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Scottish and Celtic Music Discussion
What's your favourite slow air
Posts: 337
Posted: 27-May-2005 10:54
I'm trying to decide what my favourite slow is. At the moment I can't decide between. Hector the Hero, Niel Gow's Lament for his Second Wife or Marnie Swanson of the Grey Coast.
I wondered what was the favourite slow air of other footstompers.
Posts: 14820
Posted: 27-May-2005 11:28
Too many from which to choose but my favourite composers of these would be Neil Gow and, more recently, Phil Cunningham.
Simon T
Posts: 8666
Posted: 27-May-2005 12:30
One of my favourites is Welcome Christmas Morning by Jimmy Shand.
Bella McNab
Posts: 305
Posted: 27-May-2005 13:06
'Over the moor among the heather' would be one. Also Cathal McConnel playing 'For Ireland I'd not Tell Her Name' on an old Boys of the Lough CD. Former BotL, Aly Bain, is an absolute master of the slow air - he gets a vocal quality to his playing that really brings the tunes to life.

This would be a good place to bring up a pet hate of mine - the practice of everyone joining in on an air when one comes up at a session. If ever there were a case for 'one singer, one song'....

Posts: 14820
Posted: 27-May-2005 13:17
Unfortunately, this is because some people mistakenly think that they are easy. However, I agree that a slow air is a very individual thing.
Even worse, is when they are speeded up and played as jigs, reels, or whatever. Of course, the latter tunes get slowed down so everything is at the same pace. :-(
This is a very common practice at ALPy sessions so you should warn your students personally. :-)

Neil B
Posts: 61
Posted: 29-May-2005 11:44
David Milligan does a great arrangement of a tune called Orkney. I also agree with the suggestions of Marnie Swanson of the Grey Coast and most things by Phil Cunningham.
Posts: 2043
Posted: 29-May-2005 16:25
'Coilsfield House', Niel Gow - still my favourite!
Posts: 14820
Posted: 29-May-2005 17:08
Wasn't that one attributed to(or claimed by) his son Nathaniel Gow, Spike? It's a lovely tune, though.
Posts: 2043
Posted: 29-May-2005 21:06
Eek ! Thanks John - you're right. Should have known - I've introduced it PROPERLY enough times !! That's what a Sunday diet of the Eastenders and River City omnibuses ( omnibi ??? ) does to your brain !! Next week I'll learn the composers of some tunes, instead.. ! :)
Posts: 2138
Posted: 30-May-2005 01:11
At the moment I am hooked on Bruce MacGregor's highly emotional 'The Nameless Clan' on Cliar's first album.
Posts: 937
Posted: 30-May-2005 17:52
I had to pull in to the side of the road when A'Chuthag (The Cuckoo) came on the wireless one Sunday a couple of years ago. From "My Roots are Showing" by Natalie McMaster.

Posts: 58
Posted: 30-May-2005 21:17
Lament for King George V by Donald Riddell

So powerful and haunting.

Posts: 188
Posted: 31-May-2005 09:18
Mrs Helen N Robertson by A.S. Robertson (in the Fiddle Music of Scotland), closely followed by Lament for the Death of the Rev Archie Beaton by John Mason (I think)
Posts: 431
Posted: 31-May-2005 09:54
Tom Anderson,slow airs from Shetland.I'm really loving the shetland tradition, a convert!
Simon T
Posts: 8666
Posted: 31-May-2005 12:06
Your right viola, Tom A wrote loads of beautiful tunes including Shingly Beach (spelling?)
Posts: 115
Posted: 31-May-2005 15:29
I agree with Shingly Beach for Shetland. I heard an amazing performance of this last year by Catriona MacDonald and Annbjørg Lien.

I think Roslin Castle (definitely in C Minor!!) or Archibald MacDonald of Keppoch would be my favourites from the dusty books.

Night in that Land by Johnny Cunningham is currently my favourite contemporary air.

Posts: 83
Posted: 31-May-2005 17:07
The Heroes of Longhope (As played by the Wrigleys)
Paddy's Rambles Through The Park (As played by Paddy Glackin)
Posts: 261
Posted: 31-May-2005 19:06
Speaking of Shetland and slow airs - how about this handful -

Lament for Lowrie o' Da Lee - Tom Anderson
Big Dougal - Ian Powrie
John Roy Lyall - Eddie Edmonds
Wallace and Thomas - Cheri Mallaig

All played magnificently by the late Willie Hunter and accompanied by Violet Tulloch ( herself a slow air by Phil Cunningham) and of course you could not forget Willie's own compostions -

Leaving Lerwick Harbour
The Love O' Da Isles
Annie - My Mother

All the above have made this grown man cry.

Posts: 227
Posted: 31-May-2005 22:47
All this talk of Shetland brings back memories of Trevor Hunter playing "The Wild Rose of the Mountain" during an unforgettable weekend I spent on the islands several years ago. A truly mesmerising air. It's not only grown men who cry. Old wifies can do it, too.
Cathryn Bauer
Posts: 112
Posted: 01-Jun-2005 04:37
>Niel Gow's Lament for his Second Wife< i="" had="" the="" pleasure="" of="" hearing="" pete="" clark="" play="" this="" last="" summer;="" wow.="" his="" rendition="" will="" always="" be="" the="" one="" for="">

Tom Anderson's The Shingly Beach is a favorite of mine. I have been to a shingly beach in the Queen Charlotte Islands. It's a beach of stones, not sand, that have been rounded by the tide and make the most wonderful, soothing sounds as the tide comes in. I always think of this beach when I play it!

Then there's Roaring Water and Tame Her When Da Snow Comes.

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