(April 2013) 5 tracks: An Tarbh Breac Dearg (The Red Speckled Bull) * A' Ghlas Mheur (The Finger Lock) * Beinn Eadarrainn (The Headless Body) * Maol Donn MacCrimmon's Sweetheart) * A' Bhoilich (The Vaunting).
The music of Raghnall Mac Ailein Oig (Ranald MacDonald of Morar 1662-1741) is presented in five adaptations for clarsach by Simon Chadwick.
This CD presents five grand architectural pieces of historical music taken from Ceòl Mór composed by Raghnall Mac Ailein Òig, originally for fiddle, pipes and vocal settings, but is here presented in new adaptions for solo clarsach.
This is Simon's third CD of historical Scottish and Irish music, he has sympathetically and skilfully adapted from the original material for solo clarsach.
The clarsach Simon used on this recording is a replica of the Queen Mary harp. The replica was made by Irish sculptor Davy Patton between 2006 and 2007. Its soundbox is hollowed from a big log of willow; its forepillar is cut from a curved branch of an apple tree. It is carved, burned and painted with the subtle and intricate West Highland decoration copied from the original.
The ringing resonance of the replica Queen Mary harp's gold and silver strings creates a rich and evocative sound for these intricate and complex musical journeys.
The CD booklet includes specially commissioned artwork by Ealasaid Gilfillan, which interprets and illustrates themes from each of the tunes.
Each tune has a very different atmosphere and the illustrations bring the music and the stories to life.
Simon Chadwick is a specialist in the ancient music of Scotland and Ireland. He lives in St Andrews on the east coast of Scotland, and has been studying and teaching the clarsach or Gaelic harp since 1999. This is his third CD of historical Scottish and Irish music.
Raghnall Mac Ailein Òig is celebrated in Scottish tradition as a first rate performer on the pipes , fiddle and the clarsach. He is said to have composed some of the best examples of Ceol Mor the great music of the old Gaelic world.
Raghnall, was the third son of Allan fourth chief of the MacDonald's of Morar, a branch of Clanranald. He is traditionally said to have been born in 1662 and to have died in 1741.
In Ireland and Scotland the old Gaelic Harp traditions go back a thousand years. Harps of the traditional form are preserved in museums in Ireland and Scotland. The best known being the Medieval Scottish "Queen Mary" harp in the national museum in Edinburgh and the famous medieval harp of Brian Boru kept at Trinity College Dublin.
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