'Last Picts' - Wyndsmyth & Friends
A different edge on traditional music…arranged, recorded & produced by R. Andropolis © 2004-2008
Instrumental performances by Randy Andropolis. Fiddle by Christi Andropolis.
Vocals by Ann Schieder, Elena Andropolis, Christi & Randy. Guest performances listed by selection.
Recording remixed, realized and mastered by Dave St. Onge at the Digital Barn, DMS Productions, Ransomville, New York.
Repeal of the Union – An Irish reel pushed to its limits. It opens with a couple of other tunes, one being obvious, and the other being an English tune called ‘Manage the Miser’.
Dalriada – An original Song about the ancient Celtic kingdom encompassing Antrim & Argyll, mirroring Heirloom’s 2000 tour of the area. All vocals are by Elena - with a touch of Christi near the end.
Hyd Y Frwynen – A Welsh Reel given some contemporary attitude. Victor Marwin joins me on bass guitar for the second half of this selection.
MacPherson’s Rant – A Scottish Song based on the true story of a rogue fiddler who composed this tune before he was executed. Vocals are by Ann, with Elena. Joe Malvestuto adds the haunting oboe at the end.
The Burning at Arthur’s Seat – Scottish Air/Strathspey – Burning of the Piper’s Hut and Arthur’s Seat.
Copperbroomed – Two combined Irish Reels: The Copper Plate and Down the Broom. This one is done mainly with synthesizers, except for some electric guitar and canary bells, an instrument made by Vic Marwin.
John Riley – An Irish/Appalachian Song with vocals by Ann. Our ‘broken token’ offering, this version was collected by Alan Lomax.
Rendevous at Dunblane – Scottish Reels given a rather schizoid multi-genre treatment: The Rendevous and Braes of Dunblane. Joe Brennen provided a drum track after the rest was recorded.
Three Old Hags & Dundee – Irish Slides and a Scottish Hornpipe. John Deerfield provides didgeridoo on an instrument he built. All the sounds in this one are organic – no synthesizers. The first part of the track is Old Hag in the Kiln with background of Hag at the Churn and Old Hag You Have Killed Me providing ambience. The second is Dundee Hornpipe.
A Bonnie Blaze – An Original Song telling the tale of Janet Horne, the last woman burned as a witch in Scotland, circa 1722. I tried to be as accurate as possible in recreating the actual events, a sad indictment of eighteenth century church and society. Vocals are by Ann & Elena. Sean Taylor of Northumberland provided the extraordinary Bass track.
A Bruxa Y Muineira – A Galician Air & Jig; Sean Taylor contributes Bass throughout and rhythm Guitar on Muineira de Chantada. David Newey also provides melody and lead Guitars on the second tune. Terry Dean kicks in with Concertina.
Kitty Magennis – An O’Carolan Reel. Bill Raffel, who has been extraordinarily generous to us with airplay over the years, joins Christi and I on C Whistle. This is one of the more traditional tracks, except for an evolving guitar part.
Sisters Two – A dark original song about some murderous Irish lasses. Vocals by Elena, Christi & Ann.
Pipe on the Hob – An Irish Jig played to a backbeat, wanting to give the supporting track a 50s beat generation coffeehouse feel.
Magowan & Friends – Irish Slipjigs, played pretty straight ahead, except for a few uncharacteristic things popping in and out. Friends Tim Daly on spoons and Melissa LaHood-Gould on fiddle round out the selection.
The Jolly Beggar – A new treatment of Child Ballad 279, ostensibly about Scot King James IV. Vocals by Ann. Joe Brennen again provides drums.
Laride A Six Temps – A Breton Dance in six different time signatures. Joe Malvestuto plays clarinet. Victor Marwin built the Pentarantor. There’s a bit of another recognizable tune buried in the mix near the end.
Go To Berwick – Scottish/Northumbrian Marches including Go To Berwick, Johnny and Captain Kennedy’s. Gary Ashby plays Electronic Bagpipes. Joe Malvestuto is on Saxes.
Wee Drap O’ Whisky – A Scottish drinking Song; Vocals by Ann, with Christi. David Newey contributes guitar, and Nick Jendrowski, bass. Our dear friend Keith Jones sadly passed away before opportunity to record. His Hammered Dulcimer part and solo is a reconstruction. It is to Keith’s memory this album is dedicated.
Scotch Poem – A tone poem by Edward MacDowell. I always thought this was a great sonic depiction of the sometimes tempestuous weather and tranquil beauty of the Scottish Highlands.
… and the extra (unlisted) track:
The Broken Pledge – A set of Irish and Scottish tunes, Christi and I performed this as part of Heirloom. With other unrecorded material selected for that group, it was the original basis for ‘Last Picts’. Now perhaps a bit of a rough and odd fit, it is included as an afterthought and keepsake - recorded many years ago and bringing things full circle.
‘Last Picts’ Instrumentation: Accordion, Acoustic & Electric Guitars, Appalachian Dulcimer, Autoharp, Banjos (tenor & 5-sting), Baritone Ukulele, Bass Guitar, Bouzouki, Clarinet, Concertina, Didgeridoo, Electronic Bagpipes, Electronic Piano (Yamaha P80), Fiddle, Glockenspiel, Hammered Dulcimer, Harmonica, Harp, Kalimba, Korg M1 Synthesizer, Korg M3R module, Mandolin, Melodeon, Melodica, Oboe, Octave Mandolin, Pentarantor, Percussion, Piano (Henry F. Miller Grand), Recorder, Sax (Alto & Baritone), Whistle, Xylophone and Zither. Percussion: Bells, Book & Candle, Bell Tree, Bodhran, Cabasa, Castanets, Chisel & Strainer, Claves, Cowbell, Cymbal, Drums, Dumbek, Finger Cymbals, Fingersnaps & pops, Frog (Sage rasp), Goat Nail Rattle, Gourd, Hazelnut Shells, Lamb Bone Rattle, Lap Drum & Brushes, Nailclipper, Pakastani Hand Drum, Pine Cones, Shaker Eggs, Spoons, Tambourine, Temple Blocks, Toothbrush & Sandpaper, Triangle, Tympani Toms and Vibraslap. Additional Effects: Analog Record Noise, Answering Machine, Bicycle Bell, Bottle-Cork & Glass, Bottleneck, Canary Bells, Distortion, Ebow, Flange, Match, Pan Flute, Pan in Water, Reverbs, Reversed Tracks, Rotary Speaker, Samba Whistle, Sheep & Birds, String Mutes, Wah and Wine Glasses.