Pre-Launch Success of Mac Ìle – The Tunes of Fraser Shaw
We have had a very exciting month with the arrival of Mac Ìle – The Music of Fraser Shaw – the album.
May 16th, saw Fraser’s friends and family meet together in Glasgow to raise a dram to the man himself and celebrate the completion of the CD. Produced by Duncan Lyall, the album showcases a flavoursome variety of Fraser’s tunes, alongside compositions by Lori Watson, Adam Sutherland, Laura-Beth Salter and Calum MacCrimmon. Packed with glorious performances from a selection of Scotland’s finest traditional musicians, a particularly special feature of the album is Fraser himself playing whistle for his slow air ‘Air Chall’.
This informal gathering embodied everything that was special about Fraser; with music, stories and the imbibing of large Islay whiskies continuing into the small hours of the morning. The high regard in which he was held was obvious to all, through the warmth with which friends old and new regaled tales of their own personal memories of Fraser. As music from Mac Ìle floated above over the bustle of the pub, we celebrated the life of Fraser Shaw and the wonderful gift of that he gave us through his music.
Slàinte mhòr, mhic Ìle!
We had a really nice day recently of recording string parts for a couple of the tracks on Fraser’s CD; Strings & Blowy Things/Fraser’s Trip to Glasgow, and Air Chall. Both were played at Islay Night at Celtic Connections and can be heard here.
The main melody and accompaniment of the Strings & Blowy Things track had been recorded in Castlesound in September. Along with this, Adam, Innes, Lori and myself overdubbed some lovely string parts. Duncan was engineering on the day with the help of Andrea Gobbi.
The second track to be recorded was Air Chall, meaning “Lost”, which featured Duncan on double bass along with the fiddles. This track is a particularly special one as we are playing along with the man himself, Fraser on whistle. He wrote this slow air over a period of time a few years ago, about the loss of his dad, and a friend.
We got another spot of recording done this week in Carrierwaves Studio with Duncan. This was the day for our “Cairn’s Set” which features Adam, Laura-Beth, Jenn, Calum, and guest musicians Ross Couper and Steve Forman. Cairn’s is a bar on Miller Street in Glasgow in which Fraser ran a weekly Sunday Session for a number of years. On the day, Calum also put some (more!) highland bagpipes on the Pipe Set with Eilidh, Ross and Angus.
The Cairn’s set begins with a tune written by Adam, which was commissioned by the trust for the auction at Shawfest 2015. The winner, Grahame Allison, named the tune “Memories of Fraser Shaw”. It’s a lovely G minor strathspey which Adam, Laura-Beth, Calum, Innes and Duncan played at last years Islay Sessions and it went down a real treat! The Cairn’s group followed this tune with a Fraser composition “Get her Goin’ ” and a Fraser session favourite “The Coast of Austria”.
The album is really starting to shape up, with most of the sets recorded and a few more overdubs to do. There are dates in place to record some strings in November, and we are planning a very special “Day at the C-Side”, the details of which will be announced soon! Keep up to date on the latest news via Facebook or Twitter.