The post for today is very different from the pieces I’ve been telling you about in my last few posts. The recording is called Fluiditea and it is a set of four tunes, each 32 bars long. It features a traditional tune and three tunes that I composed for one of the ceilidh bands I play in – each piece characterises a band member perfectly!
As its for a ceilidh, its light and bouncy. Its reel set which means it’ll be played mostly for dances that are walked/marched. Its in the style of an English reel which means its slower than say ones from Ireland or Scottish – although it definitely doesn’t feel slower when playing them!
1. Earl Grey
This is the traditional tune of set. This is one of my favourite folk tunes. I find this tune just lends itself to bouncing along happily yet is still very straight forward. Elements of this tune were used as the inspiration for the other tunes – although it can be hard to work out which parts!
2. King’s Oolong
This tune is sensible yet bouncy – like the band member who’s found delight in this variety of tea (personally I’ve not had any, but I’ll let you know what I think if I do). A straight forward tune with a mixture of minor and major tonality which helps give it a royal feel!
3. Mint Tea
This is by far my favourite tea and also the favourite of a fellow band member. The best description of this tune is: “it’s complicated.” I don’t think I can beat that for a description of it. Its tonality is unsure whether its major or minor, and can’t decide what key it wants to be in for more than a few bars! This is almost certainly the hardest tune of the set!
4. Coffee and Custard
The title of this tune is a longstanding joke that this member will drink anything you give him so long as its warm, wet and looks a little like tea. This is an incredibly happy and bouncy tune – its great fun to play and makes a wonderfully happy end to the set!
I recorded this set (multitrack style!) on my trusty, full-toned Mollenhauer recorder – my favourite recorder. It has a wide bore (rather than the modern tapering style) and a different mouthpiece to most recorders and it suits my playing style perfectly – my recorder and I get on very well! The chord instrument is my lovely Stephanelli accordion – she’s a beautiful instrument that I hired for a while when I decided to teach myself accordion and finally brought her because I couldn’t bear to part with her!
I hope you enjoy it!