Friday, 14 October 2011 7.30 pm in Cairns Church


Piano Trio No.1 (Half Told Tales)
Alasdair Nicolson

1. Grey Dawn
2. Stolen
3. To the dark hill
4. Ghost lullabies
5. Danced below the moon
6. Twilight shadows

This series of short movements takes as its starting point tunes from old Gaelic lullabies. The subject matter of these lullabies is often magical and macabre with loss and disappearance, supernatural malevolence, murders and deaths being the cautionary tales used to send a child to sleep. The supernatural fairy world appears a great deal - in Gaelic tradition fairies are seen as dangerous, willful and vengeful beings from the spirit world. Each individual title here hints at a tale in progress although much is left to the imagination and there is only a glimpse on a world, a momentary encounter with an ongoing tale that is just as quickly dissolved back into nothing. The songs I have used are short and mesmeric with repetitive patterns used to achieve the desired result of lulling a child to sleep and I have used the soundworld, ornamentation and patterning of fiddle and pipe music to colour the simple melodic shapes which I have extracted from the original melodies. ŠAlasdair Nicolson 2011