Come November, I'll be releasing an album of original music - songs and tunes; a follow up to 2019's "The Reverie Road" - and I'll be releasing it through the esteemed Penny Fiddle Records.
However, there was something else that I had promised myself that I would do this year; not let another year pass me by without recording an album of the Northwestern English Fiddle music that is my passion, my study and a big part of my work in research and education.
For this record really wanted to capture the heart and soul of this music as dancing music as well as make sure it is at home in this Northwestern landscape in which I live; the fells and dales, the big seaport cities and mill towns, the chameleon moorlands visible from my window, the sense of humour etc.
There's a hardiness & a celebratory rowdiness in the people of this landscape and I wanted the record to feel the same, so I set myself some parameters:
1. I wouldn't record to a click track. If the music excited me and I got quicker with each change, so be it.
2. I'd find the groove, hit the record button and play. No stopping unless something drastic interfered with the recordings... any mistakes / bow sounds / pitchiness would all be left in. Whatever's good for those old travelling fiddlers is good enough for me.
3. The only sounds on the record (besides background noise) are my fiddle, my toe tapping, a viola and a rogue tin whistle.
4. All would be recorded with one mic and no editing besides a touch of reverb and some volume editing and panning.
The music has come from manuscripts of 17th-19th century fiddlers from across the present day counties of Lancashire, Cumbria and Cheshire – namely, H.S.I. Jackson, Edward Winder, James Winder, John Winder, James Nuttall, William Irwin, Joseph Barnes, The Browne Family, Senhouse, Henry Stables, Thomas Marsden.
If you'd like to find these tunes for yourself, you can easily do so in the publications of: