Laura Risk: Scottish and Québécois fiddling.

"She can tear up a fast reel like 'North Highlands,' slow it down for an air such as 'The Bonnie House of Airly,' lay down fancy dance licks on a jig the likes of 'The Big Meeting,' go contemplative as on 'Duncan Lamont,' or breathe new life into an overdone tune like 'Snug in a Blanket.' What is particularly memorable about her playing is the amount of space she leaves between notes." - R. Weir, Sing Out!, Spring 2005 (review of 2000 Miles)

New CD! Douglastown: Music and Song from the Gaspé Coast

Douglastown CDI co-produced this CD for the village of Douglastown, Quebec, on the Gaspé coast. It is a portrait of the unique musical culture of Douglastown, from the early 20th century to the 1980s, and comes with a bilingual 56-page booklet. 46 tracks in total: lots of fiddlers, plus songs, accordion, harmonica, guitar, pump organ, stepdancing, spoken anecdotes, etc. Available for purchase and download via the Douglastown Community Centre, at CDBaby or at Thirty Below. More info via the Community Centre website, and the blog of Glenn Patterson (co-producer of the CD) and Brian Morris.

 

Triptych

Triptych

The long-awaited debut album from Triptych! Laura on fiddle, Paddy League on guitar, voice and bodhran, and Kieran Jordan on percussive dance. With a mix of songs and tunes from the Irish, Scottish and French-Canadian traditions, plus some originals, this CD showcases the fluid, improvisational energy of the trio. Available for purchase and download at the website store. For more about Triptych, see www.triptychtrad.com.

  1. Rise Ye Lazy Fellow
  2. Nansai Og Ni Obarlain
  3. O'Donnell's Hornpipe / Thomond Bridge
  4. The Guinea Hen / Galician March
  5. The House on the Hill
  6. The Girl from the Big House / Lady Washington
  7. Mo Bhron Ar an Bhfarraige
  8. Dickie Rogers' Pedestal Clog
  9. The Plains of Abraham / The Pickpocket
  10. Pay As You Go / Porst an Righ
  11. Moving On Song
  12. Antoine's

 

Les Joueurs de Bon Accord: Music for Scottish Country Dancing

Les Joueurs de Bon Accord

The debut album from Laura's Scottish Country Dance band, Les Joueurs de Bon Accord, with Nicholas Williams on piano and Éric Breton on percussion. Recorded in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Montreal branch of the RSCDS and featuring many original compositions by Laura and Nicholas.
The CD is available for purchase and download at the website store. Dance instructions are in the book Montreal Moments, published by the RSCDS Montreal Branch. For more info, visit the Les Joueurs de Bon Accord website.

  1. Mrs. Frances MacCullough (R32 x 8)
  2. MacDonald of the Isles, Five Couples (S32 x 5)
  3. Charlie's Birthday (J32 x 8)
  4. Montréal Rendezvous (R32 x 8)
  5. Mòran Taing (S32 x 8)
  6. Montréal Anniversary Jig (J32 x 4, double chord)
  7. Happy to Meet You Charlie (S32 x 4, double chord)
  8. Cruit Mo Chridh (R32 x 8)
  9. Yet Another Birthday (S32 x 3)
  10. Lydia's Dance (R40 x 8)
  11. Gabriel and Diana (waltz)

 

2000 Miles

2000 Miles

Laura teams up with some of Québec's hottest trad and jazz musicians: Éric Beaudry (La Bottine Souriante) on guitar, Rachel Aucoin (Raz-de-Marée) on piano, Éric Breton (Perdu l'Nord) on percussion, and Michel Donato (Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson) on bass. The repertoire, however, is pure Scottish: driving Highland reels, melancholy Gaelic airs, and elegant Northeast strathspeys. Available for purchase and download at the website store.

  1. North Highland Reel #18 / North Highland Reel #21 / The Nine Pint Coggie / Sandy King
  2. Fairly Shot of Her / The Lost Hat / Fairly Shot of Her / Snug in a Blanket
  3. 'Smairg a chiùrradh spiocaire (The Miser) / Miss Gordon of Glastirum's Reel
  4. Mr. Abel Banks
  5. The Bonnie House of Airly
  6. Dubh an Tomaidh (The Dark Night of Tomie)
  7. Tha buaidh air an uisge-bheath (The efficacy of whisky)
  8. Master Francis Sitwell / Lady Ann Wharton Duff's Strathspey / The Big Meeting
  9. Skye Air / Another St. Kilda Song and Dance / Am Botal dubh 's an t-slige chreachann (The Dram Shell)
  10. Mo Chuachag Laghach (My Kindly Sweetheart) / The Glen Where the Deer Is / Feadan glan a' Phiobair (The Pipe Slang)
  11. Duncan Lamont
  12. Tha tairm ann sa Ghleann (The Sound of War from the Glen)
  13. Mr. Martin's Compliments to Dr. Keith MacDonald / Mrs. Gordon of Knockespoch
  14. Tha m'aigne fo ghruaim (This Gloom upon my Soul)

 

The Merry Making

Merry Making

The dance music of Scotland, Cape Breton, Québec, New England and Ireland, with Susie Petrov, piano, Dennis Cahill, guitar, Christopher Layer, flutes, whistle, and bagpipes, Brian Melick, percussion. Available at www.amazon.com

 

  1. Galope de Jonquière / Mrs. Mary MacDonald
  2. Lord Moira / The Merry Making
  3. The Sailor's Wife / Cullen House
  4. Marc's Waltz
  5. Ross's Reel #4 / Sharp's Hornpipe / Marquis of Queensbury
  6. Clan Ranald
  7. Hiawatha / Gramin / Sailor's Hornpipe
  8. Northern March / The 8th Argyll's Farewell
  9. John McAlpin
  10. Gorthleck's Highland Plaid / Mrs. McPherson of Cluny
  11. Walter Douglas M.B.E. / Reel du Verre-Bouteille
  12. December Reel
  13. Reel du Quêteux Tremblay / The Farmer's Daughter
  14. Air Charles St-Hilaire
  15. My Maryanne
  16. Sunday River

 

A Roof for the Rain

Roof for the Rain

With Ken Kolodner, hammered dulcimer, Keith Murphy, guitar, Joseph Sobol, guitar and cittern. Available at www.kenkolodner.com


➤A Roof for the Rain/ Donacha Lynch's (excerpt)

 

 

Greenfire

Greenfire

With Ken Kolodner, hammered dulcimer, with Robin Bullock, guitar, piano, cittern.
Available at www.kenkolodner.com

 

 

 

 

Walking Stones

Walking Stones

With Ken Kolodner, hammered dulcimer, with Robin Bullock, guitar, piano, cittern.
Available at www.kenkolodner.com

 

 

 

 

Journey Begun

Journey Begun

Laura Risk and Athena Tergis, fiddles, Steve Baughman, guitar, Peter Maund, percussion, Pat Klobas, bass, Alasdair Fraser, fiddle. Produced by Alasdair Fraser. Available from www.culburnie.com

 

 

 

Spine

Spine

With Cordelia's Dad: Tim Eriksen, vocals, guitar, Cath Oss, vocals, lap dulcimer, accordion, Peter Irvine, vocals, percussion, Laura Risk, fiddle.
Available at CDBaby.

 

 

 

Host of the Air: Contemporary Music for Scottish Country Dancing

Host of the Air

With Susie Petrov, accordion, James Gray, piano. Currently unavailable.

NEW!! The Glengarry Collection: The Highland Fiddle Music of Aonghas Grant VOLUME 2

Glengarry CollectionThis is the second and final volume of a collection featuring the music and stories of renowned Scottish Highland fiddler Aonghas Grant. I had the great honor of collaborating with Aonghas, Boston fiddler Barbara McOwen and Stirling-based ethnomusicologist Peggy Duesenberry on this project over the last few years, and I am thrilled to announce that Volume 2 is now available on the Mel Bay website.
"The book contains 188 additional slow airs, marches, strathspeys, reels, jigs and hornpipes. Accompanying stories, history and photographs provide additional background to the tunes. This collection focuses on the core of Grant's music - Highland fiddling, and its connections to pipe tunes and Gaelic songs. Some of these tunes have never been published before, while others are only available in out-of-print books and pipe settings. The collection also includes a number of tunes composed by Grant, and ones composed in his honor. The tunes are fully chorded in a style representative of Grant's band experience. Transcriptions of his bowings, grace notes and stories provide insight into his playing style. Accompanying photos richly illustrate Grant's music, including images of musicians, family, and scenes from his various careers. The accompanying video includes recordings of Grant's impromptu and passionate performances, featuring 81 selections."
Available online from Mel Bay. Volume 1 is also available, here. For more about Aonghas Grant, see his website.

 

The Glengarry Collection: The Highland Fiddle Music of Aonghas Grant

The Glengarry Collection

"The Glengarry Collection contains 164 Slow Airs, Marches, Strathspeys, Reels, Jigs and Hornpipes with Stories, History and Photographs. It focuses on the core of Aonghas' music: Highland fiddling, with its links to pipe tunes and Gaelic songs. Some of these tunes have never been published before, while others are available only in out-of-print books or in pipe settings, and the collection also includes a number of tunes composed by Aonghas himself, and tunes composed in honor of Aonghas. The tunes are fully chorded in a style appropriate to Aonghas' band experience. All these are richly illustrated by transcriptions of Aonghas' bowings, grace-notes, stories, and photos of scenes and people from Aonghas' varied life careers, including old family photos. Finally, there is an accompanying DVD with videos of Aonghas' impromptu and passionate performances of 61 of the tunes in the collection."
Available at Mel Bay. For more about Aonghas Grant, see his website.

 

Teaching CDs

Tunes 2001: 65 tunes from Laura Risk

Tunes 2001

Two CDs containing 65 well-known tunes from Scotland, Cape Breton, Ireland, Québec and New England. Every tune is played fast and then slow. A great way to get better at learning by ear! Available for purchase and download at the website store.


➤Smith's a Gallant Fireman (the A part, played fast and then slow)

 

Tunes 2003: 82 more tunes from Laura Risk

Tunes 2003

Learn new repertoire by ear! The tunes are mostly Scottish, plus a few Cape Breton and Quebecois tunes: reels, jigs, strathspeys, marches, airs, and waltzes. As on Tunes 2001, I play every tune fast and then slow. 2-disc set. Available for purchase and download at the website store.

➤Dunse Dings A' (the A part, played fast and then slow)

Download the PDF liner notes to Tunes 2001

Looking for more information about these CDs? Want to know which tunes are on which CD? Not sure which one to buy first? Click here!

 

Celtic Dialogue

Celtic Dialogue

***Top 10 CDs of 1999*** -- The Boston Globe
With Jacqueline Schwab, piano. A musical exploration of the classical/traditional crossover in 18th-century Scotland. Laura and Jacqueline's unusual approach to this rarely-heard repertoire combines scholarly research with modern improvisations informed by a traditional sensibility. Featured on the soundtrack to Ken Burns' PBS series The National Parks: America's Best Idea.
Available at www.amazon.com

  1. Up tails a'
  2. My Nanny O
  3. A wife of my ain
  4. She's sweetest when she's naked
  5. Dusty Miller
  6. Johnnie Faa
  7. The collier's daughter
  8. Robaidh dona górach
  9. The Highlander's farewell
  10. Lady Jean Lindsay's Minuet
  11. Johnnie Cope
  12. Gowd on your gartens, Marion
  13. Minuet in A, with variations
  14. Welcome home, my dearie
  15. Miss Carmichael's Minuet
  16. Cumha na cloinne
  17. Old Sir Symon the King
  18. Through the wood, laddie

 

 

Recordings produced by Laura Risk

 

Rhymes and Reasons

Catherine Fraser and Duncan Smith: Rhymes and Reasons (2009)

 

 

 

 


Silver

Hanneke Cassel: Silver (2006)

Co-produced with Hanneke Cassel

 

 

 

 


The Groves

Laurel Martin: The Groves (2006)

 

 

 

 


Heaven and Earth

Childsplay: Heaven and Earth (2005)

 

 

 

 


Some Melodious Sonnet

Hanneke Cassel: Some Melodious Sonnet (2004)

 

 

 

 


My Joy

Hanneke Cassel: My Joy (2001)