Scottish Duo Charlie Grey and Joseph Peach to release their invigorating new album Spiorachas – A High Place, on October 1st
Fiddle player Charlie Grey and Pianist Joseph Peach will be unearthing and building upon Scottish Gaelic melodies in their new album Spiorachas – A High Place, released on October 1st. Evolved through improvisation, Charlie and Joseph have rejuvenated traditional Scottish Gaelic melodies of times past, continuing their multi-generational story, as well as introducing new pieces of their own.
In their effort to build upon the Scottish Gaelic culture of before, much of the album utilises material learned from the sound archives of the School of Scottish Studies’ Tobar an Dualchais project. These recordings documenting the traditions of the Scottish Gaelic communities provide a vibrant window into the past that Charlie and Joe utilise to build the future.
The album’s focus track, “Cailleach”, draws upon a traditional Gaelic song: “Cailleach a’ Ghobhainn” and was inspired by the field recordings of a woman local to Joseph’s home village of Achiltibue. A “Cailleach a’ Ghobhainn” is a prime example of a Pruit à beul: a traditional song form native to Scotland which set lyrics to instrumental tunes. Utilising old gaelic folk songs, the album’s second single, “Ghruamach”, parallels the traditional folk tune A Chollie Ghruamach. Originating from 1820’s Nova Scotia, the celebrated Bàrd MacGilleathain composed the song to portray the hardships of the pioneering scottish settlers having arrived from across the Atlantic Ocean. The album also features new material composed by Joseph and Charlie themselves. The album’s first single, “Gathan-grèin”, was composed by Joseph as he took in the inspiring crepuscular sunbeams off the coast of Scotland. This single provides a vivid and life-affirming introduction to Spiorachas – A High Place.
Throughout the album, Charlie can be heard playing on a Hardanger D’Amore, an incredibly rare, ten-string Norwegian bowed instrument designed and built by Salve Håkedal. Only the 33rd Hardanger D’Amore ever made, Charlie’s instrument is likely one of a kind in Scotland. After the release of Spiorachas – A High Place, Charlie and Joe will be sitting down with musicians for a series of intimate and personal conversations about creation, collaboration and inspiration on their new podcast show, launching in November. Guests will include Fiddle Player and Musician Duncan Chisholm, Folk Singer Josie Duncan, Folk Singer and Musician Mairi Campbell, and Folk Singer Annie Grace.
A musician and composer, Charlie Grey grew up playing traditional music on the fiddle with influences from his friends, his family and granny (legendary “Gaelic diva” Ishbel MacAskill), and some of Scotland’s leading folk musicians. Outside of folk music, Charlie has spent time studying and exploring Gypsy Jazz, Bluegrass, Blues-fiddle music, before mastering his aesthetic of liberated improvisation. Joseph Peach, a pianist and composer, hails from the small town of Achiltibuie, in the north-west Scottish Highlands. Graduating with a Masters degree from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Joseph’s musical studies also include classical and jazz, and a passion for Scottish pianist/composer Ronald Stevenson.
Together, they have been described by critics as a duo displaying ‘enthralling prowess and attunement’ (The Scotsman). Having reached the final of Radio 2’s Young Folk Musician Award along with their debut album shortlisted for FATEA Magazine’s Instrumental Album of the Year, they have performed at the Royal Albert Hall, Cambridge Folk Festival, Australia’s National Celtic Festival, Celtic Connections, and Festival Interceltique de Lorient. More recently, Charlie and Joseph released Air lomall – a film and suite of music inspired by the voyage on the Dutch tall ship Wylde Swan to the now uninhabited islands deep in the North Atlantic.
Charlie Grey and Joseph Peach’s work is supported by Britten Pears Arts, Creative Scotland and The Marchus Trust.
WildKat is delighted to be working with Charlie and Joseph on PR for their upcoming album, Spiorachas – A High Place