to capture the emotions and atmospheres of his Speyside inspirations. Perhaps the most memorable pieces were the slower ones: the tender but dark melody for Lament For The Silver Brothers and the harmonium drone and Canntaireachd vocals of "warning Piobeareachd" The Pearlfishers both brought history, myth and mood into the present." Alan Morrison Herald Scotland.

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