Duncan Chisholm at Celtic Connections 2023
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, 2 February, 2023 – Review by Pauline Keightley
Transported us with his engaging playing
Chisholm has performed at every Celtic Connections since 1993. He also entertained us during the Covid pandemic isolation with beautiful videos of his violin playing, often shot on perfect locations on the Western Isles. His music has range of tone and atmosphere and transcends time and space. He has composed music of the Western Isles – inspired by the swift-changing skies of Scotland’s western coastlines and dramatic mountain ranges; often foreboding but illuminating and hopeful as light breaks through.
At the Concert Hall he played compositions from his new 2022 album Black Cullins – the jagged range of rocky mountains on the Isle of Skye. He was backed by an impressive line-up of award-winning Trad musicians; Jalath Henderson on uilleann pipes, Ross Ainslie on low whistle, Hamish Napier on keyboards and piano, Innes Watson on rhythm guitar and Ross Hamilton on electric bass and guitar.
He began with the tender Black Cuillin Theme with accompanying strings and Born on the Wind of Chaos soared with the full band, bass and electric guitar. Then the band took the energy and vibe up further with piano, pipes, whistle, percussion and rhythm guitar for the tune To the High Mountain.
Beneath the Fortress about the Skye bridge, was majestic, as was the intimacy of Donald Shaw’s A Precious Place, who played piano on this tune: and the drama of pipes on Islands on the Edge. The tune The Blue Cuillins of the Islands was inspired by a poem of Sorley McLean’s. Following was a touching performance of Donald Shaw’s Constellations. Chisholm then played Phil Cunningham’s subdued and haunting When the Snow Melts, with only piano for his finale. Heart-warming.
Music of resolutions.
Black Cuillin album’ tells of a dream journey through this landscape over a day and a night.’ Duncan Chisholm, Scottish fiddle player and composer, has released six solo albums. He tours with the Scots Gaelic singer Julie Fowlis and has toured with the folk rock bands Wolftsone and Runrig.
Photos & Review Pauline Keightley – https://pkimage.co.uk
Filed under: Celtic Connections 2023, Events, Fairs, Festivals and Fundraisers, Music, Pauline Keightley, What's On Glasgow West End: cinema, clubs, theatre, music, events, festivals, community and more
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