As a continuation to my previous blog, I am delighted that another dance has been published to go along with my tune “Toast to the Mousies”: the dance is devised by Lydia Hedge and is included in a book of dances by the Nova Scotia branch of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society. There is also an accompanying CD available with recorded music for that and other dances performed by Muriel Johnstone on piano and me playing fiddle http://www.rscdsnovascotia.ca/ . The book and CD celebrate the branch’s 35th anniversary.
Recording music in studios over the last 20 years or so has invariably given me great pleasure, as well as an occasional sleep deficit. It is a strange phenomenon, to perform music for an audience that is not physically present and who might encounter the recording many years after it was made. As musicians, we bare our souls if we want to reach our audience. In a recording studio and without the support and direct encouragement of an audience it can sometimes be a challenge to generate the excitement of a live concert. It is however possible to achieve that same energy and there are a number of ways to do so, for example to imagine that I am playing to enthusiastic and attentive listeners. An equally rich source of inspiration for me when recording music has been to make myself the listener as well as the performer so that it becomes something of an inner conversation. When playing together with other musicians then it also becomes a conversation without words. I think that a great musical recording or other art-form is one that captures the sense of the moment and like a time traveller it delivers its still fresh message to the audience when they are ready to join the conversation.