Violon Solo

TRAD Magazine CD Review - March / April 2016

Download file

'Violon Solo'  CD now available

Available at live gigs and online through Phonolithe

You can also order direct from me here (£12 including p&p) to have a CD posted direct to you . 

My overall aim for this recording is to give you a really “live” feel, full of emotion created “in the moment”. The recordings, from three original sources, were all captured as single takes. I hope you like the results and that the music speaks to you....

If you are interested in the background to the tracks I’ve chosen, please read on.

Daniel’s – bourée à 3 temps

These great Bourees started life as waltzes, traditional in origin, and they morphed out of ideas from Daniel Wolverson a lovely musician I met through Mike Gulston (Deux Sans Frontieres). These have become firm favourites.

Morfa’r Frenhennes – mazurka / valse

I have a very dear friend called Steve Hyde to thank for this tune. He shared it with me at the evening class we used to run together in the South Wales village of Llantwit Major. The “town band” that grew from the class thrives to this day and is testimony to their commitment and a small reflection of the work we began together. The tune started life as a waltz, but in the studio it seemed to me it had something else in there...for the town band, the "Thingumijiggers!" 

Marachine – marachine

A favourite set and dance from Deux Sans Frontieres which I learned from my partner in crime, Mike Gulston. A dance form that's full of life and energy...

Five more minutes – valse à 4 temps

Anyone who has had to spend time away from their loved ones knows the feeling of the long phone calls from far away... 

Song of Cider – ridée

I have been very lucky to have been part of GigCB for the past....14 years now. Chris Shaw is such a wonderful guy, and he can’t be a bad band leader to successfully lead such a bunch of amazing and diverse characters after all this time! This set is inspired by some of the past repertoire of the thanks to you all, it’s still such a blast!

Mazurka Rigal – mazurka *

A beautiful traditional mazurka I feel like I’ve known forever. I learned it from my dear pal, the amazing Clive Williams (Vivant). The recording here is taken from a gig we shared earlier this summer in the Church of St Mary & St Giles, Stony Stratford. You will hear the ambient sounds of that beautiful acoustic through the recording. If you’re curious about a studio recording, we included one on our first CD together, “Vivant”.

Willow Tree – valse à 5 temps **

This started life as a cornerstone of the extravaganza that is GigCB, and written by Chris Shaw. Seeing hordes of French dancers whooping and dancing frenetically to this fantastic set dance at Gennetines is a treasured annual memory!

However to hear it here you’d never guess its origins as it’s evolved into a simply gorgeous gentle 5 time waltz. Recorded in my kitchen in Cardiff with Mike’s lovely guitar adding that bit of magic.

Beggar’s Reel – scottish *

A second recording from summer 2014 in Stony Stratford with Clive. A traditional Quebecois tune that just speaks to me and Clive as a great scottische. More laid back than my usual treatment of this great tune...

O’Carolan’s Farewell to Music – air

O’Carolan was such a fantastic writer of timeless Irish melodies. I especially love this tune and finally learned it last year for a dear departed friend, Malcolm Jones. I played it in the pub after his funeral and it always holds a special poignancy for me as a result. It's here for you, Malcolm. 

My additional thanks to Michael Walker and to others for their encouragement of my playing this earlier in the year in Castletown.

So finally, my thanks to:

All the people mentioned above – especially to Clive and to Mike for the music shared with you here and to Annette Collins for design ideas - and to Clive for his work in making it happen!

To Roger for pulling the three musical sources together in the finalised sampler album, in addition to capturing the “live” feel of my fiddle in the studio - just brilliant work

To my family – for their constant encouragement and support.

To top man Milton Rajo – for being such brilliant company in New Orleans, and many thanks for the cover picture copied above - RIP my friend x