Solo arrangements of traditional and original music for cittern and guitar are a current focus of mine. These two videos were put together from a recent recording session at The Barn Studio, Ashburton.
Along with the two solo instrumental pieces we also made a multi-track recording of two new compositions, exploring the potential of interplay between guitar and cittern. The results have been released as a three track EP and are available to listen to and purchase on my Bandcamp page, and via the player below.
Compositions and arrangement
I use the SoundCloud platform as a sort of a sketchbook, uploading ideas, works in progress and finished tracks. I also try to match each track with a photo to give a sense of the mood. These images come from my own photography archive, and there is usually a link to the inspiration behind the piece, environmental, emotional or geographic.
Scroll down to hear a selection of my own compositions and arrangements of traditional music, and please explore and follow my profile for more: soundcloud.com/louisbingham
I have released one album to date with flute and clarinet player Freya Rae.
“beautifully arranged and played with an entirely convincing sensibility… …this is exquisite musicianship”Living Tradition
You can listen to Curlicue on spotify and download it from all the usual places, or why not order it direct from Waulk Records. Direct sales are the best way to support artists, plus you can check out a few more of their great releases while you’re there. I’ve played on quite a few of them incidentally…
Two tunes picked up on a recent trip to Galicia. The first is a Xota learnt from a CD of el gaiteiro de Foso, Manuel López López, which I found in a music shop in Santiago de Compostela. The second tune I heard in a session at A Gramola, Praza de Cervantes also in Santiago, and have since learnt is a Swedish Waltz after a master fiddle player called Ante Falk, from Stavre, Offerdal in Jämtland. Thanks to Xacobe Varela of the Gramola session for the info on that one.
The first tune is probably a twisted up version of two: Chris Newman taught me a jig by Tony Trischka in D with a name I don’t recall, then I heard the Kane Sisters’ version in E which is very similar but called Aherne’s Egg. The reel was taught to me by John Carty, and is Finbarr Dwyer’s version of Col McBain’s that he said he got in turn from Winston Scotty Fitzgerald, a Cape Breton fiddler. A well travelled tune!
Written and recorded 31st October 2019: an original semi-improvised piece written in celebration of being able to share music and ideas between people and cultures and across distances. Long may it continue. Guitar, cittern and frame drum.
Four An Dro dance tunes from Brittany. The first two I picked up from James Dumbelton on a visit to Guernsey in 2017, the third came from the playing of Jean-Michel Veillon, and the last I learnt from a classic Kornog album. Cittern, guitar, vocals and bodhran.
I wrote this tune in celebration of a much bemoaned type of weather. During the drought in 2018 I played it occasionally as a hopeful charm to bring on the much needed precipitation. After nearly two months without rain I was finally woken up by the sound of a cloudburst one Sunday morning (1st July 2018) and felt the need to mark the event by making this recording. Crouched in the doorway looking out on our thirsty garden I’m joined by my mum Gris on fiddle, and the rain which raises the dynamic and picks up the tempo about halfway through.