Friday, December 22, 2006

Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares

OK, no Irish or Scottish content here whatsoever, but I saw a really memorable performance a few weeks back. CityMusic brought the Bulgarian State Television Female Vocal Choir to Columbus earlier this month. I first encountered this group's recordings in college, shortly after they were released. The singing is just astonishing: Filled with six part harmonies, noises, talking, pitch bending, dissonance, unusual time signatures, and a laundry list of other things which would be a train wreck if attempted by lesser performers, it's some of the most beautiful vocal music I've ever heard.

You can hear samples of the recording I have on this page.

The opportunity to see this ensemble live was especially nice because although the CD recording I have includes incredible feats of singing, the audio quality is not that great. I recommend the CD for the unusual and brilliant singing, but don't expect great fidelity.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Snowy Path

I'd like to express my deep gratitude to a member of the Columbus slow sessions email list who directed my attention to the Riley School of Irish Music tunes page, where I found a slow recording of the beautiful slip jig The Snowy Path. The slow recording makes the tune almost trivial to pick up by ear; just start on F# and play in D major and if you know the tune at all you'll have it in no time.

This tune was composed by Mark Kelly of Altan; you can hear it on their album Harvest Storm, including a gorgeous flute solo by Frankie Kennedy. Click the Amazon ad on the right to hear a short sample of Altan's recording of this tune.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Whistle This!

I've been quietly following Whistle This! for a while, and now I've gone and uploaded a tune. I really like the idea of the site; sharing tunes is fundamentally more interesting to me than talking about them. So even though I'm quite new to the instrument I'll be uploading more tunes in the future and listening carefully to what others post there.