Mac Mhic Alister’s Dead Lament – Final Reflections

This has been a remarkable journey of discovery!

As is usual in any encounter with Campbell, we as musicians are taxed to the utmost of our skills, intuition and capability to interpret and bring forth a living performance from the vocables on the page.

The inherent rhythmical ambiguity is well known. But a great deal can be inferred from the phrasing, from what we know about Gaelic song and tune tradition.  And yet, none of what we decide upon is written in stone. It cannot be: we rely upon ourselves to interpret. Notational fundamentalism is impossible when encountering Campbell: There is, thankfully, not enough there to insist upon one and only one way of reading it, playing it.

That’s what makes this collection so compelling.

Take a look. Here are three different staff score interpretations that have been derived from this one source (Peter McCalister, APC, Molard-Taylor):



And the result is highly personal, a reflection of ourselves.



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