Whalebone and The Peacock’s Cry, by Sarah

Earlier this year, I was introduced to Richard Snell, the fiddler, storyteller and prolific composer of folk tunes, through Genevieve Tudor of BBC Shropshire’s Sunday Folk programme. A one-time member of The Critics’ Group with Ewan McColl and Peggy Seeger amongst others, Richard had just put together a volume called Madman’s Jig featuring seventy-odd of his own fiddle tunes together with the stories behind them, and since he currently isn’t performing was keen for the tunes to get out into the world and be spread about by other musicians. I subsequently played several on Sunday Folk and heard from Richard just this week that he has run out of the current print run of the book. Great news!

Some of the most beautiful of Richard’s tunes are his airs, of which he has written a significant number, and I had a very hard time choosing between them for the radio session. Afterwards, Richard and I sat in the BBC Shropshire kitchen (lovely acoustics for fiddles!) and he asked me to play some of the other airs in the book for him. One of these, The Peacock’s Cry, rather got lodged in my brain so I subsequently played it for Steve and Char and one rather lovely arrangement by Steve and an emergency dash to procure windchimes later we’ve recorded it. We hope Richard likes it! It will be interesting to see how our arrangement compares with the version he’s had in his head all this time. As you’d expect, Char has painted the most gorgeous peacock for the cover (you do know she did ALL the artwork on Three Fires? Not to mention every other bit of graphic design to do with Whalebone – she’s AMAZING) and we’re really excited about the whole thing! It’s a rather different kind of Whalebone sound, and we really enjoyed putting it together.

The Peacock's Cry Whalebone - Sleeve Cover

Richard is currently making some revisions to Madman’s Jig and will hopefully have more available soon. Copies can be obtained by contacting him through his Facebook Page. In the meantime, we hope you like our version of The Peacock’s Cry.

Listen to The Peacock's Cry - Whalebone


July 15, 2011 @06:30 pm
beautifully sad, what are the tinkly glass sounding effects at the end?
July 12, 2011 @05:34 pm
listen to this - a beautiful piece of music, beautifully played.

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