Yesterday I accompanied a small group of NBHS pupils to the 18th Commonwealth Forestry Conference held in the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC). This short promotional video gives some idea of what the conference is about:
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/C4c7_WlS33E?rel=0" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]
Our remit was to round the opening ceremony with some culture of the host country and we performed four songs by Robert Burns. As a result of various trips we were reduced to a skeleton crew (4 missing from a group of 7 seniors) and I was really impressed with the pupils’ ability to cope with the extra pressure – not the least of which was the jetlag experienced by one pupils who had returned from a school trip to China the previous evening! This pressure was in no small way reduced by the quiet, friendly and assured professionalism of the EICC team who were fantastic. The sound in the venue was clear as a bell and it was a pleasure to play there.
The Lea Rig:
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/JjBNj8iFDZ0?rel=0" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]
John Anderson My Jo; Ca’ The Yowes; The Deil’s Awa’ Wi’ The Excise Man:
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/Vwtw7grxU8s?rel=0" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]
Many thanks to Libby Jones for inviting us to play and to Caroline Davis for minibus driving, filming, recording and general joie de vivre.
Thanks also to Zoë (vocals) who, in her last two years of life at NBHS, transformed the life of the senior Guitar Ensemble members. In that time we’ve done more gigs in and out of school than one could ever have imagined. We’d all like to wish her luck with her musical future.
Towards the end of last term a small team of musicians from North Berwick High School were invited to play at East Lothian Council’s Head Teachers’ Conference. A little earlier in the day than they are used to performing, and 3/8 of the team down due to exams and university interviews, they nevertheless gave a great and very well received performance. Here are some excerpts:
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/Nx85Nxtkfzs?rel=0" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]
My friend Martyn McQuade, whom I met in P1 at St. Mary’s Primary School in 1965, runs a studio near Longniddry. He recently offered me some free recording time. I thought it would be nice to capture a few of the songs in which I’d recently accompanied Zoe, of NBHS, in various public appearances.
She Moved Through The Fair she-moved-through-the-fair-2010-01-0
Ca’ The Yowes ca-the-yowes-2010-01-04
Ae Fond Kiss ae-fond-kiss-2010-01-04
John Anderson My Jo john-anderson-2010-01-04
Zoe will be appearing, along with seven guitar pupils, in two further Burns’ Songs at the NBHS PTA Burns Supper this coming Friday (29 Jan). Featuring the Robert Black Ceilidh Band, speeches from senior pupils, piping and highland dancing, this is always a great night.
Thanks to Martyn for his recording and mixing savoir faire. Having a pair of trustworthy ears at the desk is priceless.
I seem to have fallen behind with the dusting 🙂 possibly due to having spent 10 of the last 16 nights in schools. Here are some of the highlights of items featuring NBHS guitarists this evening:
Guitar Ensemble Scottish Medley 2009 scottish-medley-2009
Zoe & Senior Guitarists Ca’ The Yowes ca-the-yowes-live
Zoe & Senior Guitarists John Anderson My Jo john-anderson-my-jo
I was keen to clarify, to the audience, an important nuance in accreditation. The musical arrangements were my own but in the case of the Ca’ The Yowes, Zoe had brought as much to the project as I had in creative/interpretative terms and certainly a good deal more in performance terms. My role had simply been to find the nicest harmonies I could and sprinkle notes, like so many dew drops, around the fingertips of my fine young friends in the ensemble. The melodic variation wrought by Zoe (entirely her own idea) provided, for me, the lion’s share of the transformational and affective content of the performance.
Have a great Easter, everyone!
New mp3s for vocal practice of NBHS Burns Supper songs have been placed on the Guitar Group Midis page