Miriana
(1979)
    
A new music, born from a contemporary creative expression solidly anchored to the vital experience of the traditional culture. The group has carried out a research on dances, rhythms and instrumental colours of the Irish and Scottish cultures

     1 - Sunrise   3.43
     2 - Kimiad   4.15
     3 - Winter's Night   5.19
     4 - Piper 's Maggot   6.14
     5 - Miriana   4.31
     6 - Johnny Lad   3.04
     7 - Camooweal   3.37
     8 - Moll in the Wad   5.49
     9 - Dargai   5.43
Stereoplay, Roma, 1979, Gianpiero Vigorito

'... Whisky Trail do their best to produce an even elaboration permeating the old with the modern; it is sustained by an elegant expressive research that allows their work to have a modern and readable result...'

Coming from experiences directly tied to Irish and Scottish traditional music (as testified by the previous two recordings), Whisky Trail has taken a definite step forward, with Miriana, in its search for a dynamic relationship between traditional music and present-day creativity. We thus find a constant exchange of ideas and situations between traditional tunes and original material, which brings forward the Italian, Celtic and Balkan characteristics belonging to the individual experience of its members. The result is a new music, born from a contemporary creative expression solidly anchored to the vital experience of the traditional culture.
The research carried by the group on dances, rhythms and instrumental colours of present and past traditional cultures, has been used in the elaboration of the material in this recording.

1. Sunrise*-Morning Reel 3'43
piano, percussions, vocals:Antonio Breschi
violin: Velemir Dugina
guitar: Pietro Sabatini
mandola: Stefano Corsi
12 string guitar, accordion, vocals: Daniel Craighead
drum: Piero Bubbico

2. Kimiad ar Soudard Yaouank 4'15
violin: Velemir Dugina
tin whistle: Daniel Craighead
guitar: Pietro Sabatini
12 string guitar: Stefano Corsi

3. Winter's Night 5'19
12 string guitar: Stefano Corsi
vocals: Giulia Lorimer
violin: Velemir Dugina
electric bass: Pietro Sabatini
piano: Antonio Breschi
sax soprano: Daniel Craighead

4. Piper's Maggott-Yellow Stockings-Apples in Winter 6'14
accordion, bongos: Daniel Craighead
drum: Piero Bubbico
mandola, mandolin: Stefano Corsi
guitar: Pietro Sabatini
dulcimer: Antonio Breschi
violin: Velemir Dugina

5. Miriana**-Kitty's Wishes 4'31
violin: Velemir Dugina
accordion, whistles: Daniel Craighead
guitar: Pietro Sabatini
mandolin: Stefano Corsi

6. Johnny Lad 3'04
vocals: Giulia Lorimer
vocals: Antonio Breschi
concertina: Daniel Craighead
guitar: Pietro Sabatini
mandola: Stefano Corsi
violin: Velemir Dugina

7. Camooweal ?-Rainbow Snake** 3'37
violin: Velemir Dugina
guitar: Pietro Sabatini
dulcimer, hands: Antonio Breschi
mandolin, mandola: Stefano Corsi
spoons: Daniel Craighead

8. Moll in the Wad-Hardiman the Fiddler 5'49
piano: Antonio Breschi
mandola, 12 string guitar, mouth organ: Stefano Corsi
percussions: Renzo Stefani
tin whistle, sax soprano: Daniel Craighead
electric bass: Pietro Sabatini
violin: Velemir Dugina

9. Dargai-Higlanders-Devil Among the Tailors 5'43
fiddle: Chris Hamblin
violin: Velemir Dugina
guitar: Pietro Sabatini

All titles are traditional except: *A. Breschi,**V. Dugina, ? S. Corsi, Daneo, P. Sabatini
Original cover by Andrea Mancini
Photos by S.Bambi e S.Rovai
Recorded by Etienne Duvai (Zurich) in December 1978 and Giuliano Giunti (Firenze) in March 1979
Editing and re-mastering in Firenze by Mario Fabiani at Idea-Suono Studios, in April 1998
Editions: Fanzines 1999
 
1. Sunrise-Morning Reel

It is the first example on how the creative impulse of today meets with the tradition blending into a new and dynamic form of expression, in which each of the two components maintains and enriches its vitality. The first part of this piece was developed by Antonio, Velemir and Pietro, and is followed by a traditional Irish tune.
 
2. Kimiad Ar Soudard Yaouank

This tune, previously recorded by Alan Stivell, belongs to the Breton tradition.
 
3. Winter's Night

In Winter's Night particular care was taken to find the right balance between this Irish lament and the instrumental arrangement on which it rests.The dramatic quality of the text is heightened by the contrast with the fiddle, the 12 string guitar, the piano, and the electric bass, which leads us to colours and sounds belonging to a more recent date than the one of the ancient lament, but not for this reason less dramatic.


It was in the month of January the hills were clad in snow
When over hills and valleys my own true love did go
It was there I spied a pretty fair maid with a salt tear in her eye
She held a baby in her arms and bitter did she cry
Oh cruel was my father that barred the door from me
And cruel was my mother this dreadful crime to see
And cruel was my own true love to leave me thus for gold
And cruel was that winter's night that pierced my heart with cold
For the taller that the pine tree grows the sweeter is the bark
And the fairer that a young man is the falser is his heart
He will kiss you and embrace you till he thinks he has you won
Then he'll go away and leave you all for another one
 
4. Piper's Maggot-Yellow Stockings-Apples in Winter

It is a medley consisting of two slip jigs and a reel, and is characterized by frequent changes of colour and of atmosphere, woven together by episodes developed by the group.
 
5. Miriana-Kitty's wishes

This track shows once again the continuity between tradition and present day creativity sought for by the group. The first tune is a composition by Velemir, in which his Slavic culture is underlined. The second tune is an Irish slow reel.
 
6. Johnny Lad

Johnny Lad is a lively love song belonging to the Scottish repertoire. The group first heard it in Ewan McColl and Peggy Seeger's version on a recording of Scottish ballads. The strathspey rhythm and the directness and simplicity of the text are quite typical of this form of ballad, and Giulia's voice is very appropriate for rendering its sprightly spirit.

Oh ken ye my love Johnny he is down upon the lea
And he's looking and he's ducking and his eye is watching me
He's looking and he's teasing me but his mien is not so bad
Can it ever going to be, tell me now Johnny lad
When the sheep are in the fold and the cows are in the byre
And every lad and lassie sitting round the roaring fire
There's me a wicked lassie just likes an hour mad
Through the nooks and barley stooks jinking you my Johnny lad
Oh Johnny is nea a gentleman and yet he is a Laird
But I would follow Johnny lad although he was a caird
Oh Johnny is a bonny lad he's e'en a lads of mine
And I never met a better lad to wed at twenty nine
 
7. Camooweal

Camooweal-Rainbow Snake consists of two original compositions of the group. Camooweal, in North Queensland, Australia, is Velemir's native land. The two tunes, rich in colour and simple in form, reflect the customs as well as the mythologies of that land, such as the Rainbow Snake, aboriginal symbol for the creation of the world.
 
8. Moll in the Wad-Hardiman the Fiddler

They are respectively a jig and a slip jig of the Irish tradition. The subdued yet suspended character of the first tune finds its resolution in the intensity and freedom of interpretation of the second, with trhe aid of such instruments as the soprano sax and the electric bass.
 
9. Dargai-Highlanders- Devil among the Tailors

It is a medley of Scottish tunes. Dargai is a pibroc, belonging to that repertoire of classical bagpipe tunes. It is common that these tunes be also played on the fiddle, in which case the fiddle borrows from the bagpipe's various techniques of playing and of embellishing. Chris' interpretation is a good example of this practice. Following up are a march and a reel.