Report of 30th Meeting: 8 June, 2019

Torrential rain doubtless encouraged a few absences, but there was enough of a quorum for some playing and discussion, making this a very enjoyable meeting indeed.

Rob MacKillop got the ball rolling, as he often does – this time on a borrowed lute – with a couple of beautiful Scottish pieces from the Straloch manuscript: A Port and I Long For Thy Virginitie. Rob played with great feeling, making the instrument sing sweetly.

Stewart Mcluckie introduced his new Busato 11c lute, and proceeded to play good renditions of three pieces for beginners from Miguel Serdoura’s Method: two minuets and Les Tricotine. The baroque lute is not an easy instrument to feel instantly at home on, but Stewart seemed unconcerned with that, bringing out a lovely tone. We look forward to the return of the instrument.

Chris showing his new technique…

Chris Jupp presented a mini recital, much to everyone’s pleasure. He started with a rarely-heard arrangement of Dowland’s famous Lachrimae, this one signed CK. A Fantasie and Fuga followed by Maffon, which I had never heard before. Likewise a Ballo Polaco dance. To finish off, Chris gave a beautiful rendering of Dowland’s setting of the folk song, Robin Is To Greenwood Gone. As Rob MacKillop mentioned, one of the pleasures of coming to SLEGS meetings these many years is to see the progression of Chris’s playing. Keep it up Chris, and we’ll be buying CDs from you afore long.

Bill showing his air-guitar technique…

Bill Samson played a self-made cedar-top Torres-style guitar, which sounded beautiful. The repertoire by Calatayud included a Bulerias, a Fandanguillo, and a Soleá. The composer had lessons when a young boy from Francisco Tárrega, and it was easy to discern the 19th-century approach to these flamenco titles. Bill gave a fine performance, with not a little fire and nuance.

Occasional SLEGS attendee, Pav Verity, brought an unusual instrument for our perusal: a Milanese mandolin, complete with six single strings and a scalloped fretboard. Very interesting, though we could have done with a performance – next time, Pav!

Rob MacKillop gave a short demonstration of right-hand technique for baroque lute, and the importance of having the bass fundamentals higher off the soundboard than the octave pairings.

Rob also mentioned his new album of 19th-century Spanish music between Sor and Tárrega, played on a 19th-century Spanish guitar. Details here:

Bill Samson made two announcements: a Lute Society stall promoting the lute should be staffed by SLEGS members for the visit of the BMG (Banjo Mandolin and Guitar) Federation Festival to Edinburgh in 2020. See this website for details:

…and a Glasgow school is looking for lutes for their pupils’ Early Music ensemble.

Cheeky B&W photos by Rob, sensible colour photos by Bill.



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