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SGOIL CHI┘IL NA G└IDHEALTACHD - The Snow Is Melting Into Music

SGOIL CHI┘IL NA G└IDHEALTACHD - The Snow Is Melting Into Music
Private Label JMTCD01

Another year, another showcase release from the Plockton students, Boxed In. A slight change in format this time, with pre- and post-Christmas discs rather than the S6 and S1-5 as before. This is to allow even more to be recorded, and that in itself cannot be a bad thing.

This year there are 22 students recording in various combinations, so if you want the individual names you’re going to have to buy the CD (by doing which, of course, you help support the magnificent work of this outstanding resource). The tracks are all selected from live performance arrangements produced throughout the year. As the students are picked by audition rather than by instrument quota, it is purely by chance that this year there are eight accordionists, hence the title of the album!

The overall standard of musicianship is as high as you would expect – it’s not called a “Centre of Excellence” for nothing, is it? True, there are a couple of moments where voices are just a little stretched, but remember what stage these students are at, and you realise that once again we have a squad of enthusiastic and talented youngsters who are developing their full musical potential under excellent tutelage.

The title of the other album, The Snow Is Melting Into Music, is inspired by the words of the great John Muir, the Dunbar-born founder of the modern ecological conservation movement, and the album was recorded at the behest of the John Muir Trust to feature music and song associated with some of the areas that the Trust manages.

The performers are Chloe Bryce, Anna Buxton, Mabel Duncan, Annie Lennox, Megan MacDonald, Robyn MacKay, Christy MacRae, Molly Nolan, Euan Reid and Emma Rutherford, all S6 pupils of the 2014-15 session, and they give us a splendid blend of songs and music, including Chloe Bryce’s own Sandalwood Bay, as well as a reading of George MacKay Brown’s The Hawk. The only complaint I have about this release is that it’s not long enough – I could listen to these students all day!

Proceeds from sales will be split between the Sgoil and the Trust, so you can support two good causes at the same time!

Gordon Potter


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This album was reviewed in Issue 114 of The Living Tradition magazine.