- Waulking Song – “South Uist Folksong” Suite – Ronald Stevenson
- Dance No.6 from 6 Dances – Vassily Mokranjac
- A Scot in China – Eddy McGuire
- The Bonny Moorhen/The Sea is Red – Mary McCarthy, influenced by Eddie’s “A Scot in China”
- Dance no.2 – Vassily Mokranjac
- Dance No.3 – Vassily Mokranjac
South Uist Folksong Suite – Ronald Stevenson
- A Witching Song for Milking
- Spinning Song
- Christ Child Lullaby
- Nocturne for Novi Sad by Eddy McGuire
- Reflections on “Novi Sad” by Eddie McGuire – Mary McCarthy
Wheen Tunes for Bairns Tae Spiel – Ronald Stevenson
- Croon – leading into improvisation on Croon
- Balkan Dance No.4 – Marco Tajevic
- Reflections on “Oro” by Miroslav Statkic – Mary McCarthy
- Oro – Miroslav Statkic
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1. Waulking Song – “South Uist Folksong” Suite – Ronald Stevenson (b. 1928)
These are 4 songs from the “South Uist Folksong Suite” for Piano by Ronald Stevenson. The published
source is the book, “Folksongs and Folklore of South Uisf by Margaret Fay Shaw.
Ronald writes “In this suite sounds the music of a day in the life of an island woman, with its work and rest,
against the background of sky, sea and land’. Ronald Stevenson is known int ernat ionally as a pianist,
composer, w riter and Busoni authority. His ability to write beautifully for piano, is well-known, however,
few are aware of his gifts when focussing on pieces such as these folk songs.
2. Dance No. 6 from •7 Balkan Dances• – Marko Tajcevic (1900 – 1984)
3. A Scot In China – Eddie McGuire (b. 1948)
The pentatonic scale is the link here. Eddie is one of Scotland’s leading contemporary composers and a
founding member of ‘Whistle Binkies’ folk group. The Whist le Binkies were the f irst Scottish folk group
to be invited to China. Eddie links 6 Scottish folk tunes with 6 Chinese folk tunes.
4. The Bonny Moorhen/The Sea is Red – Mary McCarthy, influenced by Eddie’s “A Scot in China’.
5. Dance No. 2 from “6 Dances’ · Vassily Mokranjac (1923 – 1984)
6. Dance No. 3 from “6 Dances• – Vassily Mokranjac
South Uist Folksong Suite – Ronald Stevenson
7. A Witching Song for Milking
8. Spinning Song
9. Christ Child Lullaby
10. Nocturne for Nov Sad – Eddie McGuire.
Written in 1999, dedicated to the young Serbian pianist Natasa Srdic, from Novi Sad, who had won first
prize in the Rowena Ferguson Memorial Piano Competition in Edinburgh. This solo piano nocturne is one
of a set of 4 nocturnes, commissioned in 1999 (with funding from the Scottish Arts council) by the Chamber
group, “Mr. McFall’s Chamber’ I have performed this piece all over the world. Always, afterwards, people
come and tell me how much it moved them. It has t his effect on me each time I play it.
11.”Reflections on Novi Sad by Eddie McGuire” – Mary McCarthy.
Both Eddie and Ronald are close friends, as well as supporters of my philosophy of music; we have all
shared the same feeling of music being “one-world’, not separate worlds, the value and sustenance that
is there. for each genre, what music can do in our world today, the very important place the so-called
“amateur” has in the world of music.
“Nocturne for Novi Sad” with Ronald’s ‘Croon’ and Miroslav’s ‘Oro’ are three examples of what happens
when a musician such as I, has not only learned these contemporary pieces, but because they live in me
they now have their own ability to grow, comment and reflect on the original pieces.
“Wheen Tunes for Bairns Tae Spiel” (Scots/Doric, Little Tunes for Children to Play) – Ronald Stevenson.
Two of a set of 4 pieces composed when Ronald was Lecturer in Cape Town University, South Africa, in
1964, one year after w riting ‘ Passacaglia on DSCH”, an eighty-minute solo work for piano, based on
Dmitri Schostakovich’s musical monogram. I love the ‘Croon’ so much that I created a musical extension
of Ronald’s “Croon”.
12.Croon – leading into improvisation on Croon
13.Spiel – another pentatonic piece with a f eeling of the Highland Dances.
14.Balkan Dance No. 4 from ‘7 Balkan Dances’ – Marko Tajcevic
15.”Reflection on Oro by Mlroslav Statkic” · Mary McCarthy
Over the last nineteen years, I have been performing Oro, teaching it both at Conservatoire level and in
workshops, explaining the different time signatures, getting everyone clapping, stamping, counting,
analysing the harmonic element. explaining the background of the piece. Afterwards, or before, I would
sit quietly alone and live w ith Miroslav’s haunting sound-world. For this CD, I decided to give an idea of
where this profound harmonic choice could take one, how without the hypnotic rhythm, drawn from the
dance, the sound-world of calm, peace. could invoke melody from an Irish musician, simply because of
how it moves me.
16.Oro – Miroslav Statkic.
Miroslav Static is Professor of Composition at the Academy of Art in Novi Sad, Serbia. He is one of the
major composers in Serbia, w inning many prestigious awards and developing from a minimalist composing
style, to a sound-world with influences from the rich folk tradition in the Balkan countries, Jazz and no
doubt others too. Nineteen years ago, I was awarded a travel scholarship to Serbia and I had the great
privilege of meeting Miroslav. He told me that his desire when he composes is for the performers to really
feel the music.
Oro was written in 1989 and is a celebration of the astonishing variety of rhythms in the dance styles.
“Oro” dances are group dances and here Miroslav utilizes numerous variet ies of 11 /16, 10/16, 8/1 6, 7 / 16
and 9/16. The 11/ 16 selections have a very masculine feel, whereas the 9/16 sections (in all their different
rhythmic groupings) feel more like couples dances. There is one except!onal break, when I see a solo dancer
come to the party, and for a brief moment, stop all the energetic show ing off! Then we are back in action
and continue wildly and joyously to the end.
Since this album was completed Ronald Stevenson died in March 201 S. For over 20 years he has been my
close friend, mentor and teacher.
Permission to perform this mus,c has been generously granted by all concerned. Grateful acknowledgement
to all for this permission, Mary McCarthy.
Album dedicated to: Marina Milic Apostolovic, her parents – Seiika and Thoma Milic, Miroslav Statkic, and the
many people in Novi Sad who gave me so much 19 years ago.