Over the past few years I’ve been involved with the Wire Branch of the Clarsach Society. We’re an international, scattered bunch and many folks don’t have regular contact with a teacher or group of players. When I edited the branch’s newsletter, Wire Strings, I made sure each issue had music arrangements in it, just to try and keep up with the demand for new pieces. But then it was brought to my attention that not everyone could just pick up an unfamiliar tune off the page and run with it, without having heard it first. The branch runs monthly workshops in Edinburgh, but of course that’s not a lot of use if you live more than a couple of hours away.
So, to the new development that has been stretching the technical side of my brain this week – why not make the workshop material available to buy online from my website? A pdf of the sheet music will be emailed out, along with recordings (mp3) of the tunes, played slowly, along with any notes, techniques and other info needed to get working on the piece. And all for the price of a cup of coffee and a piece of cake! It seems so obvious I don’t know why it’s taken me til now to get it together.
At the workshop on Sunday we worked on Imir fein, a Choinnich chridhe (Row thou, dearest Kenneth) from the Patrick McDonald collection. It’s arranged in 4 versions – an easier one, a more difficult one, a coupled hands easier and a coupled hands more difficult. They work individually and also build up into a progressive arrangement.
I’ve also made available the pieces I taught at the workshops in September and October – music from The Gesto Collection. Bill Taylor, who also teaches for the branch will be doing the same. So – give it a go if you fancy learning something new and feedback is always welcome!