Jennifer and Hazel Wrigley - Skyran

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(June 2001) 20 tracks: Orcadia, Orkneyites, Newark Bay, The Broonie O' Copinsay, Sleepy Laddie, The Dingeshowe Dancers, Miss Eilidh Shaw, Thoumires Trendy Treads, Utiseta, Stronsay Waltz, North Ron' Reel, South Ron' Reel, The Auld Bow, The Deerness Mermaid, The Watchman's Polka, The Whorl Reels, The Fairy Ring, The Trowie Dart, The Hen-pen-dirlo, Orca.

A collection of Orkney tunes old and new from this superb fiddle-guitar duo. Jaunty jazzy numbers, strathspeys, waltzes and plangent airs.

At the grand old age of twenty six, twin sisters Jennifer and Hazel Wrigley are releasing their album Skyran, which means to glitter brightly in Old Orkney Norn. It is their fifth duo album and marks ten years since the release of their first, Dancing Fingers.

It contains many original compositions and some previously unrecorded Orkney tunes, featuring a small handful of favourite Orkney musicians on fiddle, double bass and accordion. As before, they draw heavily on their musical experiences from Orkney with much of their own compositions seamlessly spliced with other traditional material from Orkney.

A particular feature of their style is the almost telepathic attunement often experienced by pairs of twins which is abundantly evident in the Wrigleys’ playing. There’s a beguiling ease and artfulness about their sound, built out of their restless musical inquisitiveness and inventiveness.

The theme of the album is based around the Picts who were thought to be little painted people who disappeared without trace. They are believed to have been confused with the trowies or fin folk who were addicted to fiddle music. Many good Orkney fiddlers have disappeared into Howes (mounds where trowies were known to live). As self respecting fiddlers will know, twilight is when the trowies come out and many of the tunes are based around this superstition.

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