Night In That Land

A beautiful air written by the late Johnny Cunningham, played wonderfully by the brilliant Scottish fiddler Duncan Chisholm.

I have three of Duncan’s albums ~ Farrar, Canaich, and Affric ~ which make up his ‘Strathglass Trilogy’, a tribute to his Chisholm roots in Scotland.  This song appears on Affric.  All highly recommended; he is one of the world’s great fiddlers.

I also love Duncan’s version of Farewell to Uist, as the Hebrides, including South Uist, was the point of departure for so many of my ancestors before they arrived in Nova Scotia.  The recording of this song is on Farrar.

Just this year, at age 48, I got a fiddle for Christmas from my wife.  The kind of playing seen above is what I would aspire to, but that’s miles and miles away.  Vibrato seems like a far-off country.  Who knows, I may never get near there, but its a musical journey that I’ll enjoy anyway.  It’s the time in my life when I am at least ready to begin the journey; and I suppose it helps that I’ve loved this kind of music and been surrounded by it all my life.

Funny, reading music again after not doing so since I was a kid, really.  I’m working with a young violin/fiddle teacher now, and we’re going through the first Suzuki book, but I’m also bringing in stuff to learn (Skye Boat Song, Star of the County Down, and, now, probably, this one).

Anyway, Duncan — thank you for the inspiration.

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