‘An Orkney Sampler’ is a collection of new music and song by composer Hilary de Vries.
During her many visits to Orkney she has always been inspired to write music, which, over the years has built into a collection of over 20 tunes, reflecting the people she has met and the places visited.
Hilary de Vries said:
‘I always love any opportunity to come to Orkney, whatever the time of year or weather. I’ve been buffeted by strong winds, soaked through by rain, and then watched the sun break through and the sky fill with rainbows. I’ve had cups of tea in the Peedie Kirk, met all sorts of interesting people and visited some of Orkney’s ancient sites. All of these experiences go into the tunes I write.’
Hilary has previously released music books for bagpipes and harp, but this one is aimed at musicians more generally. The title for the book came from the idea of the book being like a sampler; a musical patchwork of experiences all brought together.
All the music was written whilst in Orkney, surrounded by the landscape and the views.
‘It would have been impossible to write it back home on the Black Isle, with a different landscape around me,’
‘I need to be where I’m writing the music about.’
The book has been welcomed by musicians including Orkney’s own Ivan Drever.
‘It always pleases me greatly to see music coming from or inspired by Orkney’, says Ivan.
‘I know it certainly has done for me over the years. There are some great wee tunes in this book of Hilary`s.’
John Moar, from the Orkney Fiddle & Accordion Club has described it as ‘wonderfully lyrical music, delightful tunes.’
Pete Stewart, a fiddler and piper talks about the music as being ‘always melodically more simple than complex, relying for its power on the willingness of the player to explore its possibilities.’
Bill Taylor, internationally renowned harpist, says this about the music:
‘Hilary has given us wistful airs, gentle waltzes, vigorous marches and evocative ballads, which are newly composed and yet sit rock-solid within the canon of traditional music.’
Some of the tunes have been set to video and can be viewed online on Vimeo by searching for ‘Orkney Sampler’ or ‘Hilary de Vries’.
Future plans include a book of her tunes inspired by the Black Isle and a cd of poetry inspired harp music. And, of course, more visits to Orkney and the chance to discover more tunes waiting to be written.