The ‘Morenn’ project is the result of the meeting between Xavier Boderiou, Sylvain Barou and Jacques Pellen around the classical music of the Great Highland Bagpipes.
This kind of music is usually played solo. The challenge was to mix bagpipes (Xavier Boderiou), flute (Sylvain Barou) and guitars (Jacques Pellen).
This unique project combines these three instruments with a hint of experimental music around a centennial repertoire. The result is surprising, nebulous, vague…Morenn.
Many listeners over the years have found Piobaireachd a mystical music (which it is far from) and have tended to avoid listening to it. Perhaps it is lack of understanding of the structure of the music or not being turned on by the many variations which can sometimes be tedious if you are not a player.
Some pipers have talked about how the music can be brought to a wider audience of non players and there has been some recent movement in this area .
Morenn certainly will appeal to those who have shied away from Piobaireachd. It layers various instruments over the music and gives interest, breadth and dynamics which are not possible on one highland bagpipe. It is important to note that the piping on the album is piobaireachd played in a traditional way and not jazzed up in any way for the album. And played very well by Xavier too.
With no departure from the traditional phrasing, tempos, rhythms and technique of the tunes, first of all Sylvain and Jacques have to understand the music and it comes across loud and clear that they do. The various accompaniments are excellent in terms of depth and timing and never distract the listener from the melody.
This is a selection of some of the classic tunes of the repertoire.
As very much a tradionalist, I find I tend to listen to the piping on most albums featuring bagpipes, but I am most impressed by the overall effect here in Morenn. It gives the piobaireachd a truly different dimension and I hope it will please the traditionalists and attract some new fans at the same time.