Big Music for Northumbrian Smallpipes
The Northumbrian smallpipes, a quiet bagpipe from the Northeastern-most county of England, is the rarest of the three traditional bagpipes from the British Isles. It's beautiful tone and richly musical versatility are largely under-appreciated, possibly because it's difficulty has limited the number of concert performers who specialize in it. This album, "Big Music for Northumbrian Smallpipes", showcases the stylistic versatility of the instrument and it's strengths playing with groups of diverse instruments. The track "Zoë Cansdale of Hartburn", for instance, has Irish-influenced melodies arranged for the pipes, flute, violin, viola, cello, guitar and harp; "Lance Robson's Jig" has a similar arrangement. "Rheung Knome Jop Hai" is a Cambodian tune and is accompanied by a Cambodian instrument, the khim, and "Dad's Fantastic Jig" and "Janette Gillis's Fish Cakes" are both accompanied by a Cape-Breton-style piano. Over half of the music on this CD is newly composed by Dick Hensold, and is recorded here for the first time. The guest musicians: Laura MacKenzie, flute, whistle Bruce Bowers, Joanna Shelton, violin Chris Buckley, Ginna Watson, viola Michelle Kinney, Anna Vazquez, cello Troy MacGillivray, piano Dean Magraw, guitar Karen Mueller, guitar Cathy Victorsen, harp Bun Loeung, khim (Cambodian hammered dulcimer) Jane Lanctot, electronic keyboard Dick Hensold (B.M., Oberlin Conservatory) is a free-lance musician specializing in four genres: early music, celtic music (specifically the traditional music of Scotland, Ireland, Northumberland and Cape Breton Island), Nordic folk music and Cambodian traditional music. He performs on Northumbrian small-pipes, recorder, Medieval greatpipes, Scottish Highland pipes, Swedish bagpipes, traditional Cambodian reed instruments, seljefløyte (Norwegian willow flute), and low whistle. One of the formost Northumbrian smallpipers in North America, he has performed in both Scotland and Northumberland, and has taught Northumbrian smallpipes at workshops in the United States, Canada, and Northumberland. He has played the Winnipeg Folk Festival, the Edinburgh Folk Festival, and the Lowland and Border Piper's Society Collogue (Peebles, Scotland). He is principal composer and arranger for the Celtic-oriented quartet Piper's Crow, and also performs with several other folk groups and as part of a traditional Cambodian ensemble. His artistic diversity tends to show up in unusual programming.