Canntaireachd & The Prince’s Salute

October 4, 2015 on 3:06 pm by Michael Grey | In Music, Solo Piping, Video | Comments Off on Canntaireachd & The Prince’s Salute

I was given the opportunity yesterday to lead four sessions at the annual Fall Fusion workshop. A great event staged each year by the management of the Paris Port Dover Pipe Band (special call-out to Darlene Carreiro here). With well over 100 participants the day, if nothing else, was jam-packed with boundless enthusiasm. And, oh, to bottle “boundless enthusiasm”, a fortune would be made.

An intro to canntaireachd turned out to be one of my most-subscribed sessions, which was at once gratifying and interesting: with shelves and shelves of pipe music books all over the place, recordings of tunes everywhere, why the need to learn arcane methods of music transmission? Chock it up, maybe, to that yet-to-be bottled Boundless Enthusiasm (cellar cask). The group I worked with had a seemingly grand old time belting out the ground and first variation of “The Glen is Mine” as well as having a look at a few examples of light music.

This workshop lit a bit of a fire under me to complete one small item that has been on my to-do list for years; that is, lay out the “Piobaireachd agus Canntaireachd” track from my “Cuts from Traditional Cloth” recording with visuals of the “Nether Lorn” canntaireachd aligned with the tune. Completed Friday, just in time, and I think a good example for learning – or – at least, getting a sense of what canntaireachd sounds like.

Here is the recording, the tune is The Prince’s Salute, or just over half of the piece, with the sweet vocals of my old friends, Shannon and Ryan MacDonald (North Shore, Cape Breton) and Glenna Mackay-Johnstone, (good ol’ Toronto) singing the canntaireachd, courtesy of Colin Campbell, Nether Lorn, Argyll:

The video of the Hebridean islands of St Kilda, reimagined circa 1890 by the Open Virtual Worlds project, provides a fine backdrop.


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