Canntaireachd (for eight voices, 1990)

04:03
c.2003
Paul Ely Smith

Story

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.