Celtic folk music


I was staying with friends in Havant, UK and they took me to a local Celtic music session at a tavern in King Street, Portsmouth.

The first thing I noticed as I pulled out my pochette (travel violin) is that in fact none of the other fiddles were standard violins either!

A group of unusual fiddles

A group of unusual fiddles

in addition to the viol-like fiddle, the top-corner violin and the guitar-shaped violin, there was my pochette and a baroque-style violin (not pictured).

After introductions I quickly found that I had about 60-70 percent tunes in common and quickly settled in for a very enjoyable session.

Session at King Street Tavern, Portsmouth

Session at King Street Tavern, Portsmouth

Here is another view of the musicians

Session at King Street Tavern, Portsmouth

Session at King Street Tavern, Portsmouth

I was invited to join them at a session in Winchester a few days hence, but sadly, my plans led me in another direction. I had a great night and our friends enjoyed the music too :-)

Merry Christmas season!

I am working on a new collaboration on YouTube with Chansherly – watch this space. In the meantime, here is one I did earlier. I hope to write a bit more regularly in 2011 – this year has been a busy one and I’ve neglected the blogs a bit. So look on this as a renewal ahead of the new year:-)

Cheers
Jerry

Fourteen year old Griffin Soller is one to watch – Here he is playing the celtic tune ‘Catharsis’

Cheers
Jerry

The Full Circle CD has now arrived! It didn’t quite make it to the National Folk Festival, but it’s well worth the wait.

Full Circle CD

Full Circle CD

And all the efforts of recording last year, and the mastering and cover design have come together in a beautiful package (thanks to Melody Lane sound engineer Tamlin Tregonning, CD cover designer Sharon Boggon, and MadCD and all our friends and family who have supported us through this venture).

Full Circle CD

Full Circle CD

The CD is a representative sample of Full Circle’s repertoire and includes songs, tunes and acapella shanties.

Here is some info about the tracks and why we chose them

Belfast Mill
is a timely tale of economic recession and the impact of the closure of a textile mill on the town.

Jim Jones is a song of convict transportation to New South Wales and the hardships faced – even in the journey – a tale of deterrence against crime.

Cliffs of Moher and Banish Misfortune are two of my favourite jigs

Country Life gives an idealised view of bucolic work and play – sung acapella (unaccompanied) and when performed live we make it more accessible to the deaf by singing in braille – with actions!

Star of the County Down is a tale of infatuation (ok lust) a timeless tale from a young man’s point of view.

Blackleg Miner is about the dangers of strike breaking and the dangers of exploitation inherent in not having a representative voice for the workers – especially on working conditions and health and safety (historically sorely lacking in the mining industry).

Da Eye Wifie, Spoot ‘o Skerry and Tongadale are a great set of Scottish reels – the first one was written by Angus Grant of Shooglenifty fame (yes we signed the APRA forms) and they are performed on hardanger fiddle.

Hot Asphalt is a tragi-comedy about pride in road making, and the dangers of hot asphalt for those who venture too close to the hot bitumen.

Blood Red Roses is a halyard shanty which tells of the fate of prostitutes found on board a ship after it leaves port – they were thrown overboard and the red dresses and petticoats were said to resemble rose petals – before the women drowned! It is sung acapella

Man You Don’t Meet Every Day – is a traditional boasting song that may well have been a cock-sure young lad’s view of his carefree lifestyle.

The Lachlan Tigers tells of a sheep shearing team that worked along the Lachlan River in Queensland, and how they worked their way from station to station and boasted about their prowess and speed in the shearing shed, and aspects of their larrakin behaviour when the came to town.

Spancel Hill is a nostalgic recollection of an Irish migrant to California during the potato famine of his homeland in Ireland.

250 to Vigo – Not traditional, but a great tune written by Angus Grant from Shooglenifty with our own arrangement. The tune was written to commemorate a journey Angus took across Europe to Vigo in former Yugoslavia, on a 250cc motorbike. The tune is played on the hardanger fiddle, and has an unusual rhythm.

Here is more of Sharon Boggon’s excellent cover design

Full Circle CD

Full Circle CD

Full Circle CD

Full Circle CD

Full Circle CD

Full Circle CD

And you can buy it direct from the band at http://lostbiro.com/fullcircle, from the band at gigs, or it will be available soon from your favourite download site, like iTunes.

Cheers
Jerry

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