Alasdair Fraser's Skyedance band

Way Out to Hope Street: CD

Way Out to Hope Street: CD

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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)

Featuring virtuoso instrumentalists who were brought together by top Scots fiddler Alasdair Fraser during the recording of his Indie Award-winning album Dawn Dance. Virtuosity meets vision as the six members of Skyedance unite their considerable creative spirits in original compositions which push the envelope of the Scottish tradition. Way Out to Hope Street presents music ranging from exquisitely expressive airs to rampaging reels.

"The sound of expertise - a sound to behold ... fiddle, pipes, flute and bass working tightly together, with lyrical rippling piano and the most considerate and imaginative of percussionists." The Glasgow Herald

1 Way Out to Hope Street (Alasdair Fraser) Something as mundane as an exit sign in a busy railway station can be unusually signficiant to a group of musicians during the gestation of a new album. This particular Hope Street is in Glasgow, but every city and every heart should have one. 2 Walking the Plank (Eric Rigler) A reference to 'traditional' pipe compositions and the occasional edge on which one can live life. 3 Donostia (Paul Machlis) The lovely Basque city of Donostia, known also as San Sebastian, is the home of Syntorama, our gracious hosts and tour organisers in Spain. With thanks to Mikel, Cruz and all. 4 Year's Turning (Paul Machlis) The title is inspired by Dylan Thomas' 'Poem in October', which closes with 'O may my heart's truth, Still be sung, On this high hill in a year's turning.' 5 Midnight on Raasay * The Braemar Cappuccino (Alasdair Fraser) 6 Dizzy (Mick Linden) Written in celebration of, and recuperation from, a unique and potent beverage called Txakoli, which has its own festival in the Basque Country. 7 Stoney Run (Chris Norman) In honour of a beautiful stream that meanders through Baltimore. 8 The Lupine (Chris Norman) 9 Dark Jewel (Paul Machlis) 10 Tathaich nam Fonn (A Song-Haunted Place) (Alasdair Fraser) The Isle of Skye, off mainland Scotland, is surely one of the loveliest places in the world. Since 1987, Alasdair has led a summer fiddle and dance course there, at Sabhal Mor Ostaig College, helping to revitalise a rich indigenous tradition which was nearly destroyed by repressive church and economic forces. This air reflects the feeling of the old stone hall when the week is over and the musicians have all gone home. 11 The Skyedance Reels (Ruilleadh Cailleach * The Bird's Nest * Harris Dance) (traditional Scottish) A new version of a medley originally recorded by Alasdair and Paul for their first duo albumSkyedance, which was released in 1986 and named for a whole body of Gaelic song and dance tunes collected on Skye in the 1700's. 12 Skerray (Chris Norman) This tune is named for a place in the remote north-western tip of Scotland where the band played in the village hall in 1995. 13 Reel de Flores (Alasdair Fraser and Mick Linden) 14 Bannockburn (Alasdair Fraser) In tribute to the spirit of freedom wherever it exists, but particularly in the heart of King Robert the Bruce, who centuries ago united Scots in the cause of independence and self-determination. Scotland is currently surging with a sense of its own culture; the spirit of Bruce lives on.

All compositions arranged by Skyedance.

All compositions administered by Culburnie Music (BMI).

Labyrinth: CD

Labyrinth: CD

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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)

"Alasdair Fraser, and his trusty ensemble, have produced yet another amazing album of virtuoso music. Skyedance is a group that excels with talent, warmth and joy. They play together as if they are speaking to each other, with a combination of affection and aggression. Full of contemporary style and romanticism, they are unique and original in their approach to arrangements of original as well as traditional compositions. It is stunning to hear a group of such caliber. The recording itself is highlighted by an extreme spectral clarity and separation of instruments. It is very much as if you were sitting with the ensemble around you." —Ben Kettlewell, Alternate Music Press

Labyrinth from the band Skyedance, whose members feature on soundtracks such as Titanic,Braveheart and Last of the Mohicans, interweaves Scottish roots with influences from around the world, threading the path of discovery with melodic, harmonic and rhythmic interplay.

Labyrinth has been selected by Public Radio's Echoes music program as #4 of "Twenty-five essential albums of 2000."

1 The Spark (Alasdair Fraser) Dedicated to the memory of poet Donnie Campbell of Breakish, Skye, inventor of the gravity-defying Breakish Two-Step and the life and soul of many a great ceilidh. 2 La Gallega (Eric Rigler)
3 Till October (Mick Linden) 4 Cat in a Bag (Mick Linden) 5 Fite Fuaite (Paul Machlis) (pronounced "fitya fooitya) is an Irish Gaelic phrase meaning "woven into and through each other." 6 The Iron Ring/ The Boxwood Reel (Chris Norman) "The Iron Ring" draws it's name from rings that Canadian engineers wear symbolizing professional pride and civic responsibility. The rings were originally crafted from the steel of a bridge that collapsed near Quebec City. This tune is dedicated to Arthur Norman (Chris' father), a retired Canadian engineer, who still wears the iron ring and epitomizes the values of humility and responsibility. "The Boxwood Reel" is named for the annual flute school that Chris directs each July in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. 7 The Other Side of Sorrow (Alasdair Fraser) 8 Inside the Shadows (Paul Machlis) 9 When She Drives (Mick Linden) 10 Into the Labyrinth (Alasdair Fraser) 11 Ariadnes's Thread (Alasdair Fraser) 12 The Pentz Road (Chris Norman) 13 Evensong (Paul Machlis)

All compositions arranged by Skyedance.

All compositions administered by Culburnie Music (BMI)

Skyedance: CD

Skyedance: CD

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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)