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Chris Stout's Brazilian Theory - Live in Concert (Chris Stout Music)

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The annual Celtic Connections Festival in Glasgow, which kicks off the UK festival calendar prides itself on bringing together diverse musical forms with often interesting results. In 2010 Shetland fiddler Chris Stout (Fiddler's Bid/McKay and Stout) teamed up with regular musical partner and harpist Catriona McKay, together with Brazilian guitarist Carlinhos Antunes and Swiss-born violinist/saxophonist Thomas Rohrer to perform some of the music originally explored in Sao Paulo in 2003 with Orquestra Scotland Brasil. Stout's yearning to return to Brazil in order to further explore in more detail the collaborative potential between his own traditional fiddle roots and Roher’s traditional Rabeca, the Brazilian equivalent, saw the formation of Quarteto Original, from which much of this recording is inspired. With the help of Ian Stephenson on guitar and melodeon, Rui Barossi and Neil Harland sharing double bass duties and Martin O'Neill on bodhran, the musicians congregated at Glasgow's City Halls for a memorable concert featuring music composed by Stout, Antunes, Rohrer and Gabriel Levy. Captured in full flight by Niall Macaulay, the Latin rhythms are plentiful, particularly on the opening Latina, a piece composed by Antunes dedicated to the Argentinean mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, which brings the struggles against military dictatorship to life in music. The cascading fiddle and rabeca sparring captured in Baiao de Cinco demonstrates an almost organic liaison with the traditional music of two continents. With dual language sleeve notes, the handsomely bound album captures just one night of innovative music, which further confirms Stout's credentials as a fine collaborator and innovator in experimental traditional Scottish music.   

Allan Wilkinson
Northern Sky