I mentioned briefly in my last post that I’ve been trying to listen more. I used to spend a lot of time sitting, staring and listening. I’ve always thought that whilst sitting in a room or on a park bench you can hear the most beautiful music all around you. Sometimes it might be abstract and others there might be some kind of natural rhythm running through it. Whilst holding workshops I sometimes ask the classes to put down their instruments and just sit and listen to the sounds. Simple things like air conditioning can become very interesting when combined with other sounds. The other week I was teaching at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and I ask the class to sit and listen to what was going on. We heard a duet between an opera singer (in one room) and a sax in another. This combined with chairs scraping along the floor in the building and the sound of the outside world made it very interesting.

Of late though I’ve found I’ve stopped doing this (children, work, etc etc etc) and I want to start again. That is listening to everything. I want to sit on the parch bench but also on the couch listening to CDs.

Lately with CDs I have time to listen once and then move on. This is not fair to the artist. This is defeating the process of a musician making a CD. There is no way I can understand what the musician was thinking when collecting the tracks, rehearsing and putting them into the final track order on the CD. Listening to a music should be an experience. This is one of the reasons I’m not really into downloads. They breakup the artist process. Surely track 5 on an album is that for a reason. I don’t like ‘shuffle play’ either as you can imagine.

Are downloads killing the artistic process of the album or are musicians having to work harder to provide perfect one-off tracks? A question for another time…

Wish me luck. I’m now off to savour the sounds of the local indian restaurant…

Foot Stompin’ Free Scottish Music Podcast No 33

Dual - Julie Fowlis and Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh

Dual - Julie Fowlis and Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh

Listen to the Foot Stompin’ Free Scottish Music Podcast No 33

A quick blog today! I’m just checking out Spotify – very interesting. For me the best thing about this new piece of software is that you can post playlists to the web and using this I hope to get some Scottish music out there to Spotify community. The ads are a bit of a pain though (they appear inbetween tracks) and I’m sure they’re not contextulised ie folk ads for folk music. I’ll keep you all updated.

Have you all seen our Foot Stompin’ Scottish Music Facebook page? I’ve been trying to get more into Facebook but it very slow! I keep it updated as much as possible and have just uploaded our new Lori Watson and Rule of Three ringtone. You can download the free ringtone here.

Here is the playlist from our latest podcast.

Dual by Julie Fowlis and Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh
Track – Da Bhfaigheann Mo Rogha De Thriur Acu/Dhannsamaid Le Ailean/Cairistion’ Nigh’n Eoghainn
Julie’s doing great at the moment and is fast becoming the face of Scottish music. She is multi-talented and alongside her musicianship she fits in well to TV and radio roles as well.

Pleasure’s Coin by Lori Watson & Rule of Three (ringtone)
Track – Nell
I really like this CD. I’ve been spending more time listening lately and trying not to judge music on first listen (because it fits into my time better). There are lots of great tracks on this including the secret track which is a reworking of another track on the album.

Oran Ur do Mhuile by Compilation
Track – Gheibhinn Cadal Math – Angus MacKechnie/Allan MacDonald
On the podcast I usually have great problems reading some of the Gaelic titles. When recording the voice over for this track I bottled out of saying the title before we played it but gave it a shot post track. I should buy the Foot Stompin’ Gaelic dictionary!

Legend of The Scots Fiddle by Hector MacAndrew
Track – Eugene Stratton
Very nice playing here from one of the heroes of the Scottish music scene. It’s amazing to think that this was recorded 60 years ago and had been living unheard in the Aberdeen archives.

Keepin’ it Reel by Koda
Track – The Bee in the Knickers
This young band have been going for quite a while and Award winning musicians like Emily Smith and Give Way have all come up through it. It is all down to their leader Keith Dickson who like many musicians on the Scottish scene have given so much of their time (for not very much money) to making these things happen.

Craigie Dhu by Dougie Maclean
Track – Gin I were a Barons Heir
I first heard this track sung by Hamish Napier in Back of the Moon. The tune to this is beautiful. Dougie has been a real saleman for Scottish music with his constant touring. I wonder how many people Dougie has played to over the years?

Arnish Light by Tannahill Weavers
Track – Arnish Light Set
Another amazing band. There are so many great stories about these guys from their touring! There should be a book!