McFarlane turns to one of his earliest musical influences
…and the music of his ancestors
Ronn's new album of traditional Irish & Scottish folk music, The Celtic Lute, is now available for purchase (as digital download or as physical CD) from multiple online retailers and for streaming on multiple platforms.
"I’ve always loved this music. In the early 1980s I began performing and recording Scottish music, since there is a written repertory of Scottish tunes written out for the lute in a number of manuscripts dating from the 17th century. But alas, there is no repertory of Irish lute music. Yet there is an obvious sympathy between the music of Ireland and Scotland, so I undertook to make arrangements of some of my favorite Irish and Scottish tunes that had never quite made it into the historical lute repertory. (An oversight, I’m sure.)
The harp music of Turlough O’Carolan often fits the lute amazingly well, and the traditional Scottish and Irish dance music can also be a good fit, though one needs to choose the tunes with care. The arrangements of Scottish music found in the Balcarres Lute Book (compiled around 1700) make a great example of how to arrange popular melodies and dances for the lute. I used that as my model when I started out on this project."
“For the latest album in his already rich discography, Ronn McFarlane takes us on a musical journey to Ireland and Scotland, highlighting both the vivacity and delicacy of the lute.”
WCRB, Classical Radio Boston
“Banish Misfortune,” a traditional jig from Ireland, is one of those tunes that seems to have been around forever. I can’t remember when I first heard it; it was just always there. The tune was first published in the 19th century, but who knows how many generations it was passed down through the oral tradition before it found its way into print?
I’ve heard versions of “Banish Misfortune” on fiddles, tin whistles, banjo, guitar, accordion, mandolin, nykelharpa, bagpipes and full Celtic bands. It’s high time for the lute to have a fling at this great old tune!
“Ronn McFarlane has the strength of heart, knows the beat of the Celtic soul, both past and present.”
Christie Grimstad, ConcertoNet.com