Over the Hills and Far Away

  1. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Another one that I was sure already existed on the Other Tunes list.
    On TheSession they say it’s generally a barndance, and I did play like that at first and then the mood of this place took over.
    (Only 70 yards down the track there’s a stand of mature Douglas firs with birds singing, well a noisy place, but here the trees are younger and silent with an area next door that I think was Christmas trees... )
    Boya MM1 microphone on a long 5 metre cable with an iphone 6.

  2. Frithjof
    That seems to be a quiet place which would suit me too: Free view to the landscape. The play of light and shadow between the trees. Urban noises far away. Only the birds and the wind which moves the leaves and the smaller twigs of the trees. Nice to add some tender timbres from your instrument – no reason to play like punk band.
  3. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Lovely setting and you get the tune to suit the mood of the place so well, Simon. This tune was the theme of a tv series we had here in the UK called Sharpe. It was about a troop of British soldiers during the Napoleonic Wars and their unconventional officer, played by Sean Bean.
  4. Ginny Aitchison
    Ginny Aitchison
    Yes, I have always liked this song, Simon did a great job....John - it is en route to your inbox..a possible collaboration..do you have a drum set at home?? Or pipes?
  5. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Got your mail, Ginny. Looks promising as a collaboration.
  6. Gelsenbury
    The combination of tune, playing style, visual setting and birdsong is just perfect. It's one of those recordings one cannot plan. It happens if and when it wants to.

    I'm German, but I've lived in England for nearly 24 years and have seen that TV show. "King George commands and we obey..." I remember it being quite a good production, but then I have a weakness for more-or-less historical costume drama.

    About those collaborations, such as your transatlantic project or Michael's Saw Mountain String Band ... How do they happen? Is there a formal procedure, a waiting list, a secret allocation (I've been reading too many of Simon's messages about the mysterious SAW points ), serendipity, or just a matter of asking? The band is in hiatus because of Covid-19 as well as a member's change of (daytime) career, so I miss playing "with" others.
  7. bbcee
    Wonderfully played, and in such a place, Simon. I love your ending note especially, it really fits with the whole feeling you're invoking.
  8. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Hi Dennis, there is no mystery to the collaborations that you see on this group. Away back when I did the first one with Michael (The Furrow's End) I think one of us just PM'ed the other as we enjoyed listening to each other's playing and choice of tunes, and it went from there, with audio files going back and forth between us and Michael taking on the role of creating the actual video.

    With Ginny and myself, I think Ginny contacted me re playing more Celtic/Scottish music and if I remember it began by my sending her notation of some tunes and from there we progressed to swapping audio files and ideas and then we began to work on actual collaborations. I think I sent her some mp3s for her to play along with to learn the tunes and it seemed a natural progression from there to try to do things as a duo. Both of us have taken on responsibility for making the videos; Ginny is a really creative visual artist, as you can see from some of the material we have collaborated on, and of course she now has her own YouTube channel at Celtic Mandolins. Her collaborations with Emory Lester are interesting as he is a professional player and teacher and is Ginny's tutor, and again, the format seems to work well.

    The video I posted recently here, Mr And Mrs MacLean of Snaigow, was a collaboration with fiddle player Alison Diamond, with whom I play live here in Scotland, and since the Corona lockdown we have not been able to meet up, so we have kept in touch via the internet and have done a few interesting things musically which have not as yet reached the video stage. We do it more to keep up our repertoire and add new tunes for that great day when we can all once again go forth and play live music.

    Please feel free to contact me (or anyone else who posts here) with a view to trying out some ideas if you fancy a new venture. Remember, if it does not work no one need ever know that it was attempted, and if it does, we have added to each other's knowledge and musical development, and maybe brought a little sunshine into other lives for a couple of minutes!

    I am sure Michael and Ginny will come in here with their memories of how we got together.
  9. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    Subdued and humble tone, like faint vestiges of a ghost army marching past... Perfect!
  10. Christian DP
    Christian DP
    Pretty tone in a nice surrounding. May I ask where exactly in France you live?
  11. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Thanks guys, really glad you enjoyed it.

    Frithjof, no punks here, I’ve never seen so many flying insects, I guess they are not spraying this year because of the Lockdown.

    Christian, the tone is partly microphone placement. The breeze was beginning to pick up on this west facing slope, I didn’t have a lot of time left as the sun came round. I’ve had a couple of recordings ruined by sudden blasts of air on the microphone and the furry cover works, but not well with a long cable (it’s in the shadow of the white branch). So I put the microphone into a small hole in the ground at the end of that white branch. I like the misty/earthy tone and it cuts out a bit of the more strident birdsong.

    I live about 2 miles away from here in my 2 o’clock direction, at a much lower elevation. Here it’s about 2200 feet, and I did another vid in the winter with all the snow. I live here in relative poverty, in a village about 15 miles to the west of Lyon, in the South of France.

    Dennis I’m free, if you have a tune you want to do, you can pm. me anytime.
  12. Ginny Aitchison
    Ginny Aitchison
    You are not in poverty with your music, your beloved octave and friends and that awesome view. I would visit you if I ever went to France.
  13. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Yes but France is a big place, and like all countries now, getting bigger.
  14. Gelsenbury
    Thanks for the explanations. I'd love to take part in an online collaboration! The other question, and the more difficult one, is what I'd have to contribute. I'll think about it.

    John, you have obviously been involved in a lot of these. Kudos for making this group an even more cooperative place!
  15. Ginny Aitchison
    Ginny Aitchison
    By the time Simon wakes up it will be the 9th - so HAPPY BIRTHDAY SIMON. Your five-times-a-day tunes brightened up a couple of grey, dull months and I thank you for that as well as wishing you a great day. To make you feel better, the sun came out here today - and tomorrow we have 2 inches of snow forecast.
  16. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Thanks Ginny, 25 degrees C here, lovely today with strangely dark blue skies -‘v high UV levels’ is the modern terminology.
    Another 3 inch of rain thunderstorm has yet again evaporated, it’s drought time here again.
    But little kids soon be going back to school, (the guinea pigs in our big experiment) and Lockdown as we know it will be over, With all the news rules of public behaviour, life will be quite different.

    Best news is I have a couple of tunes to record.
    Happy day everyone!
  17. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    Good morning Simon, and a Happy Birthday to you.
  18. Frithjof
    Joyeux anniversaire !
    Congratulation, Simon! You get your full 97 point for uploading of 100 octave mandolin videos within one year. Not alone you fulfilled your own resolution. You also brought a lot of pleasure to us.
    (only 97 because you have over-accomplished the target by uploading 111 videos with octave mandolin content at your YT channel)
  19. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    A milestone reached, Simon. Happy birthday and thanks for all the tunes.
  20. Gelsenbury
    Happy birthday Simon! Enjoy the day.
  21. Bad Habbits
    Bad Habbits
    Happy Birthday Simon and congratulations on achieving your ambitious goal.
    Well done!
  22. rogro
    Happy Birthday Simon,
    With plenty of thanks for the cheer and momentum you have added to mandolinistas all over the world! We are all celebrating with you.
  23. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Thank you guys, I appreciate it.
  24. Mark Gunter
    Mark Gunter
    Stunningly beautiful tones in a beautiful setting. Thank you for sharing.<br><br>Happy birthday, Simon.
  25. Ginny Aitchison
    Ginny Aitchison

    Over The Hills and Far Away
    John as the little drummer boy (and many other instruments), mando and me and my daughter Bethany on flute.
    Short. Sweet (?)
    Pics from the Napoleonic Wars re-enactments..as the BBC TV series theme song from 'Sharpe' is familiar to many.
  26. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    You have made a great video out of our tune, Ginny. Super pictures, and a big thanks to Bethany for the flute contribution. Three-way collaboration this time!
  27. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Another epic film Ginny! And really well played the three of you, thanks. I especially liked the flute and the drum. It made me think of the film, ‘Gladiator’ and I wondered if there’s a tune there too...

    Frithjof there’s no such thing as over-accomplishment, or put it another way, how many metres do you run in a 10 kilometre race?
    - about 10,020 metres. The 20 metres is after the end.
  28. Bren
    Thanks Simon.
    This tune reminds me very much of my local session.
    A local fluter often played this tune, very steadily, with four parts, I think. I didn't know about the TV connection.
    I miss that session and unfortunately and very sadly the much-loved landlord died a few weeks ago so even if the pub opens again, it will be a very different world.
  29. Ginny Aitchison
    Ginny Aitchison
    Thank you folks. I asked John if he used a stick and a Tupperware bowl for the drum but he said he actually used a bodhran...I think the synchronization of all was the most difficult, I hope it came together, at least well enough to be ok..thanks
  30. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    The more I listen to your version, the more I like it!
    The mandolin and flute are like our ideas of what it was like, from back home and distanced in time. The images are spectacular but also amusing, those uniforms are too clean, the colours too saturated, and those happy boys with the rosy red cheeks! -they don’t look like they live outside or have ever seen a mangled, filthy, rotting body strafed with cannon shot, being pecked at by the crows.
    Then, talk about rubato, there’s the accompaniment. That drum, John is great! Muffled and echoing, ominous and dark, up there I can see a damp flag hanging limp in the cold morning mist. And I can hear sad men marching.
    Well done!
  31. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Thanks for comments, Simon. When Ginny sent me the first file of her mandoln solo I had the tv series in mind and thought that some sort of percussion would be good in the mix. I have a very small "toy" bodhran and I recorded this against Ginny's melody line then added some reverb to the drum track. I actually added in the drum intro after and also put in a few bars of drum only at the end. Ginny got Bethany to record her flute and I added octave and guitar to this in turn. I then doctored the mix to begin with a fade in, panned to the right, then increasing the volume as the track progressed before fading out again towards the end and panning across to the left till only the drum remains - hoping to give the impression of the men coming into earshot, passing, then moving off again, sad, tired men being kept going by the beat of the drum. Not too sure how this comes across if you are listening just on laptop speakers or other similar speaker setups. Works well on headphones. Ginny took some of the final drum beats out when she was adding the pictures.
  32. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Similar to gunshots off in the distance too, it works really well.

    Here’s the notation for it, I don’t have TAB anymore because my favourite site, mandolintab.net is down:

    And an old set of lyrics
    Over the Hills and Far Away is an English traditional set to an even older tune. The martial lyrics of this version refer to the War of the Spanish Succession (1701--1714), the Duke of Marlborough, and Queen Anne of England (1665 --1714).

    Hark now the drums beat up again
    For all true soldier gentlemen
    So let us list and march I say
    And go over the hills and far away
    Chorus: Over the hills, and o'er the main
    To Flanders, Portugal and Spain
    Queen Anne commands and we'll obey
    And go over the hills and far away
    There's twenty shillings on the drum
    For him that with us freely comes
    'Tis volunteers shall win the day
    Over the hills and far away
    Come gentlemen that have a mind
    To serve a queen that's good and kind
    Come 'list and enter in to pay
    And go over the hills and far away
    And we shall live more happy lives
    Free of squalling brats and wives
    Who nag and vex us every day
    So its over the hills and far away
    Prentice Tom may well refuse
    To wipe his angry master's shoes
    For now he's free to run and play
    Over the hills and far away
    No more from sound of drum retreat
    When Marlborough and Galway beat
    The French and Spaniards every day
    Over the hills and far away.
  33. Ginny Aitchison
    Ginny Aitchison
    Re: muddied war uniforms...I had to watch that the pictures were not so gory for a standard YouTube audience - there were a lot of dead and bloodied men and horses- and as honest as that is, that was not the vision I had for the song. I was just happy to have found pictures of (one) of the correct wars. Also these are re-enactors, as the description said..
    To me, it is a song, a tune, a melody, a story, history.
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