The third EP in the Quarterdays series is out on the 1st of the August – Lammas. Scottish fiddle player/ composer Gavin Marwick continues his musical exploration of the lore and history of the old Scots quarter days, this time in the company of his partner Ruth Morris and her nyckelharpa. Gav and Ruth are no strangers to working together; they have both been in many musical projects including Firelight Trio, Journeyman and Bellevue Rendezvous.
Lammas is a celebration of the rich connection between humanity and the land, and it heralds the beginning of the harvest. It is a time of plenty in all things. Galas, games (races, wrestling, competing by skill and strength), markets, feasting; there is joy and festivities a-plenty. Lammas itself refers to the first new grains of harvest being baked into loaves and cakes. Traditions include visiting holy wells; climbing hills; special bonfires and the ‘saining’ – purifying and protecting – of livestock, house and home with smoke, fire, water and invocations.
The fiddle and nyckelharpa combine to evoke the earth and the landscape, the labour in the fields and the bursting energy of the season. The two instruments are a great fit tonally, harmonically and rhythmically, whether it’s the faster, fiery moments of the Tannel, or the more reflective moments, like Those Who Seek The High Places. They continually swap leads between melody, drones, harmony and accompaniments. This EP features new compositions that include tunes like reels, schottisches and airs – and other tunes that are stylistically freer.
“Superbly expressive fiddler” – Songlines
“Really impressive… 12 entrancing new tunes, superbly written in the traditional style” – FolkWales on Whitsun
“It’s a lovely, fresh collection of tunes, all beautifully arranged.” – John Murray, BBC Radio Nan Gaidheal, on Candlemas
“First quarter excellent and highly recommended, can’t wait for the others” – Marc Higgins, Fatea, on Candlemas