Feb 21 2012 by Alison Anderson, Perthshire Advertiser Tuesday
PERTHSHIRE musical hot-shots Ross Ainslie and Ali Hutton feature on the debut album released yesterday by Celtic supergroup The Treacherous Orchestra.
Titled ‘Origins’, the album is released on Navigator Records.
Ali, originally from Methven, and Ross, from Bridge of Earn, feature on the new album playing a mixture of instruments including Highland pipes, border pipes, whistles and guitar. Both pupils of the late Perthshire piping legend Gordon Duncan, Ross and Ali are highly in-demand instrumentalists on the Scottish music scene and have just completed an exhaustive tour of duty at this year’s Celtic Connections Festival, which also included the live launch of Origins at a sell-out gig.
“The name Treacherous Orchestra sums up a reflection of attitude,” said Ali. “It strongly reflects our character and the music we play.”
A product of the recent renaissance in Scottish folk music, the Treacherous Orchestra is the ultimate 11-piece, pan-Scottish outfit (with two members from Ireland).
Ali continued: “It’s an aggregation which came together in the musical melting pot that is Glasgow, a location where as individual musicians we all first developed a strong affinity for each other’s playing.
“Every time this specific crowd of instrumentalists got together, musical sparks would fly. This musical empathy, and our passion for high-energy, innovative and evolving styles of playing, comes to fruition in the exuberant sounds produced on the debut album.
“Each member of the band brings a strong individual sound and instrumental style to this powerful blending of the old with the new, and many of the group are also gifted composers, producers and engineers in their own right. It’s these cumulative talents which set the Treacherous Orchestra band apart in terms of forging our own unique interpretation of Scottish music.”
‘Origins’ was recorded in several studios throughout Scotland, was produced jointly by three members of the band and features 90% self-penned material which has evolved organically with the growth of the band.
Recording began in early May 2010 when everyone descended upon Watercolour Studios, Ardgour, in the Highlands.
“The recording resembled something more like a ‘big brother’ style, social experiment,” explained Ali. “The full band hemmed themselves in to the studio for two weeks to live and record. Living in such close proximity with one another was always going to be a test but the team mentality prevailed with each person filling specific roles: cook, video blogger, cleaner, producer, engineer, musician.
“The recording process continued with lengthy and involved sessions at other studios, with red-eyed musicians, producers and engineers working into the small hours to achieve the desired results. It was a real labour of love.”