Friday 5 June 2015
I’m about to become a working musician for a wee while, largely due to the wonderful Cottier Chamber Project which kicks off in Glasgow tonight. On Monday lunchtime I’ll be playing in some of my favourite songs, the first set of Haydn Canzonettas, with Mhairi, so I’ve actually had to do yet more proper fortepiano practice. Haydn’s piano parts are deceptively difficult, but always worth every last bit of effort to get them sounding right. I still find live fortepiano gigs nerve-wracking, as there’s nowhere to hide: every slightly dodgy fingering or sloppy phrase sticks out a mile.
On Tuesday Aaron, Alison and I will be playing live on Radio 3’s In Tune, sometime after 6pm I think – then after a week of frantic preparation, I’ll be playing some Biber with Alexander Janiczek on the 18th (and also possibly some Balbastre), then on the 19th Gibbons with the Glasgow Gamba Club, and finally the same night our fiddle band makes its debut.
I haven’t yet mentioned anything about the starry line-up of fiddlers we have in our band that night … but alongside Aaron McGregor and Alison McGillivray we’ve got, in no particular order, Mairi Campbell, Lauren MacColl, and Shona Mooney. Callum Armstrong will have his Scottish smallpipes with him, and Marie Fielding will be joining us on the recording. Not bad eh? Rehearsals have been pretty fascinating, as this varied amalgamation of talent figures out what we can from a pile of old printed fiddle books. Tomorrow I’m going to watch as Talitha MacKenzie teaches some of the dances that we’ll do on the 19th at this event at the Scottish Storytelling Centre. You’ll have to come to Cottier’s on the 19th to get a badge …
In the meantime, if you haven’t already heard it, get your ears around Olivia’s new album. As one of those who’ve been waiting for years for her to finally get it done, it’s been well worth the wait – it’s quite stunning.