CD A0355: Tree of Strings

Tree of Strings
The Duplets

CD Cover: Tree of Strings by The DupletsWith two Scottish harps intertwined, The Duplets are hailed as “leading lights of Scottish music”. Gillian Fleetwood and Fraya Thomsen “sing and play old and new music with imagination.”– Norman Chalmers. In the title track on their debut album ‘Tree of Strings’ they “entrance with their poise and beauty.”- Delyth Jenkins.

Buy this album now CD: £12.00 + p&p 

Artist Profile & Discography

Track Listing & Audio Samples

Tree of Strings

1.  Ca'The Yowes
2.  Lillian's
3.  The Twa Corbies
4.  The Green Set
5.  The Boys
6.  The Rigs of Rye
7.  Polkas
8.  The Bendy Set
9.  Love
10. Female Affability
11. The Queen of All Argyll
12. Craobh nan Teud.

CD Notes & Credits

Sleeve Notes

1.  Ca'The Yowes-Trad/R.Burns
When searching through an old Burns' book we came across two versions of this well known song. This, the older version, particularly appealed to our more romantic side.

2.  O'Niell's March - Trad
     Lillian Ross of Inverness - F.Thomsen
     Donald Blue - Trad.
The first tune was taught to Fraya by Allan MacDonald of Glenuig. It is also known as Lord Mayo.
Lillian is a fantastic Scots singer and storyteller, a very empowered lady who Fraya had the pleasure of teaching with.
Donald Blue is an Orkney fiddle tune taught to Fraya by Iain MacFarlane of Glenfinnan.

3.  The Twa Corbies :
An old poem put to a Breton tune by Norman Buchan. A popular Scot song with some greatly descriptive language about a murder and nature's ways.

4.  The Green Set:
Chloe's Passion - Dr Angus MacDonald
The Up Downey - Diarmuid Moynihan
The Triangle - Kinnon Beaton
A bunch of tunes that we really like. We call it green because it makes us think of the great outdoors.
The Triangle is from Cape Breton and was taught to us by Gabe who learned it from the ever studious Ross Martin.

5.  The Boys.
Monkey Puzzle - G.Fleetwood
Inspector Hector - F. Thomsen and C.Gullan
Mr Nice - F. Thomsen
An ode to three charming (cheeky) young men.

6.  The Rigs of Rye - Trad
Gillian learnt this song from a recording of Gordeana McCulloch, given to her by singer Anne Nielson who shared her vast knowledge and repertoire with many Scots singers. We have ommited the final verse, but if you are a fan of happy endings you can find it in the Greig Duncan Collection.

7.  The Paw Paw Polska - G. Fleetwood
     Tommy Nagle's - G. Fleetwood and F. Thomsen
     The Strathnairn - Stephen Cooney
The Polska was written for Mike Fowler, in thanks for lots of help, advice, fun and Gillian's lovely blue bicycle.
Tommy Nagle's - co-written in a late night fit of confusion as another big thank you, this time to Tommy for doing such a good job designing out website.
We learned the Strathnairn off the brilliant Seamus Begley and Steve Cooney album "Mitheal".

8.  The Bendy Set
     The Bendy Tune - F. Thomsen
     Good Man in the Kitchen - F. Thomsen
     Dudley Drive - J. Henderson.
The Bendy Tune was inspired when Fraya got new levers on her harp. After hours of wiggling this tune emerged.
Good Man in the Kitchen: A tune for Gabe, whose fish is almost as hot as his fiddle playing. Delicious!
Dudley Drive can also be found on Jarleth Henderson and Ross Ainsley's album "Partners in Crime".

9. Love - C. Campbell
Clair is a good friend and band member of ours. This is one of a series of her songs, which we perform in the band Abagail Grey.

10. Furan nam ban o'ga - (Female Affability) - Trad
     Gruaimean an t-seann duin' - (The Old Man Glooms On Me) - Trad
Gillian found the first tune in the Angus Fraser Collection "the only seemingly authentic Scottish Harp music ever to be recovered." Both titles are taken from the book but our gaelic speaking friends find it to be a rather frilly translation.
The second tune was taught to Fraya by Skye based, multi-talented friend Christine Martin.

11. The Queen of All Argyll-Andy M. Stewart.
This song was first recorded by Silly Wizard on their album "Kiss the Tears Away".

12.  Craobh nan Teud (Tree of Strings) - Trad(Arr. Wendy Stewart/The Duplets)
This tune can also be found in the Angus Fraser collection, it was taught to Fraya by one of her harp teachers throughout her years at the RSAMD, Wendy Stewart.


Special Thanks : Pro D!(Thank's Duncan)
Donald, Gabe and Tam, Terry B. Small, Jean and Gordon Fleetwood, Alice Thomsen.

Music Video Director/Producer: John McGeoch, Sean Martin and all at Arts inMotion.
Web Design : Tommy Nagle.

Fraya plays a Glencoe Harp, made by Starfish Designs.
Gillian plays a Mark Noris Harp.

Funders: PSYBT(Alistair Danter and David Knight), HIE Lochaber, Scottish Business Gateway
Produced and Engineered by Duncan Lyall at Gran's House.

Harp and Singing - Gillian Fleetwood
Harp and Backing Singing - Fraya Thomsen
Drums/Percussion - Donald Hay
Fiddle - Gabe McVarish
Banjo - Tam "the banjo" Kinsella
Double Bass - Duncan Lyall

Mixed and mastered by Duncan and Paul McGeechan at Park Lane Studio, Glasgow
All music arranged by The Duplets except track 12, as stated.
Photos by Magnus Graham & Clive Grewcock
Design by Somhairle

Album Information

Title: Tree of Strings
Artist: The Duplets
Instruments: Two Harps, Voice & backing
Genre: Contemporary / Celtic
Format: CD
Our Ref: A0355
Label: Pond Chicken Music
Year: 2008
Origin: UK