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A Fitting Finale to "The Strathglass Trilogy"
on 7 November 2012
Affric, Duncan Chisholm's fifth solo album, is the third and final part of a musical journey that started six years ago with the recording of Farrar (Album of the Year at the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards in 2008) and continued with Canaich in 2010.
Those three albums "form the Strathglass trilogy," Duncan Chisholm's musical homage to the Chisholm lands in Inverness where the musician grew up.
The Chisholm lands are also part of the family's ancestral history.
The tunes on Affric, like its two predecessors, form musical pictures and create mini-soundtracks to some of the most beautiful areas and places in Scotland.
Each piece features Duncan Chisholm's fiddle as the narrator, with accompaniment or complimentary colour added by way of percussion, guitars and other traditional instrumentation (courtesy of a number of excellent musicians including Phil Cunningham, Tony Byrne and Jarlath Henderson).
Duncan Chisholm is one of the best slow air fiddle players in the business - many believe THE best - so it's of no surprise he positively shines on such material, including the emotive and evocative 'An Ribhinn Donn' and `Night in That Land.'
But Duncan Chisholm has more than one string to his fiddle bow, as perfectly exemplified by the up-tempo, rhythmic number 'Running the Cross,' a modern take on the traditional sound.
Each album in the Strathglass series has something to offer, but Affric has the feel of presenting shorter stories as opposed to bigger pictures.
It's as if the credits are rolling on the final instalment of the trilogy while images of `The House in Rose Valley' and `The Flooded Meadow' flash into the listener's mind.
Affric is a fitting culmination to the six years work that went into creating the Strathglass trilogy, but it's not quite the end of the story...
In January 2013 Duncan Chisholm, complete with full band and twenty-piece orchestral ensemble, will present the Strathglass Suite, a special show that will form part of the Celtic Connections festival in Glasgow.
It's a much deserved accolade for the musician, his music and the event.
Because not only will the festival be celebrating its 20th Anniversary, Duncan Chisholm will be celebrating some of the finest traditional based music you'll ever hear.