The Duplets: Music

Leverage (2012):

The Duplets - Leverage
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Tracklisting:

1. A Man’s A Man For A’ That (R. Burns, F. Thomsen)
2. Irish Set – Jig C (Trad.), Aaron’s Quay (P. Roche), Colonel Fraser’s (Trad.)
3. Surtsey (F. Thomsen)
4. The Banks of Ness (Trad), Euro Jig (F. Thomsen)
5. Paris (G. Fleetwood)
6. The Quiet Man (J. Sutherland), Chuir l Gluin air a Bhodaich (Trad.), The Dublin Porter (Trad.)
7. Garry’s Porch’s (F. Thomsen)
8. A Game for Two to Play (A. Thorburn)
9. Jenny Nettles (Trad.), Jock MacKay’s (Trad.), Jenny Nettles (Trad.)
10. Granny’s Parting Gift (F. Thomsen)
11. Morning Bells (K. Reid)
12. Old Harp, New Harp: Mo Dhormhrullian Fhein (Trad.), Oran Arasaig (Trad.), Mo Clarsach Trom Ur (F. Thomsen), The Dipper (G. Fleetwood)

In “Leverage” we have a clear focus on our duo harps and voices as a contrast to our debut album, “Tree of Strings”.   Further honing our skills in composing and arranging for The Duplets has cemented our ability to build depth, versatility and variation into our music, which we have chosen to frame using simple and honest production.

Leverage alludes to the power that every artist has; to have their voice heard amongst the crowd.  Formed within beauty or mystique an artist can tell a story or air a view. We take inspiration from Burns’ socialist words in “A Man’s a man for a’ That”, a tough message to deliver, but here, Burns is far from crude.

The auspicious opportunity to record on two harps that were built in Glasgow in the early 1900s arose just in time for the recording of Leverage.  We are delighted to have encapsulated this unique sonority on the last track of our album and hope that Briggs would have been proud of how his harps sound almost 100 years after he built them.

We hope that our joyous approach to duo working is evident in the twists and turns of melody old and new, and that the addition of new repertoire to an already rich culture is a reflection of the depth of heritage and desire for growth and development that we inherit as Scottish traditional musicians.

Thanks to our collaborators who helped us to make this album.

Mattie Foulds – Production/Engineering
Stuart Hamilton – Mastering
Jessica Ashman – Design
Louise Bichan – Photography
Andy Thorburn and Kenny Reid – Musical Contributors

Tree of Strings (2008):

The Duplets - Tree of Strings

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Tracklisting:

1. Ca’ the Yowes
2. Lillian’s – O’Niell’s March, Lilian Ross of Inverness (F.Thomsen), Donald Blue
3. The Twa Corbies
4. The Green Set – Chloe’s Passion (Dr. A. MacDonald), The Up Downey (D. Moynihan), The Triangle (K. Beaton)
5. The Boys – Monkey Puzzle (G.Fleetwood), Inspector Hector (F.Thomsen and C.Gullan), Mr Nice (F.Thomsen)
6. The Rigs o Rye
7. Polkas – The Paw Paw Polska (G.Fleetwood), Tommy Nagle’s (G.Fleetwood and F.Thomsen), The Strathnairn (S. Cooney)
8. The Bendy Set – The Bendy Tune (F. Thomsen), Good Man in the Kitchen (F. Thomsen) Dudley Drive (J. Henderson).
9. Love (C. Campbell)
10. Female Affability – Furan Nam Ban O’ga, Gruaimean an t-Seann Duin.
11. The Queen of All Argyll (Andy M. Stewart)
12. Craobh nan Teud

Showcasing “silken melodies, brazen arrangements and gutsy accompaniments”, Tree of Strings is said to “sparkle and stir by turns” creating a sound which is both unique and engaging. Add to this the warmth and intimacy of Gillian’s voice, drawing the listener in like a storyteller, and you get a colourful and enduring album of instrumental and song based Scottish Harp music .

The release of Tree of Strings saw The Duplets highlighted as album of the month on Celtic Music radio and album of the week on BBC Radio nan Gaidheal. With songs such as “The Queen of all Argyll” and “Love” being favourites on BBC Radio Scotland, The Duplets versatility was warmly received. Their own compositions nestle between the ancient and their timeless style is enhanced by the irrefutable talents of Duncan Lyall (production, engineering and double bass), Gabe McVarish (fiddle), Donald Hay (drums, percussion) and Tam ‘The Banjo’ Kinsella (banjo).

Reviews for Tree of Strings:

“the two harps entrance with their poise and beauty”
- Delyth Jenkins, Taplas

“A timeless expression set to become a classic”
- Inverness Courier

“**** These enthusiastic young women, proselytisers of the revived Scottish small harp, don’t pretend to be traditional but sing and play old and new music with imagination, referencing contemporary sounds more than any Scots musical museum.”
- Scotland On Sunday