Sunday, June 10, 2012

from Scotland: Joy Dunlop & Twelfth Day

Fiere is a word in Scots which means friend or companion.

Fiere is also the title of a recording Scottish Gaelic singer Joy Dunlop and the two women who comprise the duo Twelfth Day, Catriona Price on fiddle and voice and Esther Swift on harp and voice, have made together.

A song from the tradition that arose from and honors friendship sparked the idea of the album for the three women. Faca sibh Ragnaill no Ailein? / Have you seen Ronald or Allan? is a waulking song, a song women would sing together to keep the rhythm of the work (and the conversation) going as they worked cloth. There’s a call and response aspect to waulking songs, and with this one, the singer starts out asking about others before getting around to the subject of the one she loves. In this version, it’s easy to hear the sound of centuries of connections and conversations among friends in the words and in the melody.

It makes an engaging opening track for a collection in which Dunlop and Twelfth Day take the languages of Scotland -- Scottish Gaelic, Scots, English, Shetland -- in directions which both honor tradition and extend it. The lyrics for the rest of the ten tracks are words from a range of Scottish women poets, set to melodies which the musicians have composed. There are stories of love and loss, discovery and friendship, of the moments of life which reach across time.

joy dunlop twelfth day scotland

listen to the music from Fiere

Differing though shared backgrounds in traditional music and a willingness for exploring where tradition can go brought Dunlop and Twelfth Day together. Take the journey through this music with them. You’ll be well rewarded. Standout tracks include The Last Licht, Fiere, Coimhead Iad, and The Light Gatherer.

you may also wish to see
Julie Fowlis: Live at Perthsire Amber
Music for St Andrew's Day: music of Scotland
Mary Ann Kennedy & Na Seoid

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posted by Kerry Dexter at


Anonymous Kris @ Attainable Sustainable said...

I've been wanting to re-read the Outlander series. This seems like it might be perfect background music! ;)

11:18 PM  

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