T H E W H I S T L E B I N K I E S
B I O G R A P H Y
The Whistlebinkies were formed during the great surge of interest in traditional and Celtic music and song in the late 1960s, the group quickly evolved into a leading force in the field. The Whistlebinkies led the revival in the use of the bellows-blown bagpipes in Scotland and were the first to combine the three national instruments: the fiddle, bagpipes and clarsach (small Scottish harp) in regular performance. The repertoire is drawn from all periods of Scottish music and from all regions of the country.
The Whistlebinkies have toured extensively taking Scottish music to France, Germany, Italy, Finland, Iceland, Estonia, Sweden and Spain. In 1991 they were the first Scottish music group to tour the Peoples Republic of China, returning to Taiwan in 1999 and have appeared at major festivals such as the Edinburgh International Festival, the Hong Kong Folk Festival and the Festival Interceltique at Lorient, Brittany.
They have toured with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and have collaborated with Scottish Ballet in Eddie McGuire's ballet The Spirit of Flight and have contributed much music to feature and documentary film, television, radio and stage drama productions.
The band commissioned, premiered and broadcast Scottish Circus by the late John Cage which they have recently recorded for cd / dvd release In 2005, a Creative Scotland Award was awarded to Eddie McGuire, culminating in the collaboration between The Whistlebinkies and Scottish-based Chinese traditional music group Harmony in the premiere of Tian Di Yuan (Defying Fate), a one-act ballet with music by Eddie McGuire. In 2006, The Whistlebinkies visited Hong Kong for a major collaborative project with the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong and the Chinese universities. They undertook a residency at the 2006 St.Magnus Festival and in 2007, they returned to the Festival Interceltique at Lorient, in the festival’s ‘Scottish’ year, for a performance of Eddie McGuire’s L’Epopée Celtique and appeared in Le Grande Nuit D’Ecosse.
Their latest CD The Whistlebinkies : Albannach released continues the tradition of The Whistlebinkies being one of Scotland’s most successful and best loved folk groups.