Berklee VP for student affairs/Scotland fan Larry Bethune covers the TransAtlantic Seaway Music Collaboration’s first trip to Glasgow, with help from Scottish culture promoter David Christie… and actually for this spell Larry delegates his blogging responsibilities to musician Hamish Napier.
DAYS 3+4—THU 27–FRI 28 JAN “Jamming for their supper”
Following the Berklee guys’ rehearsals in the piping centre at the beginning of the week, they joined the Hamish Napier Quintet for rehearsals at the Glasgow Berkeley rehearsal studios (a coincidence with the name there, but the largest rehearsal studio complex in the UK nonetheless!). The band, featuring me on vocals and vintage Wurlitzer piano, and a mean rhythm section of bass, guitar and drums, would also include fiddle, concertina and sax for their imminent performance at Glasgow City Hall’s for their Celtic Connections debut. The Berklee gang added oodles of awesome string madness to the already giant sound of the group, with banjo, mandolin, guitar and 3 fiddles. After only a very short while the guys had the tunes down and had already begun improvising! Continue reading →
Berklee VP for student affairs/Scotland fan Larry Bethune covers the TransAtlantic Seaway Music Collaboration’s first trip to Glasgow, with help from Scottish culture promoter David Christie.
DAY 2—WED 26 JAN “We had planned a summit but only had time to grab an ale”
The day starts off with another buffet breakfast at the hotel (how musicians love all-you-care-to-eat buffets). Back to the Piping Centre for more rehearsals. Maureen McMullan and I give interviews to be mixed into the footage of the BBC show we will tape tonight. The show will be aired throughout the UK; they are exploring a deal with PBS in America. Finlay MacDonald, head of piping at both the Piping Center and the RSAMD (he’s played for royalty and with P-Diddy) will also do an interview.
At 2:00 p.m. we start our sound check at the BBC rehearsal at the Glasgow Art Club. I think the crew is having a collective heart attack as I insist that we CAN get 17 musicians on a stage designed for 6… we do it all the time. And we succeed; the tight formation yields tight music. Continue reading →
No time and no internet to blog from this weekend’s New Hampshire Highland Games—so without further delay, here’s the conclusion of the Transatlantic Seaway Music Collaboration’s Saturday-afternoon set at the Octagon Lodge. This performance is awesome and I would say that even if I weren’t on the Berklee payroll. You should really, really watch it. Kicks into high gear at 1:05.
18 musicians! Visible are Isbel Pendelbury, clarsach; Finlay MacDonald, whistles; Hamish Napier, flute and feet; James MacKenzie, flute; Ainsley Hamill, voice; Hannah Read, Duncan Wickel, Trent Freeman, fiddle; Eric Robertson, mandolin; Courtney Hartman, guitar; Lucas Pool, banjo; and Monica de Vitry, cello. Read more about the collaboration (and more to come).