DCD34171-CD

Spellweaving: ancient music from the Highlands of Scotland

The patronage of elite Highland pipers collapsed after the Jacobite rebellion of 1745. Worried that the classical music of the Gaels would fade away, the English-speaking gentry offered prize money for scientific notations. By 1797, Colin Campbell had written 377 pages in a unique notation based on the vocables of Hebridean ‘mouth music’, but – unintelligible to the judges in Edinburgh – Campbell’s extraordinary work of preservation has remained overlooked or misunderstood until now. Barnaby Brown’s realisations bring the musical craftsmanship of a remote culture vividly to life, giving a voice back to some of Europe’s most illustrious ancient instruments and refocusing attention on a type of music whose trance-inducing long spans and elaborate formal patterning echo the knots and spells of Celtic culture.

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