The Wild Rose of the Mountain

  1. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    This is the lovely slow air composed by John Mason, MBE. John was a founder of The Scottish Fiddle Orchestra and was its Director of Music and Principal Conductor from its first performance in 1980 till his death in 2011.

    My version is on the usual trio of mandolin, octave and guitar, and for a wee change I have played tremolo on the mandolin for a different texture; also a mandolin track of arpeggioed chords.

    I haven't been up a mountain for a wee while, so daffodils at sea level have to stand in for the wild roses.

  2. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Talk of the devil! -I mean that I’ve just mentioned you in another post John.
    -and I still haven’t even had time to listen to those wild roses.

    Fine tone from the octave, I like the resonance, complemented by the tremolo.
    Disappointed to see no wild roses though? Is that area grazed by deer, sheep, rabbits or some other scurrying wee beastie?
  3. Jairo Ramos Parra
    Jairo Ramos Parra
    John, you always have an ace up your sleeve
  4. Ginny Aitchison
    Ginny Aitchison
    Absolutely beautiful, John. Tremolo caught me off guard even tho I read the intro. Is that the same John Kelly we know? Well done, John. Beautiful on all levels.
  5. Jill McAuley
    Jill McAuley
    Ah, the tremolo really makes it - that was class!
  6. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    That sounds wonderful, John -- I particularly like those mandolin arpeggio harmony runs which nicely fill in the gaps in the melody.

    I have recorded this tune myself in the past, twice, but I'm not particularly happy with either version. I'll have to try again.

    [Old versions removed -- superseded by new recording below.]

  7. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Thanks for kind comments, everyone. Aye, I thought I would dust off the tremolo for this one - not one of my regular techniques as you are aware, but Christian has rekindled my interest in it as an added texture through his recent postings (thanks, Christian). It just seemed to suit this tune when played against the octave.

    Martin, I agree with you about your two quite different versions you have posted here. The first one seems to change quite a bit in tempo and rhythm around the 42 seconds mark and the second, done with the click track, has come out as a waltz in strict time with the regular strummed guitar chord backing. It is always so interesting to listen to how different players interpret the same tunes - or even how each of us changes in our approaches to the tune over time - five years between your two recordings above. I know that when I play those well-known tunes with different musicians there is a sort of "settling in" happens as we get familiar with one another's way of playing. The joy of having regular playing partners is something you will be so aware of with your quartet, Martin.
  8. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    That’s interesting to hear the two different versions Martin. I actually like both of them, the second, for some reason reminds me of a film I once saw with German cavalry officers in a dance hall, beautiful images too.

    Your slight hesitation gives the tune a sort of majestic lift, John. Really nice too.
  9. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Thanks, John and Simon. To be fair, the transcription I used my second version was specifically identified as one of a set of four waltzes intended for dancing from the repertoire of the Ottawa Ceili Band, so the interpretation as a waltz rather than a slow air is intentional in this instance:

    However, as it was written as a slow air, it's a bit of a forced fit which is why I want to do it again with a less regimented beat.

  10. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    I actually I like the occasionally regimented waltz. (And of course there are many different rhythmic styles of waltz)

    I want to hear that version, less regimented and no inter-measure rubato... so at least one beat in each measure has to be strictly in time.
  11. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    As promised, here is my new recording of this tune, played more like a slow air now. I have added a second slow air to the set, James Scott Skinner's "Rosebud of Allenvale", mainly because it happens to be on the same page in the Alf Edwards transcription I've used. Skinner's tune isn't a waltz either -- Skinner described it as a "pastorale" and his published score is written in 6/8 time.

    1. Wild Rose of the Mountain (John M. Mason) - 0:00
    2. Rosebud of Allenvale (James Scott Skinner) - 1:36

    Both are based on a setting by Alf Warnock for the Ottawa Ceili Band:

    Mid-Missouri M-0W mandolin
    Vintage Viaten tenor guitar


    Edit: I've just noticed we have an old thread on this tune. Here is the link for future reference: Link
  12. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    My apologies for posting this as a new tune - Martin has just pointed out that I had started a thread with this tune away back ten years ago (February 2011) but posted it as a Soundcloud file. I no longer have a Soundcloud account, so the tune is no longer available in the original thread and I really did do a new recording this time - note the tremolo! So much for my ability to search the MC site for tunes.
  13. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    It was designed like that for politico-economic reasons John. We are just cogs in the machine.
  14. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Apologies, John. I didn't mean that as a complaint -- I've done this myself in the past and it's easy enough to happen, especially when tune titles have different variant names or are made from very common words. I just wanted to make sure that your new recording is linked to the old so that it can be found from Barbara's index in the future.

  15. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    No apology needed, Martin, nor any offence taken. Mea culpa and all that. It is truly amazing just how many threads exist in the SAW Group, and I sometimes get comments from friends locally about some of my tunes on YT that I had not even remembered posting. I now have a search through my YT channel before I post anything I think is new on there and on the SAW Group.
  16. Christian DP
    Christian DP
    Two nice versions of this Scottish air. I already commented on John's Youtube clip and expressed my positive surprise, that he tremoloes.
    Well, Martin is a master of this techique, so the result is up to his usual standards.
  17. Frithjof
    Two masterpieces by John and Martin! This slow air sounds so beautiful. I like the pairing with "Rosebud of Allenvale".
  18. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Thanks, Christian and Frithjof. I too was surprised that I "tremoloed", Christian; your fault, I am afraid. But I will only use it sparingly. Now I'll need to start playing in high registers as well. Does this make you an internet Influencer?
  19. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    -CC influenced me to play tunes further up the fretboard. He’s a master of that.
    Dennis influenced me to be more relaxed and jovial while playing, he’s a master of that.
    Ginny influenced me to record more regularly, she’s a master of that.

    ... and there are at least thirty others, for various and diverse other reasons, you know who you are!
  20. Frankdolin
    Really pretty John !
  21. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Thanks once again, Frank. It is always good to find a great tune to play.
  22. Frithjof
    My wife was fascinated by the staircase of our vacation hotel in Austria. One part of a landing looked like a small stage. She thought it offered the right atmosphere to play mandolin ...

    I decided for the same set as Martin:

  23. Ginny Aitchison
    Ginny Aitchison
    I enjoyed the solo mandolin playing and the camera person was very creative, especially towards the end. As I listened to these songs done perfectly, Frithjof I was watching a little spot of light, at first I thought it was a small butterfly or moth and then I thought it was the reflection from someone's watch. Can you help me out, I'll stay awake wondering now.
  24. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Well done Frithjof, two nice tunes confidently played with feeling. Like the colours in that painting.
    And amazing how you can play in public, one tune after another -I don’t think I could do that!

    Those dancing lights?
    It’s the fairies, Ginny. Photographic evidence. End of story.

    -no need to ponder on the fairies now, though there are still half a million habitable-zone planets in our galaxy alone.
    I wonder how much we would have to pay in scientific research to discover them for sure?
    Comparatively speaking, probably not much.

    Back to the tunes…
  25. Frithjof
    Thanks, Ginny and Simon.

    Those dancing lights?
    Clear fairies’ evidence without dispute – I was happy to catch one thirty-five years ago!

    She is wearing glasses now. All these lamps caused reflections according to her viewing angle. You may see a different reflection when looking up to the rooftop three floors above.

    It was a spontaneous decision to have a try of playing mandolin in this niche. A request of a fairy – how could I disagree?!
    If we had planned this video, we had probably turned off this strong desk lamp. Or tilted it to the background.
  26. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    And here was I thinking it was just the notes you were picking sparkling off your mandolin, Frithjof. Hope you now have a regular gig in that hotel. Who needs a piano player in the lounge when you can have a mandolin player on the landing?
  27. Christian DP
    Christian DP
    That was very nice, Frithjof, my favourite mandolin playing in an Austrian hotel and executing the two-beat notes in tremolo. Hats off !
    I have already recorded this tune but it's with classical guitar background, so I thought I might work on my steelstring abilities. I also tried to play the eighth notes with downstrokes only.
  28. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Christian, a lovely gentle version from you here. You seem to have added an intro and outro to your tunes over the past few postings, which give the tunes a sort of personal touch, almost like Martin's count-in he does on his videos.

    Your transformation of the tune title from Wild ROSE to wild ROES caught me out at first - I thought it was just a typo in your opening credits till I saw the roe deer you had throughout the video. Ingenious if rather cheeky of you, sir!

    You mention using downstrokes for the eighth notes in your playing. I used downstrokes for almost the entire tune in my version apart from the odd parts where I had ventured into tremolo.
  29. Frankdolin
    Frithjof, That was such an enjoyable performance. Loved the " Spirit Light"?, I made that up. Please point me to the thread describing that mandolin of yours. Or tell us about it. It sounds beautiful and has a real head. Christian that was so nice, and you got me too!
  30. Frithjof
    Thanks a lot, Frank.

    I own this mandolin since 2009 and love it. It was probably built in Markneukirchen/Saxony before 1950 by Kurt Ruth or at least in his workshop. You may get just a little more information and the first photographs I took in 2009 in an album at my profile site.
  31. Ginny Aitchison
    Ginny Aitchison
    Now I'm curious about why Frithjof and John both used down strokes for their eighth notes? Not that that is wrong, just unusual maybe???
  32. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    On slow tunes I more often than not use downstrokes for most of the notes, Ginny. I find I get a more consistent feel to the tune using them, I think. Also, because when I began playing mandolin (pre internet availability) there was no one around who could tell me what to do or how to do it, so I just developed my own techniques and now have a battery of potentially flawed playing techniques, including no DUD DUD for jigs and not a lot of tremolo!
  33. Sherry Cadenhead
    Sherry Cadenhead
    What a lovely piece! Nice playing, everyone.
  34. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Your playing’s fine John, I wouldn’t say ‘flawed’ techniques because some of the patterns you use give a specific more upright rhythm. To my ears the style is very Scottish, I like it, like a set dance. Baroque style?
    Frank’s version of Roxanna Waltz
    Is an example where a rubato-modified D-U in a waltz has to jump to tremolo with a different pattern. The rubato is used to negotiate between the two patterns.
    Not easy at all, and a very different feel to it.
  35. Frankdolin
    Thanks Frithjof! That is an amazing piece of art/instrument. Awsome photos really show the exquisite detail and craftsmanship that went into this mandolin. Now I want to hear it in person!
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