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> Issue 29 > Inside Back Cover - The Cape Breton Fiddler: A Talk with Allister MacGillivray

Inside Back Cover - The Cape Breton Fiddler: A Talk with Allister MacGillivray

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1981/8/1 (397 reads)

that old music--that to me is the crucial thing that has to be done at this stage of the game • Preserve the old fiddling of Dan J, Campbell and Sandy MacLean and all of those people. There are some reasonably young people, like John Willie Campbell and Willie Kennedy, that are still playing a lot of that music. But I'd like to see all the players go at that old stuff and keep that going. That's real gold dust in Cape Breton. That's stuff we've got to look after. It's gone, overseas, and we're the last stronghold for that old music. Preserving just violin playing is not good enough. We've got to preserve the things that are typically characteristic Cape Breton, and that are the ancient styles that have lasted here so long. We can't let them slip away. We're at a crucial juncture now. I know the enthusiasm's out there, if people have access to that music. Good tapes of Mary MacDonald and Angus Al? lan Gillis playing the old stuff, if that got into circulation where the young peo? ple could hear them. The old 78s aren't terribly representative of the old-time music. In some respect the medleys are clipped short because there was only so much room on them. I often think our music is best preserved on the tapes that have been made since the '40s and '50s in peo? ple's homes or at dances. When you get players playing at that era, before any changes have set in, you've got a touch of the music of the 1800s there, because it was preserved in some of the more isolated sections of Cape Breton. And once you've heard it, it's some moving, and you're hooked onto it. Allister, Connor and Beverly MacGillivray. Most of the photographs in this article are from THE CAPE BRETON FID? DLER, College of Cape Breton Press. One good, available example of cuts and double cuts, is "Little Jack" Mac? Donald playing "Devil in the Kitchen" on his Celtic album. Celtic has quite a list of traditional Cape Breton fiddle music. For an example of the old tunings, try John Willie Campbell playing the strathspey Cairistiona Chaimbeul (Christy Campbell) THE MUSIC OF CAPE BRETON, volume 2, from Topic Records, 27 Nassington Road, London, NWS 2TX. Shanachie Records (1375 Crosby Avenue, Bronx, NY 10461) has an album each of old 78s by Angus Chisholm and Bill Lamey. WE ARE SEARCHING FOR GOOD TAPES OF TRADITIONAL CAPE BRETON FIDDLING! We know there are tapes out there and we would like to hear from you if you are fortunate enough to have even one--tapes of Sandy MacLean and Angus Allen Gillis and Mary MacDonald and Tena Campbell and many, many more. Write and tell us what you have. It is important that we locate these tapes now. Write to Cape Breton's Magazine, Wreck Cove, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, BOC IHO. Again, there is no room in this issue for a return coupon, but you can order Subscriptions, The FOURTH COLLECTORS' EDITION and DOWN NORTH simply by writing to us and including a cheque or money order to cover your purchase. We pay all the postage. Cape Breton's M A G A Z 1 N,E WRECK COVE . NOVA SCOTIA Edited & Published by Ronald Caplan with the help of Bonnie Thompson & Ruth Schneider AUGUST 1981 SUBSCRIBE TO Cape Breton's Magazine: Subscriptions are four issues for $6.00 ($7.00 Foreign). You can begin with any issue from Number 25 on. THE FOURTH COLLECTORS' EDITION is issues 18 through 24 reprinted and bound in one big 292-page book. It costs $6.00 pay postage to you or as a gift. DOWN NORTH: This is The Book of Cape Breton's Maga? zine, published by Doubleday Canada. It's a selec? tion of over 50 stories with more than 400 photos and illustrations. Set in new type and printed on a high quality white paper, it's $12.95 in paperback, $19.95 hard. It's a great great gift of Cape Bre? ton, and we pay the postage anywhere in the world.
Cape Breton's Magazine
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