American odyssey

Her husband and young son banished outside to fly a kite on a remote Hebridean beach, Savourna Stevenson has surrounded herself with manuscript paper, tapes, four-track recorder, keyboard and, of course, harp. She admits to having come here, a few miles from the location of David Balfour’s famous shipwreck in ‘Kidnapped’, to hide out and complete her latest commission, a trans- oceanic and transcontinental odyssey celebrating the first journey of Robert Louis Stevenson from the Clyde to California.

Inspired by RLS’s vivid account, the suite is in four distinct parts and idioms. ‘The Steamship Journey’ gives way to railroad vistas of the States in ‘Across The Plains’, the intoxicating shock on reaching the Pacific coast in ‘Mexican Monterey’ and the piece ends with RLS and his new wife, impoverished but happy, living in the mountains as the ‘Silverado Squatters’.

‘lt’s scored for my trio,’ she says. ‘That’s the harp with Mike Travis on drums and Brian Shields playing bass - and a fiddle part that Aly Bain’s going to play.

‘Stevenson was fascinated by the Indians and the Mexicans, and I’ve been really stimulated listening to their music. I’ve used a hit, an Indian corn dance that’s got an amazing key change. Some of their singing sounds so like the Gaelic, the call-and-



The finest acoustic music with special guests each week

May 9 McCluskey Brothers

+ Peach County + Fjaere

May 16 Rory McLeod

+ The Buicks + Nick Marriot

Savourna Stevenson response of Lewis psalms.

‘I’ve overlaid some of the American section with memories of Scotland in music. Little motifs. You might catch them on harmonics on the fiddle, but in general it’s not too complicated. It’s really much more acoustic, less jazz fusion, than “Moorsong” or “Tweed Journey”.’ Both of those previous suites by Savourna will be played with her bigger hand during the concert.

The trio with Aly Bain sets off on a Scottish tour after the Mayfest gig, and Savourna is, she says, ‘looking forward so much to getting on the road. We’ve recently returned from an Irish tour with the trio, but it’s the first for ages. I’ve been cooped up composing and recording, it seems, for years now, and I’m really getting a buzz getting out there and performing live.’ (Ilorman Chalmers)

The Stevenson Band with My Bain play St Andrew’s Church on Mon 16.

May 23 Fionna Duncan & Fnends

+ Nigel Clark + Fraser Spiers

May 30 Sid Griffin

+ Superstar + Radio Sweethearts

Tickets From The Arches and Tower Records

30 Midland Street, Glasgow Information: 041 221 9736

Em;- . celtwclas

IA. “5%.”?

“g. . . m-m- ; But this is only one strand in Anuna’s

Already a big hit in Ireland having been around only a couple of years, Anuna bring their unique blend of historical research and Celtic imagination to St Aloysius Church - a perfect setting for this flexible ensemble of vocalists and traditional instrumentalists. Anuna derive their name from the legend of Uaithne, harper to the Daghda (one of the good guys of Irish mythology). Ilis magic harp could play three types of music: Iullabies, joyful songs and songs of lament, and his three sons, An

I me, they’re at their best in the

your neck. 0n the other hand, some of

Uaithne, took their names from these




(or two tiekets when {our (line together!)

- Suantrai, Ceanntrai and Coltrai.

The group’s origins are altogether more prosaic. While studying music at University, founder Michael McGlynn discovered a wealth of hitherto little- known Irish sacred music from the I Middle Ages and formed the ensemble to bring it to the public’s attention.

repertoire. They sing McGlynn’s original compositions and also perform arrangements of folk

material, drawing on Celtic traditions i , - \ from the Scottish gaedhealtacht as I ’S ( 1“wcmmwngu _ well as the Irish, such as Hebridean v * j; ,f I ‘43 psalm-singlng and puirt a beul .-for g ' S 3 ‘5'“ I g, example, they’ve got a nice version of E v I ~ .1 5: E E “"51 the old Bothy Band favourite, i ST, 1‘ é § ‘Fionnghuala’. i . 3 g as 13.?“ It’s hard to describe the sound; for i Hurry u'hjlp smva [(131] “é


arrangements of mediaeval chants like the Blessed Ilotker’s ‘Media Vita’ from the end of the 12th Century. The swirling, evocative harmonies pointed with sparing use of bodhran, fiddle, clarsach and whistle really do make the bristles stand up on the back of

Please c0mplete the lnfOTmaIlOH 0n IhIS coupon and hand It to a member of staff to claim Name Address the modern stuff sounds a bit like a Post code barber shop on a bad trip more Swingle Singers than Stockhausen, that’s for sure. Most of their repertoire is magical, though, and they’re well worth going to see. (Peter Cudmore) Anuna play St Aloysius Church on Fri 27.

Is this yOur hrs! Visit to Fridays? Yes No Please tick IhIS b0x if you do not wrsh to receive further information from TGI Friday's E]

Store use only

Server number No II) party BI” value

The List 6-H) May 199417