Kerstin Kuhn asked on 9 Oct for recorded SCD music that's
> good, interesting, a bit unusual ... > where you can hear the different instruments ... > or where they play harmonies ... > tunes that rouse audiences at demonstrations ...
>From someone who's not a fundi on music :) and has only a rather
limited collection, here are a few recordings that come to mind.
Probably these don't all answer the real questions, though.
Like Colleen Putt said, firstly one I've mentioned before but gladly
recommend again - the recording by Muriel Johnstone's SD Band, for
Willie's Rare and Willie's Fair (Jig), on A Dancer's Miscellany Vol 3
(is it on their new cd?). The instrumentation and harmonies are
super and varied (it features the flute), and the tunes are pretty.
I think if I had to choose just one SCD recording to be stranded with
on a desert island, it would be this one. If you don't know the
dance, it's quite nice and definitely worth learning for the sake of
Anderson's Rant, on Vol 4 of the same series, includes a slightly
unusual tune called Jim & Marilyn Healy's Reel ;^)
Most of Muriel Johnstone's recordings would appeal to a lot of
Barbara McOwen's and Sylvia Miskoe's recordings also have varied
Sandy Nixon's Traquair House (Reel), on his Highlander Music cd, is
Swiss Lassie (Reel) on the RSCDS recording for Book 39, has tunes
that are catchy and sound almost syncopated in places. Altogether a
super dance - it's also pretty to watch and fun to do.
Often, though, it's the familiar (good) tunes that go down well at
dem's - such as Mairi's Wedding. I think that what rouses audiences
is music that makes people want to dance / clap / tap their feet.
Pretty tunes, a "lively" rhythm (at least for reels and jigs), a
style of playing that slightly emphasises the rhythm, and
instrumentation that gives a nice "full" sound (for recorded music,
that is; I think any good live music has an appeal of its own).
I think all the American recordings mentioned so far (including
Etienne Ozorak's Music Makars) are available from TACsound and
Fiddlers Crossing; Muriel Johnstone's can be bought from various
suppliers, and Sandy Nixon's from Highlander Music. Fiddlers
Crossing and Highlander Music are both on the Net. Let me know if
you want any more details.
When is Strathspey going to get some more musicians (etc) from the
UK? My collection of recordings is becoming decidedly biased towards
those from the other side of the ocean! :)