Cello /flute / guitar slowish tunes for background music

Cello /flute / guitar slowish tunes for background music

I’ve (cello) been asked to play background music for a hospice breakfast fundraiser. I have flute- and guitar-playing friends.

I’m looking for a nice set of melodic, medium-slow, but not dirge-like Celtic tunes we can play while people eat breakfast. Tunes where the cello can play long notes under the flute melody and guitar rhythm are ideal.

Here’s an idea of what we do already:

Mothers of St. Ann’s
Marnie of the Grey Coast
Miss Rowan Davies
Josefins

Any other suggestions?

Cheers!

Re: Cello /flute / guitar slowish tunes for background music

Should be Marnie Swanson

Re: Cello /flute / guitar slowish tunes for background music

Si Beag Si Mor
Da Slockit Light
Christ Church Cathedral
The pace is up to you, not to make them "dirge-like"!
All would, I think sound nice with that combination of instruments, and I have all three with slightly more interesting parts for cello than just playing long notes.

Re: Cello /flute / guitar slowish tunes for background music

Chuffed you’re playing one of my tunes.
You could also try The Rose of St Magnus by Ivan Drever.

Re: Cello /flute / guitar slowish tunes for background music

Trish already mentioned Si Bheg Si Mhor, just about any of O Carolan’s compositions would suit. There are some lovely Scots/Shetland tunes, Hector the Hero, The Old Resting Chair , Neil Gow’s Lament for his Second Wife, to name but a few.

Re: Cello /flute / guitar slowish tunes for background music

I’m in a trio that has drawn up a number of two- and three-part arrangements - some our own, others from elsewhere - of (mostly) traditional tunes. They’re open to anyone who’s interested and can be found on our website at: http://www.rudemex.co.uk/library.html.

Slowish ones include ‘Brink of the White Rocks’, ‘La Burette’, ‘Ecoliers de St Genest’, ‘Faraway Waltz’, ‘Leaving Lerwick Harbour’, ‘Louis Waltz’, ‘Mrs Saggs’, ‘Old Resting Chair’, ‘Rose of Allandale’, ‘Vals a Lulu’, ‘Vinden’ … . Have a browse: you might find something that fits what you want. (There are quite a few Scandinavian tunes with two or three parts in their own category, many of which haven’t been copied into the ‘Arrangements’ folder).

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Re: Cello /flute / guitar slowish tunes for background music

When I’m doing background it’s similar to what people have posted: Carolan, Irish songs, and waltzes.

Often it’s just me, or myself and a guitarist, or myself and harpist.

The nicest sound for lovely background music was when we had a group uilleann pipes/fiddle/guitar/harp/cello.

I play, what 20 or so Carolan pieces including

Planxty Burke
Carolan’s Quarrel with the Landlady
Carolan’s Fancy
Carolan’s Draught
Carolan’s Welcome
Fanny Power
Elanor Plunkett
Hewlett
Give Me Your Hand (not Carolan)
Planxty O Flynn
Lord Inchiquin
Planxty Irwin

Then there are loads of Irish songs that sound great instrumentally such as

Fields of Athenry
For Ireland I’d Not Tell Her Name
Spailpin a Ruin (done in tempo, not in the sean nos style)
Four Green Fields
Sally Gardens
The Last Rose of Summer
The Town that I Loved so Well
Star of the County Down (in waltz time)
etc

And non-Carolan instrumental pieces, waltzes and other slow pieces, such as

The Pretty Young Maid Milking her Cow
Ashokan Farewell
Crested Hens
Nancy’s Waltz
Penobscot Memory (lovely and not often heard)
Purple Heather (lovely Scottish tune rarely heard)
The Sun in the Stream (Enya)

Re: Cello /flute / guitar slowish tunes for background music

If it were me I would buy Catriona Rowsome’s complete O’Carolan book if you’re good readers. The bass clef is almost like Bach figured bass. I think the arrangements would sound wonderful with cello playing the low part. It moves around and is not constantly on the root. Much better than just playing long root notes I think. The book itself is well worth having for anyone. The music is perfect for what you describe.

Re: Cello /flute / guitar slowish tunes for background music

It defies tradition, but some reels and jigs sound pretty as can be at a leisurely pace. Try "The Rose in the Heather," "Calliope House," "Fred Finn’s," or "The Wind that Shakes the Barley."

Re: Cello /flute / guitar slowish tunes for background music

"Eddie Moloney’s Favourite" would probably work well - it’s a reel but works played slowly and especially on the flute; Altan put a lovely version of it after Dobbin’s Flowery Vale on one of their (earlier?) albums.

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Re: Cello /flute / guitar slowish tunes for background music

O’Carolan’s Concerto can be slowed down a bit for background music. Just about any of the Airs are suitable. Have your guitarist try differing rhythms within a song, while the cello and flute carry the melody, the guitarist can emphasize different beats through their playing to subtly change the feel of the piece. I used to do that a lot with Christmas Carole, it can give the song a lift without being too obvious.