Pipe music and song from the Scottish Borders, presented by The Lowland & Border Pipers’ Society.
This is a brilliant album in which the Lowland & Border Pipers’ Society has set out to explore Border repertoire - tunes and songs with strong Border resonances, many of which have not previously been recorded.
Each track features a different player or combination of players, many of whom have been leading lights in the revival of the Border pipes, Scottish smallpipes and as members of well-known bands since the 1980s, including accompanying musicians and singers.
Like many aspects of our Scots and Gaelic culture, Lowland and Border piping had been lost. It was, in the description of Mike Rowan, “dead”. In 1981 Mike called a meeting in Edinburgh with the idea of forming a Society of Piping dedicated to the Lowland and Border traditions. A couple of years of informal gatherings followed and then Mike went on to form the Lowland and Border Pipers’ Society on a formal basis in 1983.
Since those early days, the Society has gone from strength to strength and is not only a truly international organisation but also has effected the biggest changes in Scottish piping culture since the introduction of piping competitions and the raising of the Highland regiments by the British Army at the end of the 18th century.
In 1995 Greentrax Recordings was invited by the Society to record a Grand Concert Of Scottish Piping, presented as part of the Society’s 5th Annual Collogue in the Old Royal High School, Edinburgh. This live album featuring Gordon Mooney, Angus D MacColl, Martyn Bennett, Gordon Duncan, Iain MacInnes and Allan MacDonald was released in 1996.
Greentrax went on to release the Second Grand Concert and Third Grand Concert Of Piping, featuring other giants of the piping world. Greentrax is proud to have been associated with the Grand Concert series and with this latest Society presentation, which is licensed by Greentrax.
Most of the tracks were recorded specially at the Sound Café, Midlothian, who also mastered the album. The stunning front cover painting is by J B Vallely and design is by Shaw Marketing and Design.
Pipers on the album include Annie Grace, Judy Baker, the late Martyn Bennett (archival track), Iain MacInnes, Hamish Moore, Fin Moore, Gary West, Gordon Mooney, Angus MacKenzie, Mike Katz, Paul Roberts, Chris Norman and Pete Stewart. Accompanists include such fine musicians as Iain MacLeod, David Greenberg, Shona Mooney, Ciaran Ryan, Matheu Watson and George Pasca. Vocal contributions include Mairi Campbell and Fiona Hunter.
Review by Jim McCourt
Almost extinct in the early 80s, the Scottish smallpipes and Border pipes were resurrected through the dedication of Mike Rowan and a few similarly committed souls. Their efforts created The Lowlands and Borders Pipers’ Society, and Reclaimed celebrates their wonderful instruments with 17 beautiful and atmospheric recitals.
Quieter in volume, more mellow and warmer in tone than the highland pipe, these bellows-blown pipes use drones issuing from a common stock.
A variety of pipers – including Mike Katz and Gordon Mooney – perform music old and new, five tracks deriving from the key William Dixon manuscript of 1733. Several Burns’ melodies also feature. With tunes largely traditional in nature, including Now Westlin’ Winds and The Night Visitor’s Song, there are marches, laments and reels. Accompaniments from cello, viola, violin and mandolin, emphasise the “ensemble” qualities of the instruments. Vocal contributions from Iain MacInnes, Mairi Campbell and Fiona Hunter – particularly on Helen Of Kirkconnell Lea – revive the concept of pipes supporting singers. Pastoral pipes, precursor to Uileann pipes, feature in one track. An interesting historical aside has the voice of Willie Scott describing The Jedburgh Ba’ Game, the composition itself having won a pipe society competition.
Excellent sleeve notes provide backgrounds and stories to the tunes, their composers and the musicians.
With playing of the highest standards, Reclaimed is an ideal example of smallpipe and Border pipe music, and the passion that helped restore them to public attention. Stirring and haunting, rollicking and intimate, harmonic and hypnotic, the result is a rewarding listening experience.
This product was added to our catalog on Monday 22 August, 2016.