Celtic Circles: A Musical Picture through Time Joining Cycles of Heaven and Earth with Cycles of Everyday Life
Inspired by the Celtic circles of ancient Scotland, Bonnie paints a musical picture through time, joining the heavens and earth to the cycles of everyday life. Performed on Scottish fiddle with gold medal piper Eric Rigler on the Great Highland bagpipe, Scottish small pipes, and uilleann pipes. Also accompanied by guitar, Celtic harp, viola da gamba, hammered dulcimer, bass, and bodhran. Includes North Highland tunes from The Patrick McDonald Collection, 1784, pipe marches, strathspeys, jigs, and reels, laments, and traditional favorites.
About the Author
While searching for hidden Christmas presents in her mother's closet, Bonnie Rideout came upon a dusty, black, oblong-shaped cardboard box. The old violin resting inside became her first love. That was in 1970; Bonnie was eight years old. Bonnie grew up on a "retired" farm in Michigan but spent much of her childhood on an island in Casco Bay, Maine, where she studied in a one-room schoolhouse. "It was on Cliff Island where I learned the importance of playing by ear," she recalls. "Our teacher, Miss Von Tiling, would gather all nine pupils and march us down the road playing the state song of Maine. My brother led the parade playing his trumpet, followed by the others on cymbals and drums, with me in the rear playing my violin. There was no possibility of reading music." Bonnie's training in the oral tradition continued in Michigan, she says. "I scratched away on my fiddle while mom played the piano and dad tooted on his ocarinas. We played everything from 'The Moxie Song' to 'I Belong to Glasgow.' Playing by ear was so natural. It was at the heart of my most joyful music-making." Bonnie received her formal violin training in Michigan. She played in public school orchestras and youth symphonies and took private violin instruction at the University of Michigan. She began college as a viola major but returned to the violin to finish her music and fine arts degrees in 1985. "I'm indebted to the teachers who taught me the discipline of reading music and playing the works of the masters," she says. "But the more I played 'serious' music, the more I missed my fiddling." At the time she knew nothing of the folk world but had happy memories of music-making at home. It was the playing of renowned Scottish fiddler Dr. John Turner that opened a new world to her. Bonnie has immersed herself in the music of her ancestral Scotland. She has lived and worked in Scotland, fusing the traditions of her Scottish-American upbringing with those of the old country. She played with numerous strathspey and reel societies in Scotland and learned the different styles of fiddling from such greats as Ron Gonnella, Bill Hardie, and Angus Cameron. "Perhaps I was most influenced by an Aberdeenshire farmer, Jim Falconer (and his wife Katherine), who kindly took me into his home," she recalls. "Jim played the fiddle and spent many evenings by the fire coaching me and tearing away my 'classical' edges." Now one of the finest and most fiery Scottish fiddlers of our time, Bonnie Rideout brings to her performances the evocative music of the Highlands. On stages from Scotland's Edinburgh International Festival to America's Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Bonnie's unique style of fiddling has charmed audiences with her vast knowledge of traditional Scottish dance tunes, Highland bagpipe music, and ancient Gaelic melodies; each reflecting the rich musical tradition of her heritage. Bonnie, a three-time U.S. Scottish fiddle champion, has been featured on the BBC, CBS' Sunday Morning, NPR's Performance Today, Morning Edition, and The Thistle and Shamrock. In addition to authoring eight music books for the Mel Bay Publishing company, Bonnie has recorded nine solo albums and appeared as a guest musician on dozens of CD's with Sony, BMG, Rycodisc Records, Rounder Records, Maggie's Music, and Dorian. Some of her solo recordings include the newly released CD Scottish Fire, Parent's Choice! Gold winner Gi'Me Elbow Room, and award-winning Scottish Rant, Kindred Spirits, Celtic Circles, and Soft May Morn. Another of Rideout's hit CD's, A Scottish Christmas, became the New York Times "Top Ten Best Holiday Sellers" for two consecutive years. In September 2002, BMG studios released a new DVD and VHS featuring her internationally acclaimed A Scottish Christmas touring show, receiving glowing reviews from critics.