In­tro­duc­ing Birl-esqe

The Oban Times - - LEISURE -

Birl-es­que, a new al­bum in­spired on the morn­ing ferry com­mute to Skye, launches this month af­ter tour­ing Glen­coe, Achar­a­cle and Kilmelford, writes Euan Carr.

Birl-es­que, named af­ter the Scots verb ‘birl’ mean­ing ‘to re­volve rapidly, whirl round, dance’ and a ‘rapid move­ment of the fid­dle bow’, is the first duo al­bum from two of Scot­land’s most pro­lific tra­di­tional mu­si­cians, Eilidh Shaw on fid­dles and vo­cals, and gui­tarist Ross Martin.

Both best known for their work with top tra­di­tional bands in the Scot­tish mu­sic scene, Eilidh with The Poozies and Ross with Daimh, the duo de­cided that af­ter 15 years of liv­ing to­gether and play­ing to­gether, it was now time to make an al­bum to­gether.

From there Birl-es­que was born.

Birl-es­que was recorded in stu­dio Os­taig at Sab­hal Mor Os­taig, the Gaelic col­lege in Skye. They trav­elled from the vil­lage of Mo­rar to get the ferry in Mal­laig for the 40-minute cross­ing to Ar­madale on Skye.

The al­bum ma­te­rial is a mix­ture of mu­sic Eilidh and Ross have played at con­certs and ses­sions over the years, plus tunes that came to mind when go­ing to the stu­dio on the morn­ing ferry.

Ross said: ‘The al­bum was nearly called ‘Am­ber Alert’, as any­one who has used the CalMac ser­vice be­tween Mal­laig and Ar­madale over the last year or so will be fa­mil­iar with – the sce­nario of never be­ing quite sure if the re­turn sail­ing will go ahead or not!’

The al­bum fea­tures two spe­cial guests in The Bra­cadale Rhythm Gen­tle­men.

This il­lu­sive pair have recorded on al­most all al­bums of note that have been made on Skye for the last 80 years, of­ten sneak­ing into the stu­dio at night and lay­ing down sub­tle bass and drum parts, whether in­vited to or not, ask­ing only for a dram and an oat­cake to be left out for them in re­turn.

The new al­bum will be of­fi­cially re­leased on Mon­day Novem­ber 27.

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