FluteFling Aberdeen Weekend 3-5 November

FluteFling goes on the road this November as traditional flute playing in Scotland focuses on Aberdeen. Following 4 years in Edinburgh, the successful format of weekend workshops, concert and informal sessions over 3-5 November will give you and your music a boost ahead of the winter months. Come and join us on the excursion to the first FluteFling Aberdeen Weekend and be part of the traditional flute revival in Scotland!

The weekend’s tutors will be Davy Maguire from Belfast and Sharon Creasey from Dumbarton. Davy has a wealth of music from Ireland, including the northern tunes that cross over into Scotland and music from the distinctive Breton tradition.

Davy is in great demand as a teacher, from Belfast to Brittany and Italy — he will arrive immediately after teaching and playing in Brittany — while Sharon is one of the foremost exponents of traditional music on the Boehm flute in Scotland and returns with her Fermanagh, Irish and Scottish repertoire. Regardless of the type of flute you play, you will be in excellent hands.

A concert on the Saturday evening will be headlined by Davy Maguire with support from many others including Kenny Hadden, Sharon Creasey, Malcolm Reavell and Gordon Turnbull. And there will be plenty more music too with sessions on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday — a great opportunity to let your hair down and catch up with everyone. We hope to see you there.

Tickets for the weekend and the concert will go on sale in the next day or two. The event’s web page has further details, including links to tickets.

Davy Maguire has taught with Belfast Trad since its inception and teaches and performs regularly both in Ireland and abroad with various groups and as a solo performer. A frequent visitor to Brittany, Davy has toured and played at the Festival Interceltic de Lorient and the Festival de Cornouaille in Quimper with several different line-ups, including Dealán Dartha and Commonalty as well as in duo with Jamie McMenemy. In Ireland he has been adjudicator for several county Fleadhanna Cheoil and has recorded a CD of music for traditional set dancing along with the cream of Northern musicians.

As a taster, here he is (extreme right hand side) with Harry Bradley, Michael Clarkson, Tara Diamond and Brendan O’Hare at the Gradam Ceoil Irish Traditional Musician of the Year Award 2014:


Laridé de Portobello

This week we covered the Laridé de Portobello, a nine-part piece for flutes, whistles and other folk instruments based on a traditional Breton two-part tune that had no name. This is a tune I have taught previously and the intention of the multiple parts is to encourage group play, improvisation and performance. With the end of a term of hard work coming up, it’s good to focus on such things.

I will eventually put the music up on FluteFling but I recently taught this at Callander and have written up some notes for that here, along with some links to resources.

News: It’s that time of year when we look to play somewhere interesting, especially having missed the summer excursion. Hopefully we can make Dalmeny Kirk again before Christmas, but failing that, in the New Year. We may get out to a pub for a tune too. Here’s what we did last year, including the Laridé de Portobello:

Photo of Cobbled street at Dinan, Brittany, France by William Warby, some rights reserved.

An Dro: a Breton dance

The Slow and Steady class have been enjoying Breton tunes lately and this tune is a nice contrast to the recent Gavotte Ton Double. In keeping with many Breton tunes, this one has no title other than An Dro, which simply translates as The Dance, in other words it is the principal dance form of Brittany.

I found this tune in Dave Shepherd’s Breton Tune Book. There is a discussion of Breton tunes, their titles and a useful list of links on The Session web site.

Music and notation for this tune are up on the Resources page.

Update: Here’s a version of the recent Gavotte, played by Mulberry Bend, who are Susanna Carman & Karl Farren. This replaces the mistakenly placed previous clip, which was not the right tune at all. However, the set is from the playing of Kevin Burke and Mícheál Ó Domhnaill:

And here’s Breton band Barzaz, who arose in discussion. The flute player is Jean-Michel Veillon:

Photo: le musique adoecit les mars by Rachel, some rights reserved.

Dates and a Breton Gavotte

Last night the Slow and Steady class learned a Breton tune that I have since discovered is an untitled Ton Double Gavotte from the playing of fiddler Kevin Burke on his Portland album with guitarist Mícheál Ó’Domhnaill. They also played together in The Bothy Band and made a couple of duet recordings, all of which are highly recommended. He also plays with Celtic Fiddle Festival, a group with fiddlers from different countries.

We also discussed the English band Blowzabella and later I mentioned Ti Jaz to Pierre-Marie. You may also want to check out flute player Jean-Michel Veillon, his work with the groups Kornog and Barzaz and this interview with him. If you are completely new to Breton music, you have to check out Alain Stivell, who first brought the music to the wider world. There is plenty more to explore and lots of links on YouTube of course.

The dots for the tunes will be up presently but recordings of the Gavotte and an An Dro I thought we might also try are available in the Resources section.

In the meantime, you might enjoy this video of people dancing and discussing gavottes:

Dates reminder

It’s October break in Edinburgh so there will be no FluteFling class on Thursday 17th. Classes resume on Thursday 24th with the Improvers class. Slow and Steady resume on Thursday 31st.

Photo: Binou and bombarde players by Ludovic, some rights reserved.