Just before Christmas last year we interviewed Glasgow based musician and composer Mike Vass (read it here) who touched on his new December Well Project during the interview. We’re now pleased to announce the release of ‘December Well‘ this coming Decemeber and we can share exclusive tracks with you below. Vass is best known for his Celtic Connections New Voices commission and subsequent solo recording String Theory which debuted in 2010 to much critical acclaim.
For several years an integral part of renowned Scots Song quintet Malinky (Scots Trad Music Award folk band of the year 2010), he is a now a highly sought after song accompanist. More recently Mike has been garnering a reputation as one of Scotland’s foremost tunesmiths. In 2008, he was the winner of the inaugural Niel Gow International Composition award with ‘Cavers of Kirkcudbright’.
This lead to the release of his first recording ‘String Theory’, an all original suite of music featuring some of Scotland’s finest instrumental talent, including Anna Massie (Blazin’ Fiddles, Bella Hardy, Unusual Suspects) Calum MacCrimmon (Breabach, Man’s Ruin) and Megan Henderson (Salsa Celtica, Kris Drever trio)
His Compositions have since been used in the recordings and performances of such luminaries of the UK folk and roots scene as Corrina Hewat (Unusual Suspects) and Brian Finnegan (Flook, Kan).
This December sees the release of his second solo record ‘December Well’. December Well was conceived during one sleepless night in October 2011, and culminated in the recording of Vass’s most ambitious project to date. Vass set out to write and record a full length album in one month, December 2011, inspired by the Scottish Winter.
‘December has always held a great fascination for me. It’s amazing that in such a dark, cold and often bleak month, we celebrate with some of our warmest, light-filled festivals. The simple beauty of winter is the backdrop for cherished reunions with family and old friends and the celebration of our shared history and culture. In this album I wanted to explore these ideas instrumentally and tried to capture the widely differing, magical, aspects of December’
Between October and and December, Vass built up a small, yet robust, mobile recording studio and work began in earnest on December first. He documented the compositional process by way of a daily video log, released on his for purpose blog decemberwell.com
Where his debut solo outing String Theory was very much a collaborative effort, December Well is a solo affair in the truest sense. Each sound on the recording is either an acoustic instrument played by Vass (fiddle to piano, melodica to glockenspiel, acoustic and tenor guitars), or an original sound sample captured during December. This is a very personal chronicle and the end result is a kaleidoscopic suite of highly original music.