A fascinating evening of piobaireachd
I REALLY enjoyed myself at Seinn air a’ Phiob, a night of ceòl mòr staged by An Lochran and The Big Music Society.
This enjoyment was shared by a big audience in the beautiful surroundings of St Andrews in the Square.
Not being a piper, I cannot claim to have much in- depth knowledge of piobaireachd. My only concern, therefore, as I headed for this concert, was that a whole evening dedicated solely to ceòl mòr would go over my head
But this wasn’t the case. The music was brought to the audience with charismatic clarity and the players and singers performed and spoke about piobaireachd in an inspiring and witty way.
The melodies of those incredible pieces of music seemed at times overwhelming as they soared in the beautiful acoustic of the venue - whether from the vocal strength of Kenna Campbell, Rona Lightfoot and Allan MacDonald, or from the piping of John Mulhearn, Calum MacCrimmon and Ewen Henderson.
The first half of the evening was dedicated to how particular piobaireachd have developed in the oral tradition of Gaelic song, while the second half was more focused on how the tunes developed in the piping tradition.
Those two traditions, developing separately over hundreds of years without tunes having been written down, led to each piobaireachd expanding often in completely different ways. This musical diversity was the subject matter of a fascinating evening.