SFU CD drops on December 7th
Timing is everything in piping and drumming, and the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band seemed to time everything just right in 2009, finishing the year with the release of Affirmation, the band’s sixth album, on December 7th.
The project is a recording of the band’s sold-out show at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall three days before the group won its sixth World Championship at Glasgow Green.
“August 2009 was one of the best months in SFU’s history,” Pipe-Major Terry Lee said. “Playing before a packed house and recording the Affirmation CD on the Wednesday before the World’s was a thrill. Then to win our sixth World Championship three days later was a tremendous high point for us.”
When asked about what listeners can expect from the album, Lee said that “the clarity of sound captured from all instruments is outstanding” on the recording.
“The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall is a challenging recording facility and most products, to me, have disappointed technically,” he added. “Murray Blair has done a great job in recording us. All instruments are exceedingly clear. The bass section is highlighted with its clarity and musicality this time around compared to our other recordings.”
He said that some of Affirmation‘s musical highlights include the band’s rendition of “Field of Gold,” a piobaireachd composed by Donald MacLeod. The piece, which featured piping and singing, was seen as a focal point at the concert and received a massive ovation on the night.
Lee added that he feels the Mark Saul-composed suite, “Tir Nan Og,” is “cutting-edge and thrilling start to finish. It is played by the ‘young guns’ in the pipe corps, which makes it a more fun undertaking.” He also included the drum fanfare, “Salute to Willie McErlean,” as a high point of the project, saying, “Fanfares don’t normally get much of my attention, but this one does,” and that the opening track, “Beaches of Harris,” is “very powerful.”
The recording is available directly from the band, with a limited number of autographed CDs available.