Yn Chruinnaght 2015

The Isle of Man's folk music festival 'Yn Chruinnaght' or 'The Gathering' took place between the 15th and the 19th of July 2015. There were events happening all around the Isle of Man, with a particular focus around the festival's home in Peel, on the West coast of the island.

I had been invited to play with 'Chronicles' (the trumpet and organ duo featuring myself and David Kilgallon) in St. German's Cathedral in Peel on Wednesday 15th of July. This was for a concert called 'Kiaull'sy Voir-Agglish' in the Manx Gaelic language (or 'Music in the Cathedral' in English). The duo opened the concert and performed three new works and one additional work composed by David Kilgallon that had been newly re-arranged for trumpet and organ. The new pieces included a Vaughan-Williams-inspired fantasy on two Manx tunes, a Norwegian folk song in a contemporary style and a set of fast-paced Irish Polkas which involved an imitative introduction and coda section between the trumpet and the organ. The rest of the concert in the cathedral introduced the Mischa Macpherson Trio and Vladimir Stefanov & Ivelina Georgieva. After the concert there was further entertainment at the Creek in Peel - firstly from the Mollag band and then there followed a high-octane performance from the popular Manx band Mec Lir.

The festival continued throughout the week with memorable performances from all sorts of artists from the Isle of Man and from further afield. 

One of the highlights of the festival was the concert on Saturday 18th of July in Peel Centenary Centre. The concert saw the premiere of a piece that David Kilgallon had been commissioned to write, ahead of the Festival Interceltique du Lorient in August. The commission, entitled 'The Gathering' was a five-movement work by David Kilgallon which had been written as a celebration and collaboration of Celtic cultures, including musical ideas and performers from the Celtic nations. The piece was written in notation and scored for Piano, Accordion, Fiddle, Bouzouki, Drum Kit, Trumpet, Clarinet, Harp and voices. The piece will be performed again in Lorient. 

Piano - David Kilgallon
Voice - Lauren Chandler
Voice - Ruth Keggin
Voice - Lors Landat
Accordion - Thomas Moisson
Fiddle - Tom Callister
Bouzouki - Malcolm Stitt,
Drum Kit - Matt Creer
Trumpet - Russell Gilmour
Clarinet - Gilno Carswell
Harp - Rachel Hair

The commission was showcased at the end of the first half of a concert at Yn Chruinnaght and the concert also featured music and dancing from the Cornish group Keskowethyans. The second half involved a performance from the Duo Landat-Moisson. Lors Landat (vocals) and Thomas Moission (accordion) performed an excellent set which was a real crowd-pleaser. Toward the middle of their programme, they invited Chronicles on stage to participate in a Mazurka, which we basically learnt while on the stage. It was a brilliant and (thankfully) very catchy tune and it was a real joy to play with these fantastic musicians! 

Congratulations and thanks to all at Yn Chruinnaght 2015 for organising an excellent festival! I am looking forward to seeing everyone again at Festival Interceltique in Lorient where both the Isle of Man and Cornwall are the featured Celtic nations for the festival.
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