Quarter Days is a project by much-travelled Edinburgh fiddler Gavin Marwick to celebrate, in four seasonally-released EPs, the old Scots quarter days of Candlemas, Whitsun, Lammas and Martinmas, all of them beloved of folk-balladeers and researchers past and present. Gavin is joined for the first of the quarters by Aaron Jones on cittern. All the tunes are newly penned by Gavin to illustrate the history and lore of the season, and all are firmly anchored in the traditional styles of jigs, reels and airs with clever variations by both musicians.
‘If The Day Dawns Bright & Clear’ leads into an expressive set that celebrates being outdoors however wintry the weather, but Candlemas comes to us in early February when the cold can freeze easy movement to slow motion. Nothing describes this as well as the ‘February Jig’ set, where the eponymous opening tune is slow to gather pace in the paralyzing cold.
It is ‘A Flame of Gold’ that beckons you indoors where Gavin’s bewitching air, Aaron’s thoughtful and gentle accompaniment, the warmth of flames and embers and the shimmering of sparks and candles offer shelter from the bony hand of midwinter.
A short, warming album for a long, cold season.