The Routes Quartet is an exquisite blend of the folk and classical traditions, featuring evocative arrangements of folk tunes and stunning original compositions. The Routes Quartet is made up of the classic string quartet instrumentation of cello (Rufus Huggan), viola (Emma Tomlinson), and two fiddles (Gràinne Brady and Tricia Mullan). The sound is a charming concoction of classical, Scottish, Irish and English traditional music as well as their own deftness for the art of composing. The string quartet instrumentation is well established in other genres but is entirely new to the British folk scene. Routes set out to arrange and explore the vast textures, tones and intimate musical qualities that are characteristic of the string quartet, but with a folky, rootsy accent.
Their debut album, Windrose, was recorded live by Keir Long at St. Columba’s Chapel, Drimnin Estate on the Morven Penninsula and was produced by The Routes Quartet and highly acclaimed fiddle player Patsy Reid. It was mixed by Keir Long at Carrier Waves Studio and mastered by Gordon Gunn in Caithness Mix Room. All photos, artwork and design by Somhairle MacDonald. The Routes Quartet is named so due to the combination of Scottish, Irish and English members. Consequently the title Windrose stands for the cardinal points of a compass which represents the band’s mixture of geographical heritage and musical influences.
The Routes Quartet would like to express their deep gratitude to Louise and Derek Lewis and everyone at Drimnin Estate for their generosity and hospitality throughout the recording. Special thanks to Patsy and Keir for their energy and creativity. Also to Somhairle for the stunning artwork and photos. Thank you to Greg Lawson, Charlie Stewart, Chris Stout, Marc Clement, Charlie Webster, Ross Couper and Jenn Butterworth for all your help and the latter for the living room rehearsal space! Thank you to Kevin, Mike, Adam, Yaffa and our families for their continuous support. Finally, thank you to Creative Scotland for making this recording possible.
Artists’ website: www.routesstringquartet.com
‘Night Mouse’ – live:
22nd: Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast
24th: Mullingar Arts Centre, Mullingar