The Flytin o Life an Daith from new album Yarrow Acoustic Sessions (**** Guardian Folk Album of the Month).
4 stars “Watson has stitched together poetry and traditional songs from the Yarrow border country where she grew up with her own piercing melodies, arrangements and effects. The results are rich, multi-layered and giving.” (The Guardian)
4 stars “These songs are masterpieces of storytelling, and there’s a powerful Game of Thrones quality to them. They tell frightening truthful tales, using words and music of a heartbreaking beauty that heightens our growing sense of dread as the song builds, verse by verse, towards a conclusion that we fear will be devastating. Watson captures these qualities with a vocal delivery that is simultaneously sweet and bleak, complemented by dramatic, stripped-down instrumental accompaniment on fiddle, keyboards, harmonium, double-bass and guitar.” (fRoots)
“a faultless aural passage across myriad narratives.” (Folk Words)
Hamish Henderson developed this song from an medieval German poem titled ‘Streitlied zwischen Leben und Tod’ (battle song between life and death) that he found just before World War II began.
Good and bad have been part of human understanding since early civilisations and giving ourselves two polarised perspectives can bring detail, articulation and understanding to the surface (socratic dialogue in 4BC). Of course, we’re seeing the misuse of polarised perspectives just now: they can also be divisive and destructive. There’s more than good and bad to the story of us, and our experiences of life through to death. But!
Hope is powerful.
I owe a debt to two wonderful musicians and teachers for this song: Alison McMorland and Andy Hunter. Alison’s singing of The Flytin o Life an Daith has been my definitive version and my melody has grown from her’s. Andy’s lessons in Scots history and the gravitas of his singing with sweeping pipe-influenced phrasing are also a part of this song for me.
Our word flytin/flyting is a relative of the Old Norse for provocation: flyta. And while we’re at it duddies/duds is thought to be the ancestor of dude. So there ye go dudes.
Scots Singer of the Year (2016), Dr Lori Watson is a fiddle player, singer and composer. She has drawn on the rich tradition of the Scottish Borders throughout her artistic life, including experimental works and a PhD thesis and creative folio exploring innovation and contemporary traditional music practice.
A folk musician with considerable pedigree, Lori is touring and recording with Boreas, Iain Morrison and a range of other solo and collaborative projects. She has six albums in circulation, including two critically acclaimed albums with her trio Rule of Three. Lori has just released her first significant song work and has been creating innovative monthly digital releases since February 2017.
Lori is currently performing the beautiful Yarrow Acoustic Sessions material with a trio of Lori Watson (vocal, fiddle, effects), Duncan Lyall (keys, moog), and Chas Mackenzie (acoustic and electric guitar), plus Keir Long (sound).
Artist website: http://loriwatson.net
Single title: The Flytin o Life an Daith
Album title: Yarrow Acoustic Sessions
Release Date: 02/02/2018
Single artist: Lori Watson
Single duration: 05:10
Record Label: ISLE Music Scotland
Catalogue No: ISLE05CD
Writers: translated by Hamish Henderson, melody by Alison McMorland, arr. Lori Watson & Duncan Lyall
Publishers: all PRS/MCPS