Last week the pibroch team of Bill Taylor (harps, lyre) and Clare Salaman (hurdy-gurdy, medieval fiddle, nyckelharpa) were recording with Barnaby in Huddersfield, and next week the fiddle band will be recording in the wonderful acoustic of Crichton Collegiate Church in Midlothian. But first there’s the little business of a gig to play.
On 6 June, with the help of Talitha MacKenzie, Alyona Shmakova, and some folks from the Traditional Music Forum of Scotland, we were able to try out some of the late 18th–century fiddle repertoire with its original dance figures, which was enormous fun.
Robert Bremner’s 1761 version of the reel New Town of Edinburgh danced according to his instructions! yeah! pic.twitter.com/ZRoimEGa2G
— Concerto Caledonia (@concaledonia) June 6, 2015
And this Friday, we’ll do the same with the whole band and the audience at the Cottier Chamber Project. Our team of players is pretty formidable, some of them getting to grips with 18th-century setup instruments for the first time, and others with decades of experience of playing them.
I won’t be playing piano for the dancing (I might get on the floor and join in instead), but in between the dances we’ll be playing domestic repertoire from the same time, some of which was published as souvenirs of major dancing events, so that you could play the tunes at home with the piano that you’d already danced to at the Assembly Rooms. So, a busy couple of weeks ahead …