Ronn's professional discography spans nearly 30 years on the Dorian and Sono Luminus recording labels. In addition to his many CDs, Ronn has also produced books and videos related to the lute and its music.
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The Celtic Lute includes new arrangements of music by Irish composer Turlough O'Carolan, as well as other popular Irish and Scottish folk tunes. This album represents a new take on these pieces, some of which have previously been recorded by Celtic music legends like The Chieftains and The Bothy Band.
Historically the lute player and the composer of lute music were one and the same. Ronn McFarlane has returned to that time, with this dazzling and beautiful recording of his own compositions for the lute.
"The first time I picked up a lute was at a local music store," says Ronn McFarlane. "I'd been studying guitar, and I'd already learned a lot about the lute, so I was surprised to discover how awkward it was to hold and how disappointing and difficult it was to try to play."
Little is known of the earliest history of the Lute in Scotland, though it was clearly an important instrument for centuries before the first lute manuscripts appeared.
The revival of the lute and its repertoire in the later twentieth century has been so thorough that it is difficult now to remember how much a "distant shore" the instrument seemed to musicians even a few generations ago.
The title Between Two Hearts symbolizes the magnetic pull between the hearts of a pair of dancers, and especially the music connecting these hearts.
When first conceiving this recording, I imagined myself as a first time listener to the lute. I have tried to bring together a collection of pieces that capture some of the variety and range of styles of the Renaissance lute.
John Dowland stands out as the most tuneful Elizabethan lute composer. Whether creating tunes for dances, variatons on popular ballads or weaving a contrapuntal fantasia, his melodies lodge in the memory and resound there long after the music has stopped.