From the recording Our Rivers and Glens

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Our Rivers and Glens

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'Our Rivers and Glens', composed and performed by Fraser Fifield, was commissioned by DeeDon Collective for their online project - 'Our Living Rivers and Glens'.

An interactive map of sounds, images and words formed by multiple participants in and around North-East Scotland gave the starting point for this new recording. While all the mapped contributions were thought-provoking in their own way - images, poems, stories, personal reflections – the field recordings could contribute most tangibly to the task in hand.
I chose to make use of the ‘ringing stones’ (or ‘singing stones’, as sometimes I’ve heard them called) to construct a rhythmic track as a foundation to build on musically. The idea of stone as the chosen material seemed apt as the granite will inevitably remain unchanged after all that adorns it, the melody and harmony, has come and gone. Additional field recordings of ice, water and birdlife add to atmosphere variously throughout the track. The instrumentation used: Scottish Border Pipes, Low Whistle, Soprano Saxophone, Highland Hornpipe* and Keyboard. (*essentially a chanter with a single reed mouthpiece). My hope is the melody is simple enough to be easily picked up by musicians, whether by ear or sight. A sense of spaciousness in both the overall arrangement and the melody line, I hope, enhances a sense of suggestiveness appropriate for a project with such a subjective nature. Thanks to all who have taken the time and care to organise and/or contribute.