Iona | Signature

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World: Celtic Folk: Celtic Folk Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Signature

by Iona

Celebrating 31 years performing, IONA presents a pan-Celtic tour-de-force with 10 tracks totaling 24 songs or dances from Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, Brittany, Asturias, Quebec, Louisiana and Appalachia.
Genre: World: Celtic
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Hai O
4:40 $0.99
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2. Time Machine Set
5:05 $0.99
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3. Wildwood Flower
4:47 $0.99
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4. Bolero / Galvadeg
6:30 $0.99
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5. Bold Doherty
6:47 $0.99
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6. Cân Merthyr
4:14 $0.99
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7. Cousinages
5:18 $0.99
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8. Carls O'Dysart
4:53 $0.99
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9. Une fille de rose
5:27 $0.99
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10. Jock Stewart
3:16 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Back in 1986, Barbara Tresidder Ryan and Bernard Argent teamed up with 2 other musicians to formally play Irish and Scottish music as a band. We needed a name that could be easily pronounced, spelled and associated with the music and Barbara decided on Iona. This is the name of an island in the Scottish Hebrides where the monk Columcille (Columba) was exiled to establish a colony and work on the illustrious Book of Kells. Long story! It’s also a magical place that has captured the imagination of all who land there, AND it’s easy to spell!
31 years later, we have crafted a collection of music, spanning the Celtic diaspora, as well as parent countries, and many centuries. Our musical lineup for the past 9 years has been solid: we think we’ve evolved together rather well. Barbara is still lead singer, plays Celtic bouzouki, bodhrán and pieds; Bernard continues to play flute, whistles, doumbek, bombarde, cabasa and provides backup vocals; Chuck Lawhorn is still our bass guitar player, also sings harmony; and Jim Queen loves to fiddle around, with his banjo too, and sings in whatever range is needed. We avidly explore the available extremes of all Celtic music and find ourselves drawn to odd time signatures. We also have a well defined signature sound.
We are putting our signature on this collection for you.
Track 1. Hai O - We lead off this set with La Dérobée de Guingamp, a Breton dance from Guingamp (or Gwengamp in Breton). The song which follows, Hai o eadaraibh o is a paean to the arts composed by Eilidh Mackenzie a native of Harris in the Outer Hebrides It is written in traditional puirt-a-beul (gaelic mouth music) style. In a reprise of the dérobée, Bernard provides listeners with a bombard trio for quite the surprising effect!
Track 2. Time Machine Set - Jim, our fiddler, inspired by our enthusiasm for odd time signatures, composed this 3 part suite in 15/8, 12/8 and 4/4 to describe the time and continental travels of a bluegrass fiddler from Appalachia. In the first tune, Time Machine, the fiddler stumbles across a time machine and travels back in time and across the Atlantic to hear a strathspey The Auld Country, referring to Scotland, that inspires said fiddler to return to his own time and country and finally let rip with Back to the Hills.
Track 3. Wildwood Flower - This arrangement opens with The Exile’s Jig an Irish slip jig (9/8 time signature) then takes a trans-Atlantic segué to Louisiana and Réel de Nez Piqué a Cajun tune penned by Michael Doucet of Beausoleil. We continue with a Victorian parlor song I’ll Twine Mid the Ringlets published in 1860 with music by Joseph Philbrick Webster and lyrics by Maud Irving. It was later adapted to the bluegrass tradition to become “Wildwood Flower” (among other derivative names) made popular by the Carter Family in 1928.
Track 4. Bolero/Galvadeg - We learned this spirited Bolero d’Urbiés (Asturian dance from the village of Urbiés) from the playing of the super group, Llan de Cubel. The time signature is impossible to determine: each of us counts it differently! We transition to a powerful Breton lament, Galvadeg en Tri Kant Mil Soudard, for the 300,000 Breton soldiers killed in French wars, defined by Jim’s solo coda. He plays it differently every time!
Track 5. Bold Doherty - The song, collected by Norma Waterson from the singing of Drogheda singer Mary Ann Carolan, is an odd conglomeration of the adventures of a rake, all over Ireland, it seems: not the whole story, but never dull, we think! Barbara wrote the next tune, Bran’s Sticks for her favorite dog You will hear his commentary in this tribute. The Noose and Ghille, a Scottish reel, has one of those names that just make you wonder. We THINK it refers to a hunting ghille or attendant and the noose he carries to catch game.
Track 6. Cân Merthyr - We start with Calenick, a traditional Cornish tune in 9/8. A tradition that became popular when English began to be spoken in Wales, macaronic verse, or a combination of the two languages, is featured in the comedic song, Cân Merthyr. It is the plaint of a man married to a controlling wife who dictates where he goes and what he does We intersperse the verses with another Cornish tune, Map Rus.
Track 7. Les Cousinages - We open with 11/16th Hour by Jon Bewis, an amazingly innovative Scottish fiddler in the band, Cantrip, with whom we’ve shared stages and accommodation. As we delve into odd rhythms, this composition had to be included! We pair it with a wonderfully sly song, Les Cousinages, from the repertoire of Québécois singer Jean-Paul Guimond. It is about a newly married man whose beautiful wife has a surprising number of male relatives who like to spend the night. Barbara provides “pieds” the quintessentially Québécois foot percussion.
Track 8. Carls o’ Dysart - his Scottish drinking song by Robert Burns, celebrates the life of the old 'Carls' and 'Kimmers' - and the young - the lads and lassies of the town of Dysart. The phrase "Ca' thro" was the cry from a fishing boat approaching a crowded shore that would have been heard along the coast at that time. We follow up with an Asturian dance, Muñiera De Tormaleo, in 6/8. The final tune, Walking the Floor, is by Jack Chisholm who grew up in a piping family in Inverness, Scotland and emigrated to Washington D.C. in the 1950's where he was Pipe major in the Washington Scottish Pipe Band. In effect, this is one of our “local” tunes!
Track 9. Une fille de rose - Une fille de rose (Girl of rose or pink girl) is a Breton hanter dro that was suggested to us by our dear friend and Breton singer, Nolwenn Monjarret. It is a dance in 6/4 time: we perform it as a song, and a woeful tale it is! We finish off with a lovely Asturian tune, also in 6/4, El 15 De Xineru (the 15th of January).
Track 10. Jock Stewart - Bernard has been singing this traditional Scottish/Irish Music Hall song for around 30 years, getting audiences to join in choruses! Written from the point of view of a rich landowner telling the story of his day while buying drinks at a public house, the song is an Irish narrative ballad that has been shortened to an Aberdeenshire drinking song.

IONA is
Barbara Tresidder Ryan: lead vocals, bouzouki (Doug Dieter, Kennaquhair Stringed Instruments), bodhrán (Belgarth), pieds
Bernard Argent: wooden flute (Chris Wilkes), whistles, vocals, bombarde (Jil Léhart),, doumbek, cabasa
Chuck Lawhorn: bass guitars (David King), vocals
Jim Queen: fiddle (Brucr T. Myers), banjo(Nechville Phantom), vocals.
Guests
Kathleen Larrick: vocals on Wildwood Flower and Cân Merthyr; cabasa and doumbek on Cân Merthyr.
Bran Ryan-Argent: barks

Produced by Barbara Tresidder Ryan and Bernard Argent
Engineered by Scott Shuman at Shuman Recording
Photography by Cynthia Loden-Dowdle (Loden’s Green)
Design by Bernard Argent
Liner notes by Barbara Tresidder Ryan

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