Following the tremendous success of Lisa O’Neill’s Heard A Long Gone Song LP, River Lea is excited to be releasing the debut album by exceptional Skye musician Brighde Chaimbeul (a Scottish Gaelic name pronounced Bree-CHU (as in “church”) Campbell). The Reeling was recorded live without overdubs in the historic East Church in Cromarty, on the Black Isle. These largely traditional Scottsh and Bulgarian tunes were performed by Brighde on the Scottish smallpipes (with the additton of an ancient harmonium found in the church). She was joined on the recording by violinist Aidan O’Rourke from experimental folk trio Lau, who also produced the album, Radie Peat from the Dublin band Lankum on concertina, and the pioneering 82-year-old singer and piper Rona Lightfoot contributing canntaireachd (a phonetic singing tradition used to teach pipe tunes- the word means “chanting” in Gaelic). Hearing Rona play gave Brighde her initial inspiration to take up piping when she was just four years old (she began studying the instrument three years later.)
Working closely with Aidan O’Rourke, Brighde has devised a completely new way of arranging for pipe music that emphasises the rich textural drones of the smallpipes; the constancy of sound that creates a trance-like quality in the tunes. While the recording process, overseen by Iain Hutchison, allowed for every integral breath, click and creak of the instrument and its surroundings to become part of that sound. The result is an album that’s uniquely beautiful, exhilarating and strange.