Widdershins: The Legend of Tristan Shoute
Kirk Elliott and the Orchestra of Unmitigated Gaul
Catalogue no. PIP 1411
“Who was Tristan Shoute? When did he live? Is he dead yet, or what? In the words of musicologist Winchurch Stonhill, he was “a fiddle, wrapped in a misery, inside an echidna.” Indeed, there can be found little or no factual evidence of his existence… However, as early as the 12th century, reports began to circulate of a “Tristan Showde,” a strange itinerant figure who created miraculous music wherever he appeared, on numerous instruments, both known and unknown. Even more confounding was the assertion that, upon reaching a certain age, this minstrel would disappear for a length of time, only to reappear in rejuvenated form in another era.”
The musical mystery of Tristan Shoute is at the heart of Widdershins, the latest release by celebrated Canadian composer and multi-instrumentalist Kirk Elliott, who has been described by the BBC as ‘disgustingly talented,’ and on CBC radio as “the Leonardo da Vinci of music.”
With an innovative blend of medieval, Renaissance, traditional and original tunes, and an eclectic array of instruments ranging from cittern, harp and banjo to electric bass, dumbek, bagpipes and baroque flute, Elliott and his sidekicks in the Orchestra of Unmitigated Gaul revel in the musical mystery of Tristan Shoute with guile and wit. Elliott’s new takes on 13th-century dance tunes, creative re-visioning of traditional melodies and effervescent original music, are guaranteed to make you smile. Here’s a little taste:
Pour mon couers (Anon. 13th c. arr KE)/Wattle & Daub (KE)
Widdershins is the Middle English word for “counterclockwise.” In today’s topsy-turvy world, Kirk Elliott’s innovative and thoughtful ‘Technaissance’ offers a musical aid for correcting the balance!
Total Time: 50:23
Street Date November 27/14; (digital January 13/15).
Price: $14 plus shipping and handling = within Canada: $17.80; to USA: $18.75; everywhere else: $21.00. HST added at checkout. Discounts available if you want more than one!