All posts by Quentin Budworth

Lens Based Artist and Musician

calm in an agitated world

Genevieve Murphy

Written specifically for The Old Fruitmarket, Genevieve Murphy’s new work is inspired by how fear can materialise through not understanding someone or something. Fellow Scot and 2016 BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award-Winner Brighde Chaimbeul features in this World Premiere on pipes and is joined by brass, woodwind and percussion from the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

Premiered on 4th May 2019 at Old Fruitmarket, Glasgow, during Tectonics Festival.

Commissioned by the BBC, performed by BBC Symphony Orchestra, Brighde Chaimbeul and Genevieve Murphy.

Canntaireachd – Bagpipe mouth music –

Using colour to convey musical pitches – Part 1 – APC – Learning Living Pibroch (altpibroch.com)

Canntaireachd (pronounced [ˈkʰãũn̪ˠt̪ɛɾʲəxk]Scottish Gaelic for ‘chanting’) is the ancient Scottish Highland method of notating Piobaireachd, also spelt Pibroch, referred to more generally as Ceòl Mòr (literally the “big music”), an art music genre primarily played on the Great Highland bagpipe. These long and complex theme and variation tunes were traditionally transmitted orally by a combination of definite vocable syllables. In general, the vowels represent the notes, and consonants the grace notes, but this is not always the case, as the system has inconsistencies and was not fully standardized.

Pipers have used musical staff notation to read and write pibroch tunes since the early nineteenth century. Many of the early staff notated scores for modern pibroch published by Angus MacKay and authorised by the Piobaireachd Society are now considered by scholars to have been oversimplified, with standardisations of time signatures and editing out of ornamental complexities, when tunes are compared with versions in earlier manuscripts such as the Campbell Canntaireachd. The practice of canntaireachd singing remains the preferred means for many pipers to convey the musicality and pacing of pibroch performance when teaching or rehearsing a tune.

Canntaireachd was first written down at the end of the 18th century in the Campbell Canntaireachd by Colin Campbell of Nether Lorn, Argyll. While his vocable system had its origins in chanted notation, the Campbell Canntaireachd is now considered to have been intended as a written documentation of the music, to be read rather than sung. Nevertheless, Cambell’s Nether Lorn Canntaireachd was adopted by the Piobaireachd Society in their publications and has become the most commonly used vocable system. Another related system of Canntaireachd was published by Niel McLeod of Gesto, reputedly taken down from the chanted singing of John MacCrimmon, one of the last practicing members of that esteemed piping family. The MacArthur family of pipers are reported to have had their own oral form of Canntaireachd system that was not documented. A further variety of Canntaireachd and distinct collection of pibroch tunes was sourced from Simon Fraser, whose family emigrated to Melbourne in the 19th century. It is assumed that different lineages of pipers developed distinct forms of Canntaireachd that were variations on a broadly similar system of sung vocable notation. This informal oral variation continues today in the practices of experienced piping musicians and teachers.

William Donaldson, in The Highland Pipe and Scottish Society 1750-1950 states:

In its written form, canntaireachd provided the basis of the indigenous notational system and it was brought to its most developed form by Colin Mòr Campbell of Nether Lorn in Argyll, at the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th Century. Although Campbell’s work was almost immediately superseded by a form of staff notation adapted specifically for the pipe, and remained unpublished and unrecognised until well into the 20th Century, it remains an important achievement and gives valuable insight into the musical organisation of Ceòl Mòr

Cantarrach – Gaelic tradition – Bing video

Thursday 4 March: ‘Diddling’ Workshop with Rowan Rheingans plus Eurosession

This was fun

Thursday 4 March: ‘Diddling’ Workshop with Rowan Rheingans plus Eurosession

Diddling’ Workshop with Rowan Rheingans: an introduction to singing dance tunes

Rowan Rheingans playing fiddle and singing

Across Europe and elsewhere in the world, mouth music (singing wordless tunes) is a common part of folk traditions. The tradition of mouth music isn’t so well documented in England, but in Ireland and Scotland it is still very much alive. And down south in France or up north in Sweden, folk dances are still sometimes danced to a solo singer or a group of singers. It’s a great way to keep a dance moving if instruments aren’t available or to be able to join in with tunes if you don’t play an instrument! 

In this workshop, Rowan will introduce you to using your voice as an instrument for dance tunes. There are vast possibilities beyond just humming a tune! After a vocal warm up, we’ll learn a dance tune by ear and explore how we might approach singing it in our own way. In the workshop, we’ll also listen to some examples of mouth music from different places and we’ll look at a few tools and techniques for singing in a way that is just as exciting as playing a tune on an instrument. 

You don’t need any experience at all for this workshop – just an open mind. Everything will be taught by ear and you’ll be able to make recordings of anything we learn too. 

Rowan Rheingans is an award-winning singer, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and theatre-maker. Best known for her work with acclaimed bands Lady Maisery, The Rheingans Sisters and Songs of Separation, Rowan has won two BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards (‘Best Original Track’ in 2016 & ‘Best Album’ in 2017) and is a six-times nominee. Her duo The Rheingans Sisters were recent nominees for the prestigious ‘Best Duo/Band’ award at the 2019 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.  

Rowan’s interest in mouth music, or ‘diddling’ as it’s sometimes called in England, began when she was studying the fiddle in Sweden and for the first time came across solo singers holding captivated a whole floor of dancers or audience with tunes rather than songs. She is an experienced folk music educator, running popular singing courses and workshops as part of her trio Lady Maisery. 

An underplayed aspect of Scots song is its mouth music, the lowland cousin to the puirt a beul of the Gaidhealtachd. Similarly, largely meaningless or comical lyrics are used to underpin the rhythm of a particular dance tune. This is separate from diddling, which uses vocables to sing a dance tune.

Scottish vocal music – Scottish music – National 5 Music Revision – BBC Bitesize

Helicopter Arms

We’re working on track 9 of the Agent Starling album and this week we’ll be doing a video release of Helicopter Arms which is already getting a fair bit of airplay!

Welcome to Agent Starling, Lou Loudhailer and Quentin Budworth’s new collaboration. This is the next of our preview tracks, our composition, Helicopter Arms which also features Dexter Duffy-Howard on violin. The song is inspired by the gorious resolution of Quentin’s gurdy tune. Agent Starling: Loudhailer Electric Company captain Lou has teamed up with Celtarabia chief Quentin who spent the year before lockdown touring Europe meeting with other top hurdy-gurdy players exchanging tunes, techniques and experiences. Expect lots more experiments and tunes for release later in the year. Website https://loudhailer.net/agent-starling/​ Agent Starling: Quentin Budworth hurdy gurdy, other instruments/voice Lou Loudhailer Audio mastered by Kevin Carafa. The video photography is close ups of glorious things around the house, by Richard Duffy-Howard.

Festival of new


Britten Pears Arts
annual whirlwind showcase of fresh and exciting new work is going digital. This year’s Festival of New features a hugely exciting line-up of artists and groups who will join us virtually for an afternoon of films, talks and Q&As. With projects ranging from sound installations and immersive multimedia experiences, to podcasts, dance and music theatre, this diverse range of creative activity will inspire the audience.

Agent Starling -Wine dark Sea

I Dream of the Wine Dark Sea, which also features Dexter Duffy-Howard on cello. Inspired by the pictures in a book I treasured as a child, and read many times. It was originally published in 1853. My copy is from 1938, it belonged to my mum. Agent Starling: Loudhailer Electric Company captain Lou has teamed up with Celtarabia chief Quentin who spent the year before lockdown touring Europe meeting with other top hurdy-gurdy players exchanging tunes, techniques and experiences. Expect lots mpre experiments and tunes for release later in the year. Audio mastered by Kevin Carafa Website https://loudhailer.net/agent-starling/

Dreaming of days by the wine-dark sea
When enchantments and journeys
Of dragons and villains
Who, bursting with rage
Scattered curses in millions

I work at my spinning wheel
Twisting and turning the fine silken thread as it flows through my hands

Can an earth born woman
Defy king and cathedral with mountainous powers
When as far back as anyone can remember
They have been picking us off
One by two by three by …

My sister was fooled by a
Smooth handsome creature
Who looked at her
Led her deep into the foam

His eyes didn’t leave us right from the start
But how can I love a boy with a stone for a heart?

My mother cried tears of red leaves and rain
But no one could save her ‘til the star gazer came
And striking a harp of fine silken thread
The magic of music wakes me in my bed

I’m still spinning tales, raising dreams from their graves
To go weaving and crashing on the wine-dark sea waves

Lou Duffy-Howard 2021

Agent Starling ‘Il N’est Plus Temps’

Welcome to Agent Starling, Lou Loudhailer and Quentin Budworth’s new collaboration. Loudhailer Electric Company captain Lou has teamed up with Celtarabia chief Quentin who spent the year before lockdown touring Europe meeting with other top hurdy-gurdy players exchanging tunes, techniques and experiences. This is the first of the preview tracks, our arrangement of the French folk tune Il N’est Plus Temps composed by Michel Pichon. The video photography is by Richard Duffy-Howard. Lou Duffy-Howard 2021

composition, production and recording using digital technology – Ruben Monteiro

I’m doing an evening class to reclaim my production skills and master Reaper it’s a course of composition, production and recording using digital technology. Two evenings a week for 8 weeks. It’s like community service for older musicians but absolutely brilliant. Here’ what we are looking at in the course.

  • Musical theory | Rhythms | Harmonic fields | Modes
  • DAW systems | Intermediate domain;
  • Audio production and recording tools and processes:
  • Projects preparation;
  • Editing;
  • Equalization;
  • Compression and Limiter;
  • FX (Reverbs, Delays, Modulations);
  • Automation;
  • Mix;
  • Master.
  • Composition with virtual instruments:
  • VST’s and other plugins;
  • Editing;
  • Humanization;
  • Programing.
  • Hardware using;
  • Soundcards; Mondays and Thursdays | 6:30 to 8:30 pm
  • MIDI controllers.

Site Responsive Art Experiment South Beach Bridlington

Site Responsive Art Experiment South Beach Bridlington funded by the St Hughes Foundation. I was give a small grant to experiment and develop a site responsive work to the area where I live. I made a soundtrack and a film for it. Using my computer and the camera on my mobile phone. Having the luxury of being able to play and tinker with the score and the visuals has been great fun and a huge learning/re-learning journey. I hope that I’ve created a piece that responds to these most unfathomable of times with imagination, authenticity, courage, humour and a genuine desire to find new ways to connect and communicate. Some of you may be wondering about the morse code message that underpins the whole piece it says:

… — … / …. . .-.. .–. / .– . / .- .-. . / .- -.. .-. .. ..-. – / — -. / – …. . / . -.. –. . / — ..-. / . ..- .-. — .–. . / — -. / -… .-. . -..- .. – / .–. .-.. .- –. ..- . / .. … .-.. .- -. -.. / .– .. – …. / .- -. / .. -. -.-. — — .–. . – . -. – / -. .- .-. -.-. .. … … .. … – .. -.-. / … — -.-. .. — .–. .- – …. / .. -. / -.-. …. .- .-. –. . .-.-.- / .. / ..-. . .- .-. / ..-. — .-. / – …. . / .-.. .. …- . … / .- -. -.. / .– . .-.. ..-. .- .-. . / — ..-. / — ..- .-. / .–. . — .–. .-.. . .-.-.- / .-.. -.– .. -. –. / .- -. -.. / -.-. — .-. .-. ..- .–. – .. — -. / .- .-. . / – …. . / -. . .– / -. — .-. — .- .-.. / .– . / .- .-. . / .-.. .. …- .. -. –. / .. -. / .- / -.-. — ..- -. – .-. -.– / …. . .-.. .-.. / -… . -. – / — -. / … . .-.. ..-. -….- -.. . … – .-. ..- -.-. – .. — -. .-.-.- / .– . / …. .- …- . / .-.. — … – / — ..- .-. / .-. .. –. …. – … / .- … / . ..- / -.-. .. – .. –.. . -. … / .- -. -.. / …. .- …- . / -… . -.-. — — . / … ..- -… .— . -.-. – … / — ..-. / .- / .-. — –. ..- . / … – .- – . / .. –. -. — .-. .. -. –. / .. -. – . .-. -. .- – .. — -. .- .-.. / .-.. .- .– … / .. -. / – …. . / .–. ..- .-. … ..- .. – / — ..-. / . .- … -.– / – .-. .- -.. . / -.. . .- .-.. … .-.-.- / – …. . -.– / .- .-. . / –. — .. -. –. / .- –. .- .. -. … – / … -.-. .. . -. – .. ..-. .. -.-. / .- -.. …- .. -.-. . / .- -. -.. / — . … … .. -. –. / .– .. – …. / – …. . / …- .- -.-. -.-. .. -. . … .-.-.- / – — — / — .- -. -.– / — ..-. / — ..- .-. / .–. . — .–. .-.. . / …. .- …- . / -.. .. . -.. .-.-.- / – …. . / -.. .. … .- … – . .-. / -.-. .- .–. .. – .- .-.. .. … – … / .- .-. . / … …. .- .-. .–. . -. .. -. –. / – …. . .. .-. / -.- -. .. …- . … / .–. .-.. . .- … . / … . -. -.. / …. . .-.. .–. .-.-.-


Which translates as: SOS Help we are adrift on the edge of Europe on Brexit Plague Island with an incompetent narcissistic sociopath in charge. I fear for the lives and welfare of our people. Lying and corruption are the new normal We are living in a country hell bent on self-destruction. We have lost our rights as EU Citizens and have become subjects of a rogue state ignoring International laws in the pursuit of easy trade deals. They are going against scientific advice and messing with the vaccines. Too many of our people have died. The disaster capitalists are sharpening their knives please send help. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
Not something you would hear on the six o’clock news but a fair reflection of the situation we find ourselves in.

I’d like to say a big thank you to the Trustees of the St Hughes Foundation for supporting me in this experimental endeavour. The Score and the film are one outcome but really it’s the learning journey the skills that I have developed as a result of embarking on this self-directed project are really where the value lies for me as an artist. Also finding out which areas I need to develop and work on. It’s been a really rewarding and challenging process.

Note to self and for anyone who cares to listen, take care have fun and remember being creative is one of the most rebellious , life affirming things you can do.

Quentin Budworth Artist and Musician

Supported by

Recording and Production of Acoustic Music at Home Studio Environment WITH Efrén López

I attended this home recording course with EFRÉN LÓPEZ it was absolutely brilliant here’s what we studied

English description:
This course will outline from beginning to end the process of recording and producing acoustic music in a home studio environment. This is an increasingly important skill in our times, since the vast majority of demos as well as a large part of commercial productions are made in home studios. We will focus on the technical and musical aspects that comprise the home recording process. This course will be divided into five different sessions:

Lesson 1: Choosing mics and their placement / Ambient mics / EQ basics
Lesson 2: Compression / Multiband compression / Deesser / Limiter / Noise gate
Lesson 3: Types of reverb, their parameters and uses / Creating space and depth / Delay, chorus and other FX used in acoustic music / Pitch shift / Extra bass tricks
Lesson 4: Automation / Edit / Cleaning tracks / Organization (colors, names) / Arrangements, instrumentation / Production tricks
Lesson 5: Final mix / Grouping / Mastering

This course is for students who already have some experience with recording equipment and software, and are familiar with the general language used in this discipline.

Student requirements:
Instrumental technique: any level
Western theory: any level
Modal music theory: any level
Sight reading: any level
Transposition: any level
Learning by ear: any level
Composition: any level
Improvisation: any level