Alasdair Fraser (fiddle, viola) Eric Rigler (Great Highland Bagpipe, uilleann pipes, Scottish small-pipes) Chris Norman (wooden flute, piccolo) Paul Machlis (piano, organ, keyboards) Mick Linden (fretless bass) Peter Maund (percussion)
Guest soiolsts Mercedes Peon (voice & tambourine) Hevia (midi bagpipes) Jose Manuel Tejedor (Asturian bagpipes) Joxan Goikoetxea (accordion) KepaJunkera (trikifixa) Mikei Laboa (vocal) Oreka TX (txalaparta)
"This is top-flight concert music, magical in its shadings, its emotional complexity and in its multicultural interweavings." - Bill Compton, Sacramento News & Review
This live concert CD from the Celtic supergroup Skyedance -- featuring Scottish fiddle master Alasdair Fraser, piper Eric Rigler, flutist Chris Norman, pianist Paul Machlis, bassist Mick Linden & percussionist Peter Maund -- captures stunning performances, integrating songs and tunes from illustrious Spanish musicians with Skyedance's hallmark Celtic fusion instrumentals. Guests include the ebullient Basque accordionist Kepa Junkera, Latin Grammy nominee midi-bagpiperHevia, Galician singer Mercedes Peón (who was recently nominated for a BBC World Music award) and more. Skyedance's first release, Way out to Hope Street, was an Indie finalist for Best Celtic Album; their second CD, Labyrinth, made the Tower Top Ten picks for Ambient/ Instrumental releases in 2000.
1 Harris Dance Performed by Skyedance with José Manuel Tejedor Ruileadh Cailleach . Dawn Rant (Fraser) . Harris Dance
The great Asturian piper José Manuel Tejedor joins us to open with some Highland tunes from the early days of Fraser/Machlis, combined with a reel from my Dawn Dance album.
2 Dizzy (Mick Linden) Performed by Skyedance with Kepa Junkera
Written by Mick in honour of his meeting with the joltingly memorable Basque beverage called txakoli. This piece seemed perfectly suited to the high energy and incredibly exciting playing of Basque accordionist Kepa Junkera on the trikitixa.
3 Marabilla (Mercedes Peón) Performed by Mercedes Peón with Alasdair Fraser, violin and Paul Machlis, keyboards
What a pleasure to meet and play with this powerful, beautiful and artistic woman! Mercedes is doing a stellar job of moving Galician traditions into the 21st century while giving due credence to the rich and colourful history of her culture. The arrangement of this song is based on the recording by Mercedes Peón and Xosé Lois Romero on the album Isué. 4 Dinky's Medley Performed by Skyedance Dinky's . Muilean Dubh . Twisted Bridge . Molly Rankin (J.M. Rankin)
A fine, rollicking bunch of tunes from the band. 5 Cries and Shrieks of Woe Performed by Chris Norman, wooden flute Cries and Shrieks of Woe . Three Highland Dances
These tunes are from an important collection of tunes published in 1784 by the Reverend Patrick McDonald of Skye 6 A Stór Mo Chroí Performed by Eric Rigler, uillean bagpipes
Translates as "Jewel of My Heart". The melody is very old. 7 Stoney Run (Chris Norman) Performed by Skyedance with Oreka TX
Many thanks to Igor Otxoa and Harkaiz Martínez of Oreka TX for unleashing so beautifully the ancient Basque sound of the txalaparta on this modern Celtic number! Chris Norman wrote this piece in honour of a beautiful stream that meanders through Baltimore. 8 The Spark (Alasdair Fraser) Performed by Skyedance with Hevia and Joxan Goikoetxea
Written in memory of Donnie "Crotal" Campbell of Skye. Many thanks to the groundbreaking Asturian piper Hevia and to our wonderfully expressive Basque friend Joxan Goikoetxea for lending their talents to this crazy romp. 9 Way Out to Hope Street (Alasdair Fraser) Performed by Skyedance with Joxan Goikoetxea and Oreka TX
The title cut from the band's first album. This tune is dedicated to Glasgow's Celtic Connections festival, which happens around the area of Hope Street, and where we see every January a wonderful coming together of cultures. 10 Theme for Scotland (Alasdair Fraser) Performed by Alasdair Fraser, violin; Eric Rigler, uillean bagpipes; Paul Machlis, keyboard
I wrote this tune as a tribute to the people who have worked hard to establish Scotland as a country where the voice of the individual can be heard. The formation of the Scottish Parliament in May 1999 was a great step in that direction. 11 Donostia (Paul Machlis) Performed by Skyedance with José Manuel Tejedor
Paul Machlis wrote this piece in honour of the beautiful Basque city of San Sebastian (Donostia). It opens with the unusual sound of the Asturian pipes of Jose Manuel Tejedor in duet with the uillean pipes of Eric Rigler. 12 Txoria Txori (The Bird) (Music" Mikel Laboa; Lyircs J.A. Artze) Performed by Skyedance with Mikel Laboa and Joxan Goikoetxea.
Perhaps Mikel Laboa can be described as the poet laureate of the Basque country. We owe Mikel a great debt of gratitude for taking the time to come back to the stage and sing this song of freedom once more. And thanks to the audience in the beautiful Teatro Gayarre in Pamplona for singing along!
13 The Other Side of Sorrow (Alasdair Fraser) Performed by Alasdair Fraser, violin and voice; Paul Machlis, keyboard
Sorley Maclean, who died in 1997, was one of Gaeldom's great poets. His poetry often reflects a reverence for nature and a strong-willed acceptance that nature can seem, if not cruel, then sometimes indifferent to humanity. His epic poem "The Cuillin", has been described as a celebration of the awful strength of those Skye mountains, and the affinity of the Gael with such places. 14 Galen's Medley (Alasdair Fraser) Independence Trail (Fraser) . Galen's Arrival (Fraser)Performed by Skyedance with Kepa Junkera and Oreka TX
Thanks to Kepa Junkera and Oreka TX for helping us dance through these tunes, which I wrote for my son Galen 10 years ago. 15 Tail Toddle Finale Sleepy Maggie . Tail Toddle . Fairy Dance . Maggie's Pancakes (Stuart Morrison) . The Bulgarian Bandit (Murray Blair) . Cape Breton Symphony's Welcome to Shetland (Willie Hunter, Jr.) Performed by Skyedance with Kepa, Joxan, Mercedes, José Manuel and Hevia. All compositions arranged by Skyedance. All compositions administered by Culburnie Music (BMI)