Màiri Macleod | Ceòl is Òrain (Music & Song)

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Ceòl is Òrain (Music & Song)

by Màiri Macleod

If you're looking for a relaxing album jammed packed with traditions, this is the one for you. Màiri's playing & singing captures a beauty so touching to your heart, you'll be transported into her world of gaelic and scottish culture.
Genre: Folk: Scottish Traditional
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. The Coffee Cup
3:26 $0.99
2. Mrs Jamieson's Favourite
4:47 $0.99
3. Crossing the Minch/Tail Toddle
4:50 $0.99
4. Catharsis
4:19 $0.99
5. Hiuraibh O, Ghràidh an Tig Thu? (Will you return, my love?)
3:44 $0.99
6. Pipe Major Donald Maclean of Lewis
2:42 $0.99
7. A Fhleasgaich Oig is Ceanalta (The Young & Gentle lad)
3:13 $0.99
8. Johntone Reel/The Long Night
5:09 $0.99
9. Eilean a' Cheò (The Misty Isle)
4:11 $0.99
10. Breisleach (Delirium)
3:06 $0.99
11. Fàilte Rìoghail gu Mòd 2010 (A Royal Welcome to the Mòd 2010)
2:49 $0.99
12. Prayer
9:05 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Màiri is a Clàrsach player & Gaelic singer from Scotland. As a performer, teacher & composer she is passionate about her roots in traditional music. She attented the City of Edinburgh Music School during her high school years where she studied Concert Harp, Clàrsach, Gaelic Singing, Piano, Recorder, Fiddle & Composition.

She then went on to study Concert Harp on the Classical music degree at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. During her 4 years there she also trained as a Secondary Music Teacher. In her final year at college Màiri teamed up with a percussionist, Ross Garrod, with whom she formed the duo Glèusta. Performing on various instruments such as Marimba, Cajon, Drum-kit, Electro-Harp, Clàrsach and Voice, the duo released their debut album at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2009 and went on to play at the Edinburgh International Harp Festival in 2010.

Màiri's passion for writing her own music began at a young age but has blossomed dramatically over the last few years. She was commissioned to write for HRH Prince Charles in October 2010 where she performed for him at the Royal National Mod in Caithness. She then became the 2010 recipient of the Clàrsach Society's Young Composer award and won a premiere performance at the Edinburgh International Harp Festival in 2011 where she performed her piece 'Prayer' (the final track on this album).

Track notes:

1) The Coffee Cup [3:23]
Màiri Macleod (PRS)

Written to celebrate my Dad’s 60th I wanted to pay homage to the little things that keep him going on his crazy daily schedule, like the tiny pyrex cup he uses to have a quick cup of coffee before leaving the house. We often make fun of it so I thought it deserved a tune of its own! The tune became part of a special ploy to surprise him on the radio and thanks to Mòrag Dhòmhnallach for playing it for dad on her Mire ri Mòr programme on the 28th April 2011. He missed it as he was busy in meetings in Inverness (as usual!) but thanks to BBC iPlayer he listened to it once he returned to Edinburgh (with his coffee, in the pyrex cup!).

2) Mrs Jamieson’s Favourite [4:47]
Charles Grant arr. Màiri Macleod

This is a haunting slow air I heard many years ago which immediately tugged at my heart (or harp!) strings. As soon as I arranged it on the harp it felt like the tune had arrived home. It only needs slight embellishment and enough room to breathe to allow the audience to be captivated by its beauty. Who Mrs Jamieson was remains a mystery, but the tune left behind for her seems to depict a very calm and poised woman, I would have liked to have met her.

3) Crossing the Minch/Tail Toddle [4:46]
P.M Donald Shaw Ramsay/Trad arr. Màiri Macleod

The Minch is the area of water you cross travelling on the ferry from the mainland to the Island of Lewis. Known for many years as my “party piece” the hornpipe is a favourite of mine and reminds me of Lewis no matter where I am. Originally written as a pipe tune it fits comfortably under the hands on the Clàrsach, joining well with the Scots song Tail Toddle as one of my favourite reels, certainly one to keep you on your toes!

4) Catharsis [4:17]
Amy Cann arr. Màiri Macleod

There have been many different versions and arrangements of this tune done over the years so I’ve tried a new approach to capture the effect of Catharsis (experiencing deep emotions by releasing them) by playing it under-tempo and then right to the edge of speeding beyond control, releasing the strong emotions embedded in the music. Amy says “my boyfriend at the time had asked me to save a certain Saturday for us to have some quality together time, and I had loyally turned down a lucrative wedding gig...come Friday night I find a phone message.."an old friend of mine is in town and we're going hiking - I don't remember if you and I had anything planned, but you can join us if you want". I knew that if I called him right back I'd probably kill'em, so I played the fiddle first. The tune pretty much wrote itself in about 2 minutes.”

5) Hiuraibh O, Ghràidh an Tig Thu (Will you return, my Love?) [3:49]

“Love will you return…..this year, or ever? When I go to the moors my tears wet my shoes… I saw you in my sleep coming home from battle, but it wasn’t me you wanted. When your letter arrives I will write back, not in ink but with my heart’s blood which is warmer.”

6) Pipe Major Donald Maclean of Lewis [2:39]
P.M. Donald Macleod arr. Màiri Macleod

As one of the most innovative composers for the bagpipes I think Donald Macleod from Lewis wrote this march with the harp in mind! It bounces off the strings so freely and lends itself easily to a syncopated accompaniment. I always feel instantly invigorated playing this march which seems to mirror the merry personality of Donald himself.

8) A’ Fhleasgaich Oig is Ceanalta (The Young & Gentle Lad) [3:11]
Ceit NicFhionghain (Kate MacKinnon)

A song from Tobermory all about a man from Ross, the largest peninsula of the Island of Mull. “Your love has so oppressed me, I’m pale and worn……..Far, far away I’d go with you, I’d swim the Rona sea with you……….You are sweeter than violins, To me you move so gracefully, Whoever saw you on the dance floor, Would wish to be there with you……...My tall handsome man with curling hair.”

9) Johnstone Reel/The Long night [5:05]
Trad / Neil Davey arr. Màiri Macleod

A reel and a slip jig to keep my hands warm on many a cold night! I’m not sure where the reel has come from but The Long Night was written by the Mandolin/Bouzouki player from Cornwall, Neil Davey. It has been recorded with his band Anam on their album Riptide.

10) Eilean a’ Cheò (The Misty Isle) [4:08]
Mairi Mhòr nan Òran (Mary Macpherson 1821-1898)

Written by a nurse from Skeabost in Skye who became a prolific Gaelic song writer at the age of 50, who wrote songs of exile and protest. The Misty Isle is the name given to the Isle of Skye. The simple beauty of this melody has intrigued me since I was a wee girl after hearing it sung by Mary Ann Kennedy as part of the Strings Attached recording she did with Charlotte Petersen. I also recorded this with Ross Garrod in 2009 as part of our duo Glèusta, where we performed a more ambitious arrangement with electro-harp & drum-kit. This arrangement for Clàrsach takes it back to its traditional roots - understated.

11) Breisleach (Delirium) [3:04]
Aonghas MacNeacail/Donald Shaw

Originally sung by Capercaillie and used for the Gaelic TV soap Machair in the 90s, this song has had particular influence over me while growing up. Aonghas recalls “I wrote the words "in song form" to see if I could - as most of my work was in free verse. It duly appeared in my first collection, and every time I read it, I'd dream that someone would set it to music. Crossing the ferry to the first Stornoway National Mod, I got into conversation with Donald, who lamented "the death of contemporary Gaelic songs in the folk idiom" I gave him a copy of the book open at the song, which I heard him tell Iain Anderson years later on Radio Scotland that when he was able, a couple of weeks later, to look at it more carefully, he realised he had a tune which "with a wee bit of tinkering, would fit." The rest is history.”

12) Fàilte Rìoghail gu Mòd 2010 (A Royal Welcome to the Mòd 2010) [2:44]
Màiri Macleod (PRS)

The National Mòd in Caithness was special to me in many ways but being asked to write a “wee tune” for HRH Prince Charles ‘The Duke of Rothesay’ was certainly a highlight! The tune was easy to write but less easy to play under the pressure of HRH and all the media standing there waiting for the new composition! However as soon as he said “that was very syncopated wasn’t it” I was put at ease and had a lovely conversation with him about harps and music!

13) Prayer [9:02]
Màiri Macleod (PRS)

Music for me is very thought provoking. My writing is very focussed on emotion and current inspirations. Prayer is a piece that started very late at night when a sudden idea came to me during a moment of personal conflict. It comforted me in the perfect way but out of it came more questions…. Many months later another moment prompted me to finish the piece and my ‘Prayer’ was answered, through music. Prayer was the winning entry of the Clàrsach Society’s Young Composer 2010 competition and was premièred at the Edinburgh International Harp Festival on the 13th April 2011.



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