Paul Cranford, a renowned fiddler, composer, and music publisher from Cape Breton will be speaking and performing as part of the PMC Lecture series on March 25th, 2018.
Cape Breton, an island and part of Novia Scotia, is home to rich Celtic Music traditions and Gaelic culture. Celtic music reached Cape Breton’s shores subsequent to the Highland Clearances, in which many Scottish Highlanders were expelled from their homes in the 18th and 19th centuries. Scottish immigrants brought their musical traditions with them, specifically fiddling. Over the centuries, the fiddling style transformed into something closely related to the traditional Scottish style, but also distinct to Cape Breton itself. “Cape Breton Fiddling” is characterized by driven-up bowing, and highly accented rhythm. Today, Cape Breton is home to the Celtic Colours International Festival, among many other institutions preserving Gaelic Culture.
Mr. Cranford spent thirty-four years working as a lighthouse keeper in Novia Scotia after moving from his hometown of Toronto. During those years he had the opportunity to travel around Cape Breton, learning Scottish, Irish and Cape Breton tunes from many older musicians. He has published well over 2,000 melodies in his Cape Breton Musical Heritage Series, meticulously documenting the musical tradition of Cape Breton for musicians both on the island and around the world. He is also a prolific composer; over 250 of his original tunes appear in his Lighthouse Collection.
The lecture was organized by Dr. Jonathan Kramer, and Dr. Alison Arnold who also performs in several Celtic bands and teaches “Music in the Celtic World”.
The lecture is free and open to the public. It will take place at 4:00 PM on Sunday, March 25th in the Price Music Center, room 110.