Behind The Tracks: MIGLIORI AMICI & CO. - Glasgow Reel (Single) (2022)

I heard a modern version of Glasgow Reel at the movie premier for "Dancing Joy".

It was Fall of 2020, outdoor events were just starting up as we hoped Covid was done, so the premier was outside on a field with a 6-foot-between-blankets rule. The movie "Dancing Joy" featured Beethoven's entire 9th Symphony from start to finish with traditional dance from 21 cultures filmed around the world choreographed to match this masterpiece. All the international dance troupe's choreography was arranged to match the symphony, by Momo Suzuki's son, Kevin Mooney, who now leads the Japanese Folk Dance Institute of NY. Some folks might know I've done a lot of work in Asia and specifically Japan, and many of my collaborations including that with Yutaka Imaizumi, founder of Sukeroku Taiko have come through my connection to this NYC Japanese dance company. But I digress. Before the movie started there was a live show featuring live performances of both traditional Japanese and Irish dance. The Lynn Academy of Irish Dance performed an incredible set of some awesome jigs & reels, bringing me right back to my time spent in Ireland & Scotland. One song in particular arranged in a pop jazz style but featuring a blazing fiddle melody caught my ear. The moment I heard it, I knew it would be a challenge to perform that fiddle melody on the guitar. I thought if I could nail it, at that same tempo (fingers crossed), I could arrange a killer prog version of it for the Migliori Amici & Co. collaboration already in the works. I was stoked! After the Irish set concluded I walked over to the choreographer, doubling as DJ via her iPhone, and asked her to if i could look through her set to try to figure out which song had captured my imagination. We couldn't figure it out, so I took a photo of her play list and set about finding and listening to all the songs listed. It didn't take long, as I found that Glasgow Reel appeared to be quite the famous traditional dance and fiddle song. When I played the version I had heard for Michael he immediately was all in. So I proceeded to arrange the tune in a prog rock fashion while also paying homage to the traditional acoustic flavor of its Celtic heritage. Thus I also programmed the main keyboard solo sound to be close to that of the Irish tin whistle. Since this is a traditional melody that is often taught in jam sessions in Irish and Scottish pubs, there were many different melodies subtlety different from one other. I wound up combining a few of the variations that I really liked, charting out that melody and sending it off to Ralph Merigliano, who was going to play keyboards on this track, doubling the guitar in places. I also created the sound scape and performed the keyboards in the intro to set the stage for the band kicking in with the syncopated accents I had composed. There was a moment, when I first started working on the melody, after realizing that it was a bit challenging, that I thought I might have to do a duet with a fiddler in order to capture the nuance of the melody. But after shedding it for a week, every night bumping up the metronome, I was able to nail it at the appropriate tempo. The result is a cover that I am very proud to have arranged and Michael, Mark and Ralph did a great job bringing it to life.

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