CD A0351: Hinterlands

Wendy Stewart & Gary West

CD coverHinterlands, the new CD from Wendy Stewart and Gary West, pairs two of Scotland`s finest players on two of Scotland`s oldest instruments - the harp and the bagpipes. Wendy and Gary delve into their tradition and deliver a unique blend of song and melody performed with subtlety, skill and panache.

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Wendy Stewart: profile & index of recordings

Gary West: profile & index of recordings

Track Listing & Audio Samples


1.  Full Moon Down Under
2.  Marie Hamilton
3.  Lancashire Hornpipe
4.  Loch Tay Boat Song
5.  Goodwife of Morpeth
6.  Gordon Cottage Set
7.  Ae Fond Kiss
8.  The Twa Sisters
9.  Rory Dall's Port Set
10. Todlen Hame
11. Ian Green/Miss Proud
12. Slave's Lament/ Habanera Gris
13. The Company's Lament

CD Notes

CD Sleeve Notes

1.  Full Moon Down Under
Gordon Duncan, Grian Music
Gordon, who died in 2005 aged just 41, grew up in Pitlochry with Gary and became one of the finest pipers and traditional composers Scotland has ever produced. At a concert in his memory in 2007, a raffle was held for the right to name this previously untitled tune, with the prize going to Australia!

2.  Marie Hamilton
There are many versions of this well known ballad: this one comes from the Harrison Collection, held at Havard, edited and published by Katherine Campbell and Emily Lyle. The instrumental is Down by the Greenwoodside, which, like the song, deals with infanticide.

3.  A Lancashire Hornpipe/Mr Preston's Hornpipe
Two very old tunes from south of the border, published by Thomas Marsden in 1705 in his collection of Original Lancashire Hornpipes, Old and New. The first was said to date from 1625. The 3/2 or 6/4 time signature was a common dance rhythm in those days.

4.  The Loch Tay Boat Song
A simple tale of unrequited love for the 'red haired girl' and very much a local song for Gary. Traditional tune with words composed by Sir Harold Boulton (1859-1935), writer of The Skye Boat Song.

5.  Goodwife of Morpeth
Matt Seattle, Dragonfly Music
Matt is a musician and researcher who has done a great deal to uncover the historical repertoire of the bellows bagpipes,and who also has a fine ear for making new tunes himself.This one was written for fellow musician Kim-Bibby Wilson.

6.  Murdo Mackenzie of Torridon Bobby Macleod/
     Gordon Cottage Gary and Niall West, Moulin Burn Music
The popular opening 6/8 march is paired with a new tune from Gary and his brother, composed to celebrate the Golden Wedding in 2008 of their parents, Marie and Norrie West of Gordon Cottage, Pitlochty.

7.  Ae Fond Kiss Robert Burns.
Burns composed this love song for his unattainable 'Clarinda',now commonly associated with the song, used here in the instrumental, is that of 'I ho ro 'sna hug o ro eile'. Wendy sings a different melody associated with these same Gaelic words, learned from the singing of Margaret Stewart.

8.  The Twa Sisters
Gary first heard this version sung by Davy Steele, our great friend, sadly missed. Although the song tells a rather gory tale of premeditated murder and unsavoury capital punishment, there's a daftness about it which we felt deserves a fairly jaunty treatment!

9.  A Port/Canaries/Rory Dall's Port
The term 'port' often refers to a wire-strung clarsach tune. The opening one here is from the Straloch lute manuscript of the 1620's. Canaries is a well-known Renaissance piece, reflecting the dance style of the islands. The last melody is attributable to either of the two 17th century blind harpers of that name who were travelling Scotland at the time and was infact the original tune by Burns for Ae Fond Kiss.

10.Todlen Hame
Wendy first heard this song from Alison Burns, choir mistress extraordinaire of Galloway. The source is Allan Ramsay's Tea Table Miscellany of 1724. It delights in the twin Scots characteristics of drunkenness and obesity!

11. Reels: Ian Green of Greentrax
      Gordon Duncan, Grian Music?Miss Proud
Two reels, one new and one old. Ian Green has been a wonderful supporter of traditional music for decades now, and we greatly appreciate all he has done for us over the years. Gary learned this version of Miss Proud from another friend and fine musician, Hamish Moore.

12. The Slave's Lament Robert Burns/
      Habaneras Gris Rolando Alfredo Ortiz, MCPS
One of Wendy's favourite Burns songs. The sentiment has a certain irony as he almost emigrated to the West Indies to oversea a plantation. Coupled with the 'Grey Habanera' written in a 19th-century Cuban dance style, this pairing links Scotland, Africa and the Americas.

13. The Company's Lament
Piobaireachd is 'theme and variation' music: the basic melody or 'ground' is set out at the start, and then explored through variations with increasingly complex finger work building to a climax, with the tension being released by a return to the ground at the end. This tune is associated with Joseph MacDonald, a piper who left us the important Treatise on the Great Highland Bagpipe, compiled in 1760. he died while in the service of the East Indian Company. There may well be links between piobaireachd and the clarsach tradition.

Album Information

Title: Hinterlands
Artist: Wendy Stweart & Gary West
Genre: Traditional / Scottish
Format: CD
Our Ref: A0351
Label: Moulincairn
Year: 2009
Origin: Scotland (EU)