Mudcat Café message #2985211 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #131772   Message #2985211
Posted By: Anne Neilson
12-Sep-10 - 03:39 PM
Thread Name: Ray Fisher - Glasgow, 12th September
Subject: RE: Ray Fisher - Glasgow, 12th September
Well, today was the day and very special it was too!
We started with Adam McNaughton "interviewing" Ray about her musical background (some very operatic snatches of 'O Sole Mio') and influences, including the late Norman Buchan and, of course, Jeannie Robertson. We also had diversions into primary teacher- training in Glasgow and the extraordinary effect when siblings sing together -- starting in the same key semi-automatically, and falling into the same phrasing.
Then we had some lovely tunes from Colin on the Northumbrian pipes (and some very nostalgic singing along from those in the audience of a vintage to recognise an old Scots song like 'The Rowan Tree'). But lest anyone think we were in danger of becoming maudlin, three Fisher sisters (Joyce, Cindy and Cilla) took the stage to lead us through a couple of fine, rhythmic traditional songs. And Archie had also showed up to make his usual very tuneful contribution, including a song about old pals and past influences and a lovely version of 'Annie Laurie' (we were in Laurie's Bar!) which had the whole company singing along very quietly and sweetly.
And in the middle of this Fisher extravaganza, Ray took to the stage to give us all the background to her version of 'Willie's Lady' (Child no. 6) -- finding a Breton melody that she and Martin Carthy could fit to the only, tune-less text (just the kind of thing we have explored at past ballad workshops). Because she had previous doubts about her voice holding out for an 8 minute ballad, she had organised a CD player and the most special part of the afternoon for me was when she mimed along with her own singing, complete with appropriate and moving gestures.
The event continued with songs from the floor, with some mighty chorus singing, and when I left at almost 5 o'clock (after a 1 o'clock start) there was every indication of an ongoing sing-around.
Ray and Colin had left slightly before the end of the formal part of the afternoon in order to drive back home but, although she may have been a bit tired she seemed energised by being among family and friends. (Those of you who know Ray's performance style will understand what I mean when I say that her left leg was 'hitching' to the beat!)
A lovely, lovely afternoon from a lovely lady aiming to be - as we would say in Glasgow - back "on her totty"!