02 febbraio 2020

Il team di Chemikal Underground che ha prodotto il simpatico omaggio a Ivor Cutler Return To Y’Hup: The World of Ivor Cutler, disponibile da qualche giorno in vinile colorato e in cd, ne ha offerto una spettacolare presentazione dal vivo a Glasgow mercoledì scorso, nei giorni del festival Celtic Connections. Sul palco, con i titolari Matt Brennan e Raymond MacDonald, una ventina tra musicisti e ospiti alle prese con Gruts for Tea, The Boo Boo Bird, Muscular Tree, Who Tore Your Trousers? e Women of the World tra le decine e decine di brani: Karine Polwart, Stuart Braithwaite, Duglas T Stewart, Stuart Murdoch, Malcolm Benzie, Sarah Hayes, Chris Thomson e perfino Heather Leigh tra gli altri. Ospite dell'isola immaginata da Cutler è ovviamente anche Robert Wyatt, presente sull'album con una lettura di Out of Decency presa pari pari da A Wet Handle (1997).

Chemikal Underground takes great pleasure in announcing the release of Return To Y’Hup: The World of Ivor Cutler, a celebration of the life and work of an artist of unrivalled musical and poetic vision. 26 of Cutler’s choice compositions are presented by Citizen Bravo, Raymond MacDonald and a host of friends from the crème de la crème of Scotland’s music scene. This ambitious project is a pioneering experiment in the field of imaginary archaeology: a sonic conjuring of a decades-old fictional island.

Noting Cutler’s absence from an exhibit about the history of Scottish pop music at the National Museum of Scotland, Matt Brennan (Citizen Bravo) and saxophonist/composer Raymond McDonald (Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra) decided to set the record straight. They wanted to pay homage and re-affirm Cutler’s status as a national treasure, uniting their two very different two musical backgrounds in a freaky and fruitful collaboration. The core team was completed by producers Malcolm Benzie (eagleowl and Withered Hand) and Andy Monaghan (member of much missed Frightened Rabbit).

The underlying concept of the album was to resurrect the mythical island of Y’Hup – a territory which Ivor Cutler dreamt up and described throughout his early recordings. Here, the island has been populated with distinct Scottish voices alongside new arrangements of Cutler’s music, featuring a large number of high profile guest artists, including: Stuart Braithwaite (Mogwai), Tracyanne Campbell (Camera Obscura), Kris Drever (Lau), Alex Kapranos (Franz Ferdinand), Stuart Murdoch (Belle & Sebastian), Pictish Trail, Emma Pollock (Delgados), Karine Polwart, Rick Redbeard (Phantom Band) and James Yorkston. Visiting the island as distinguished guests are two English vocalists, Phyllis King (Ivor Cutler’s longtime companion and collaborator) and living legend, Robert Wyatt.