Potted History (Courtesy of the Artistís site, 2005)
Formed during the great surge of interest in traditional and Celtic music and song in the late 1960s, the group quickly evolved into a leading force in the field. The Whistlebinkies led the revival in the use of the bellows-blown bagpipes in Scotland and were the first to combine the three national instruments: the fiddle, bagpipes and clarsach (small Scottish harp) in regular performance. Only authentic traditional instruments are used and where possible, the group prefers to play in an acoustic setting. The repertory is drawn from all periods of Scottish music and from all regions of the country. Members contributre new compositions within the tradition and the group is always ready to explore connections with other cultures. Arrangements evolve in a workshop situation with each member contributing his or her own skills and ideas.
Where we have played
The Whistlebinkies have toured extensively taking Scottish music to France, Germany, Italy, Finland, Iceland, Taiwan, Estonia and all the Celtic countries. In 1991 they were the first Scottish music group to tour The Peoples Republic of China. Recent festival appearances include the Edinburgh International Festival, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Glasgow Mayfest, the Hong Kong Folk Festival and the Festival Interceltique at Lorient, Brittany. In March 1996 the group made a highly sucessful contribution to the Scotland: Cultural Counterpoint festival at the Anderson Centre for the Arts, Binghamton University, New York State. In January 1995 the group were featured as the BBC Radio 3 'Artists of the Week'. August 1998 saw performances in Texas, at the Festival Interceltique, Lorient, Brittany and a show at the Edinburgh International Festival Fringe.
The Whistlebinkies frequently work with others on special musical projects. Recent collaborations have included a joint performance of Scottish fiddle music with Yehudi Menuhin, tours with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, collaborations with Capella Nova and a major project with the Glasgow Festival Strings and Scottish Ballet in Eddie McGuire's ballet The Spirit of Flight. The group have recorded with David Essex and The Cutting Crew. The band commissioned, premiered and broadcast Scottish Circus by the late John Cage. The Whistlebinkies have contributed much music to feature and documentary film, television, radio and stage drama productions.
You can listen to short samples from some of the tracks from this artist using the player below.