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Sleeve Notes for Scatter Pipes by Vicki Swan & Jonny Dyer

Scatter PipesJonny Dyer (Vocals, Guitar, Accordion)
Vicki Swan (Smallpipes, Flute,  Double Bass, Vocals)


Vicki and Jonny have been playing folk music together for well over ten years both as a duo and as part of SeriousKitchen.  Vickis unique style of playing the Scottish Smallpipes; that is at once spellbindingly beautiful and haunting is perfectly complimented by Jonnys driving guitar playing.

Description


Vicki and Jonny have been playing folk music together for well over ten years both as a duo and as part of SeriousKitchen.  Vickis unique style of playing the Scottish Smallpipes; that is at once spellbindingly beautiful and haunting is perfectly complimented by Jonnys driving guitar playing. Strong believers in letting music live and breathe, Vicki and Jonny  allow the melody to sing without any constraints. Constantly seeking  new harmonic pathways they help to keep pipe music alive and growing.


Track Notes


1. Donald MacLeods Reel - Traditional / Stornoway Castle - Traditional / Sandy Duff - Traditional

This is the only set of entirely traditional tunes that we perform, so  weve affectionately called this the traditional set.  Imaginative huh?

2. The Willows - Jonny Dyer  /  The Three Ashes - Jonny Dyer

These two complimentary sounding tune titles may appear to have deep rural references; but in fact they are named after the two pubs in our village.

3. The Hares Lament - Traditional     tunes: Carrock Fell - Jonny Dyer / Jumping The Beck - Jonny Dyer

The story of a hares struggle for life in a hunt.

4. The Broken Drone - Jonny Dyer / Chasing the Butterfly - Jonny Dyer / Scatter Pipes - Jonny Dyer

The Broken Drone was named in honour of a friends pipes that were broken by her little boy when he sat on them, breaking one of the drones.  Unfortunately the lady has since passed away and the lament is for her too.

Chasing the Butterfly was given its name whilst thinking of yesteryear when Jonny was running around in fields trying to catch butterflies in a net and probably falling over and getting grazed knees!  Scatter Pipes was written whilst on holiday in the campervan without any manuscript and had to be remembered using the jazz scatt method.

5. Hector the Hero - J. Scott Skinner

Hector MacDonald was Major-General who had a distinguished career in the British Army, he started off as an enlisted soldier and rose through the ranks. After being accused of homosexuality, he committed suicide in 1903.  It was because of the beauty of this tune that Vicki was inspired to play the Scottish Smallpipes.

6. Hemligheten - Jonny Dyer

Hemligheten is Swedish for the secret and the inpspiration for this tune is um ..... a secret. Telling you what the secret is would be silly and self defeating - so you will have to imagine your own secret  thing.  Dont tell us what it is though!  

7. The Trooper and the Maid - Traditional (Child #299)      tune: Jocks Box - Jonny Dyer

Boy meets girl, boy gets girl, boy and girl do boy and girl things  together, boy has to go and fight a war.  What happens next we can only guess, but it would be nice if boy came back and they lived happily ever after.

The tune at the end is dedicated to Jock Agnew and his amazing toolbox that rescued Vickis chanter reed in its hour of need.

8. Cartmel Fell - Jonny Dyer / Tigers Eye - Jonny Dyer

Cartmel Fell is a hill up in Cumbria that we have climbed on several occasions when rehearsing.  Its often hard to name tunes and this reverts to the good old, where was I when I wrote it school of naming.  For all this, the name is quite appropriate in the way that the slow pastoral melody reflects the green foothills of the Lakes.  Tigers Eye is dedicated to Pauline - for the eponymous stones she gave us.

9. Lament for the Lone Piper - Vicki Swan / The Bulgarian Bandit - Murray Blair                                                                      / Answers on a Postcard - Jonny Dyer

The first tune was written as a slow air for Vickis father, Pipe Major Roddy Swan, when he died in 1996.  Although written as a whole piobaireachd this is just the slow air.

The Bulgarian Bandit has a wonderful Eastern European feel to it with a semiquaver being missed out in one bar: Wonderful for bodhran players to get completely confused!

Answers on a postcard was named after its first performance at a club,  still nameless Jonny asked for help in naming it suggesting the answers  be sent on a postcard.  Writing tunes really is easier than naming them!

10. The Blue Man - Jonny Dyer

A friend of ours is very arty and created an animated man using blue tack and a computer animation program.  As the little man was anatomically correct (anatomically lucky some might say) it was felt that he deserved a tune!

11. Seven Little Gypsies  Traditional   tune: Pinetree - Jonny Dyer

Many will have sung or heard a version of the Wraggle Taggle Gypsies  or the Dark Eyed Gypsy.  This is ours.  In the last verse, the gypsies are hanged by the Lord of the land.

We have an alternative ending that is often favoured by less bloodthirsty audiences where the lady successfully runs away to join the gypsies:



There were 8 little gypsies all in a gang

and none of them more lazy oh.

And they sang high and they sang low

And cast their spells around them oh.



Just goes to show that we dont all want a good death toll in our folk tales.






Track Notes


1 Donald MacLeods Reel / Stornoway Castle / Sandy Duff


See description section for notes

2 The Willows / The Three Ashes


See description section for notes

3 The Hares Lament


See description section for notes

4 The Broken Drone / Chasing the Butterfly / Scatter Pipes


See description section for notes

5 Hector the Hero


See description section for notes

6 Hemligheten


See decription section for notes

7 The Trooper and the Maid


See description section for notes

8 Cartmel Fell / Tigers Eye


See description section for notes

9 Lament for the Lone Piper/The Bulgarian Bandit


See description section for notes

10 The Blue Man


See description section for notes

11 Seven Little Gypsies


See description section for notes