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Paul Ely Smith: Music

Canntaireachd (for eight voices, 1990)

Paul Ely Smith
The piece is based loosely on Scottish traditions of sung dance music, or "puirt-a-beul," and vocalizations of bagpipe music, called "canntaireachd." The lyrics of the last two sections are from actual puirt-a-beul (things like "thin porridge, gruely porridge," and "I was born in beautiful Islay"), but the music draws on both traditional and entirely made-up musical ideas.

I wrote this piece in 1990, and it has actually been performed quite a lot, but never officially recorded or published. This is a live performance.