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Latest  MUSIC & VIDEOS

STRANGE TIMES
Strange Times was written in the year 2020 – thus the title. Musicians need to “play out,” as
we say; to share the gift of music with the public, live and in person. This is my take on being
“all dressed up with nowhere to go,” ready and eager to perform, but being stuck inside to play
to my four walls, and gradually feeling slightly crazed as a result.
Many musicians composed something at this time to express the varied emotions and struggles
they were experiencing. I tried to achieve my expression of intense restlessness through
various musical constructs.


The intro is a somewhat ominous, almost bluesy ostinato pattern on the piano, doubled with
upright bass, played by Larry Steen, and soon joined by the intricate rhythmic workings –
almost melodic at times – of Chris Wabich. The flute enters with a simple, elegant melody,
harmonized on the second pass, and ending with a turn on an unexpected Picardy third, adding
a strange emotional twist.


What follows is a series of flute improvisations over the ostinato pattern -- the repeated
pattern representing the monotony of life in lock-down, while the flute improvisations tell the
story of rising emotions in reaction to this “imprisonment.” The first set of improvisations is
tame enough – jazzy and sophisticated without being too showy, a musician playing to pass the
time. After the reprise of the harmonized melody, a new series of improvs is embarked upon
by the flute, getting wilder and crazier on each pass, finally ending on a fade of frenzied runs
and licks, indicating that there’s no respite, and no end in sight. The flutist is going mad!


Susan Craig Winsberg

August 2023

MUSIC

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  1. The Gathering Dusk

Susan Craig Winsberg & Sean Michael Clegg & Luanne Homzy

July 10, 2020

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  1. Sea-Longing (Ionndrainn-mhara)

  2. The Month of January

  3. The Gathering Dusk

  4. Bonny Portmore

  5. The Soldier’s Song (Òran an t-Saighdear)

  6. La Belle Dame sans Merci

  7. Doun In Yon Banke

  8. Spell of Creation

  9. Shadow

  10. My Fair Darling (Mo Mhúirnín Bán)

  11. When I Am Dead, My Dearest

  12. Richmond’s Passage

Featured Musicians:
Susan Craig Winsberg – flutes, pennywhistles, recorders
Susan McKeown, Molly Pasutti, Kathleen Fisher – vocals
Lisa Lynne Franco – celtic harp
Stephanie Bennett – pedal harp, celtic harp
Jay Ansill – guitar
Sean Michael Clegg – guitars, mandolin, bouzouki
Larry Steen – double bass
Stephanie Fife – cello
Novi Novog – viola
Michael Eagan – archlute
Denise Briesé – viola da gamba, violone
Jim McGrath – percussion
Mike Bruno – didgeridoo
John McLean Allan – Deger pipes
Aloke Dutta – tabla, tamboura

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I would like my listeners to know that I feel the utmost reverence for the poets whose works I used to create songs, and that any changes I made to the text, be it omissions or additions, were due entirely to musical considerations. I hope you and the poets will forgive me. — Susan Craig Winsberg

 

For those interested in flutes, Susan played on a couple noteworthy instruments: a 10-key, cocuswood flute, Rudall & Rose (London), c.1835 (from the collection of Rick Wilson of Pasadena, California); and an Edward Almeida modern flute with a boxwood headjoint made by Howel Roberts of Munich, Germany.

 

Dedicated to the memory of Kathy Richmond-Baxter and Jeffrey Richmond, my great aunt and uncle from Scotland who both recently passed away.

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  1. How Sweet I Roam’d
    Susan Craig Winsberg, words by William Blake

  2. Love Lilt (trad. Scottish)
    (An Ghille Dubh Cìardubh)

  3. Black Is the Colour of My True Love’s Hair
    (trad. Scottish/Appalachian)

  4. Adieu Dundee/Hame, Hame, Hame
    (trad. Scottish)

  5. 1000 Curses on Love – Set (trad. Scottish)

  6. Mìle Marbhaisg air a’ Ghaol

  7. Buain na Rainich/Fosgail an Dorus

  8. Siuthadaibh Bhalachaibh/Hi Ho Somhairle

  9. Hebridean Medley (trad. Scottish)
    Aodann Strathbhàin/Bràigh Loch Iall/Aignis air a’ Machair

  10. My Bonnie Wee Lamb (trad. Scottish)

  11. ‘Tis the Lark
    Susan Craig Winsberg

  12. Child of the Seals
    Susan Craig Winsberg

  13. Died For Love (trad. English)

  14. Loch Broom Love Song (trad. Scottish)

Musicians:

Susan Craig Winsberg ~ flutes, whistles
Christa Burch ~ vocals
Kathleen Fisher ~ vocals
Megan Buchanan ~ vocals
Laura Browne-Sorenson ~ vocals, bodhrán
John McLean Allan ~ guitar
Sean Harkness ~ guitar
Stephanie Bennett ~ pedal harp, celtic harp
Stefanie Fife ~ cello
Peggy Baldwin ~ cello
Tom Tally ~ viola
Eric Gorfain ~ violin, baritone violin, mandolin
Larry Steen ~ double bass
Steve Foreman ~ percussion
Richard Cook ~ uilleann pipes

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  1. Johnnie Cope / John Anderson, My Jo

  2. Ned Of The Hill

  3. Great Is My Sorrow As I Steer The Boat

  4. MacCrimmon’s Lament

  5. Loch Lomond / Will Yo No’ Come Back Again

  6. The Haughs Of Cromdale

  7. The Tree Song

  8. The Tiree Love Song

  9. Oh, My Love Is Like A Red, Red Rose

  10. The Skye Boat Song

  11. Maurie’s Wedding / John Highlandman

  12. My Lagan Love

  13. She Moved Through The Faire

  14. Women Of Ireland

  15. Blackwaterside

Musicians:
Susan Winsberg – flute, piccolo, alto flute, bass flute
Kathleen Fisher – vocals
Maureen Brennan – celtic harp
James Robinson – steel-string guitar
Daniel Roest – nylon-string guitar
Charles Jewett – cello
Chris Caswell – percussion
Millicent Craig Winsberg – accordion

Recorded, mixed & mastered at: Vista Sound, Monte Sereno, CA Additional mastering at: Digiprep, Los Angeles, CA.
Engineer: Timm Burleigh
Producer: Susan Winsberg
Co-producer: James Robinson
Production Consultant: Dan Wyman
Graphic Artist: Laurie Dietter
Cover photo by: Joakim Häggström
Back photo by: David Sturgis.

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All arrangements by Susan Winsberg. “My Lagan Love” based partly on an arrangement by Hamilton Harty.

This recording is dedicated to my mother, Millicent Craig Winsberg, whose rich cultural heritage has provided me with endless inspiration.

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  • Apple Music
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  1. Scottish Wedding / Blythe and Merry / Ailie Bain o’ the Glen

  2. Ned of the Hill

  3. Haughs of Cromdale / Donald MacGillavry / Came Ye O’er Frae France

  4. The Month of January

  5. The Gathering Dusk

  6. Jigs: Tom Billy’s / The Langstern Pony

  7. Harvesting the Bracken (Buain na Rainich) / Open the Door (Fosgail an Dorus)

  8. MacCrimmon’s Lament

  9. Mairi’s Wedding / John Highlandman

  10. Blind Mary / Polkas: Dennis Murphy’s / Sean Ryan’s

  11. Skye Boat Song

  12. Bonnie Charlie’s Now Awa’

  13. John Anderson, My Jo / Johnnie Cope

  14. A Thousand Curses on Love (Mille Marbhaisg air a’ Ghaol)

  15. Bonny Portmore

  16. Flow Gently, Sweet Afton / The Ewie wi’ the Crooked Horn / Bonnie Laddie, Highland Laddie

  17. Hunting the Hare / Jigs: Maid On the Green / Legacy Jig

Audiences are inevitably impressed and greatly entertained by the uniqueness and originality of a Blackwaterside Celtic music performance. The Blackwaterside band features Susan Craig Winsberg on flutes and whistles and outstanding vocalist and bodhrán player Christa Burch, accompanied by the talented Sean Michael Clegg on guitar and multi-instrumentalist Tim Blair on percussion, recorders and whistles.

Blackwaterside recently released their first band CD entitled “Blythe and Merry — Blackwaterside Live in Concert,” on the Craig Records label. This CD features selections from the San Diego Folk Heritage concert performed in Encinitas, California, on October 22, 2011. It takes the listener on a musical journey through Celtic lands, embracing the contrasting lightness and depth of this rich musical tradition. “Blythe and Merry” truly exemplifies the spirit of the band Blackwaterside.

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