terça-feira, 27 de outubro de 2009


Biography by Craig Harris

The musical traditions of Scotland are fused with the dynamic drive and electronic instrumentation of contemporary music by Capercaille (pronounced: Kap-ir-kay-lee). While their initial repertoire focused on traditional tunes collected from Christine Primrose, Flora MacNeill and Na h'Oganaich, the group has increasingly incorporated modern influences. In a review of their 1999 album, To the Moon, Victor Arenas wrote, "It has been more than a decade of a constant evolution, of modelling their traditional past with those modern ingredients that have made of their music that for which no doubt they will be known in the future."

The inspiration for Capercaille was sparked in the early-1980s by high schools friendsKaren Matheson (grand-daughter of traditional Scottish vocalist Elizabeth MacNeill and a former member of a folk group, the Etives), and English-born/Scotland-raised keyboard player Donald Shaw. The original band included Scottish bodhran and whistle player Marc Duff (who had played in several bands with Shaw), fiddler and vocalist Joan MacLachlan, guitar and bouzouki player Shaun Craig, and bass and fiddle player Martin MacLeod. After building a reputation with local performances, the band recorded their debut album, Cascade, in a fast-paced, three day, recording session.

Capercaille has gone through numerous personnel changes with only Matheson, Shaw and Duff remaining from the original group. Shortly after British fiddler Charlie MacNeill replaced Elizabeth MacNeill in 1991, the band recorded their second album, Crosswinds, and embarked on their first American tour. Their earliest success came in 1988 with their commissioned soundtrack for a television series about the history of Gaelic Scots, The Blood Is Strong. A soundtrack album, introducing Irvine, Scotland-born bassist John Saich, sold more than 100,000 copies in Scotland and was reissued on cd in 1995.

With the addition of influential Irish bouzouki and guitar player and vocalist Manus Lunny in 1989, Capercaille became one of Celtic music's most repected ensembles. At the same time, they continued to reach to a much larger audience. With their fourth album, Sidewaulk, produced by Lunny's brother Donal, the band began to incorporate English-language lyrics. The group reached their creative peak with their fifth album, Delirium, in 1991. A ground-breaking fusion of traditional and modern influences, the album included "Coisich A Ruin," a four hundred year old song, that became the first Scots Gaelic song to reach the U.K. top 40 when it was used as the theme song for a British television show featuring Prince Charles, "A Prince Among Islands", and "Breisleach," which featured lyrics by Edinburgh-based poet Angus Dudb (Black Angus), and became the theme song of a Gaelic-language soap opera, "Machair."

In 1992, Capercaille released Get Out, featuring live tracks and tunes from earlier albums, and a video, Two Nights Of Delirium, that captured the band's live performances. Although their albums, Secret People, released in 1993, and Capercaille, released the following year, featuring new tunes and remixed versions of earlier material, were highly criticized for their overly-commercial sound. Capercaille's soundtrack for the film, Rob Roy was released in 1995, and the group rebounded with the impressive albums, To The Moon in 1996 and Beautiful Wasteland in 1997; Nadurra followed in 2000.


The original nucleus of Capercaillie, Karen Matheson (vocals), Donald Shaw (accordion, keyboards) and Marc Duff (whistles, percussion) met while at school in Oban, West Scotland. Karen learnt many of the traditional Gaelic songs that were to feature in Capercaillie's repertoire from her grandmother, a singer from Barra in the Outer Hebrides.

The band's first album, 'Cascade' was released in 1984. By the time of their third album, 'Sidewaulk' (released on the Green Linnet label in 1989) they had consolidated their reputation, helped by the success of 'The Blood Is Strong', featuring their music composed for a Channel 4 documentary about the Gaelic Scots in 1988. This was reissued in 1995 on a CD together with their music for an ITV documentary about the Prince of Wales' visit to the Outer Hebridean island of Berneray.

With producer Donal Lunny at the controls, the release of 'Delirium' in 1991 announced the arrival of the band to a wider audience whilst the 1992 album 'Get Out' hinted at their prowess in a live situation.

'Secret People' released in September 1993 developed their song-writing and instrumental sensitivity whilst 1994's 'Capercaillie' was conceived as a mix of world, Celtic and club beats with Soul II Soul producer Will Mowat.

In 1994 the band wrote much of the music for the feature film, 'Rob Roy' starring Liam Neeson and Jessica Lange.

'To The Moon' in 1995 was applauded as their finest album to date and received glowing reviews in the music press.

In 1996, Karen Matheson recorded her first solo album 'The Dreaming Sea' which featured the musical talents of James Grant in addition to assistance from band members who also involved themselves in several writing and production projects during this period.

In 1997 the band shipped their studio from Glasgow to the Andalucian Mountains and recorded 'Beautiful Wasteland'. This album featured Wilf Taylor and David 'Chimp' Robertson on drums and percussion respectively and introduced former BBC Young Musician of the Year Michael McGoldrick on flutes and whistles.

2000's 'Nadurra' marked a return to the band's roots with an infectious blend of the contemporary and Celtic that they do so well.

In May 2002 there was the welcome release of a live CD 'Capercaillie Live In Concert' recorded in January 2002 at the Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow.

The current line-up features Karen Matheson (vocals), Donald Shaw (accordion, keyboards), Manus Lunny (bouzouki, guitar, vocals), Charlie McKerron (fiddle), Michael McGoldrick (flutes, whistles, uillean pipes, bodhran), Ewen Vernal (bass), David Robertson (percussion) and Che Beresford (drums)

FONTE: www.themusicindex.com

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