Last night was the monthly meeting of the Utah Piobaireachd Society. We started out by discussing the “pulse” of a tune, and how it’s not the same as a beat in light music. Then we illustrated this for ourselves by group-learning MacCrimmon Will Never Return. It’s a cool tune and quite repetitive, but it shows clearly how the timing of ceol mor is different. I really like the fluidity of it, although it’s sometimes hard to make the mental switch from the regular western idiom we grew up with.
After the group session, some of us played our tunes for the others. We heard The Company’s Lament and Struan Robertson’s Salute in their entirety, and I played the ground and first variation of The Lament for Captain MacDougall.
After the meeting was over, I spent some time with Gordon Nichol looking at different tunes, and he suggested I try learning MacCrimmon Will Never Return, in addition to my other tune. I drove home listening to all the versions I have (thank you, ipod), so now I’m raring to go!