THE CRYING OF THE FAIR and other new compositions

Sun Oct 01 2023 at 02:30 pm to 05:00 pm

Scottish Arts Club | Edinburgh

Scottish Arts Trust
Publisher/HostScottish Arts Trust
THE CRYING OF THE FAIR and other new compositions
An afternoon Concert with Chick Lyall and Rob Hall - THE CRYING OF THE FAIR (based on Hugh MacDiarmid's poem) and other new jazz works
About this Event

ROB HALL - Saxophones, Bass Clarinet


THE CRYIN O THE FAIR, by Hugh MacDiarmid, is based on part of his poem, ‘A Drunk Man Looks at the Thistle’. He describes the traditional fair held annually in the town of his birth – Langholm in Dumfries & Galloway

The composition by CHICK LYALL is commissioned by CHARLIE and CHRISTINE SCOTT (Scottish Arts Club Members) and commits the themes of MacDiarmid's poem to music.

The recitation of MacDiarmid’s poem, written in Scots, is given by MICHAEL HAMISH GLEN (Scottish Arts Club Member)

The Concert as a whole is sponsored by The Scottish Arts Trust.


In the 18th century, the Court of Session in Edinburgh awarded the burgesses of Langholm a number of rights, the most of important of which was ownership of part of the common land around the burgh, identifying it as separate from land owned by the lairds. The Riding of the Marches was later established as a colourful recognition of the boundaries of the community’s land. The Riding follows the Langholm Fair, a hugely important annual market with long historical origins. The Crying of the Fair, announcing the event, is in three parts, the first calls on local people to defend their rights, the second proclaims their ancient gathering and the third expresses satisfaction from performing the duties well. A unique set of emblems is carried aloft during the Riding and includes a bannock, a salted herring, a spade, a thistle, a floral crown and a golden fleece.



The Scottish based creative duo of Rob Hall & Chick Lyall last played in the Scottish Arts Club in 2021 for a virtual concert (during COVID). This concert is still available on

They have been developing their musical language and identity since around 2003 and this exciting Concert provides a Premiere of seven new and varied compositions born during our recent enforced COVID lockdown, aptly demonstrating that spirit and creative enthusiasm remains very much alive and ascending! The Scottish Arts Trust is proud to support another of their excellent Concerts performed at the Scottish Arts Club in Edinburgh

The music of Rob Hall & Chick Lyall is influenced by a very wide range of genres from Baroque chamber music to free Jazz and folk idioms, connecting with the broader European tradition. The central thread through all their performance work is the intense musical dialogue that they are able to build between them.

In 2020 the duo released ‘Upward Fall’ (FMR) broadening the scope and instrumentation of their work with electronics and incorporating wind synth and baritone sax.

Historically 2005 saw their debut release of ‘The Beaten Path’ which spawned a further five CD recordings on the improvised music label FMR. In 2011 Scottish Jazz Expo promoted the duo internationally at jazz festivals in Italy and Edinburgh where they released their CD ‘Blithe Spirit’. Thereafter ‘Chronicles’ was released in Aug 2013 introducing live electronics and bass clarinet into the ensemble's compass, and the pair followed this by returning to an acoustic piano & clarinets album ‘Myth’ in 2016 featuring a suite of 12 miniatures by the Greek composer Giannis Konstantinidis.

Other collaborations together have included Chick Lyall Quartet/Quintet and ‘A Highland Canvas’ by Rob Hall/James Hawkins/John McGeogh (music/visual art commission by Highland Festival in 2001)

More information and CD listings of the duo can be found at


Event Venue & Nearby Stays

Scottish Arts Club, 24 Rutland Square, Edinburgh, United Kingdom


GBP 5.00 to GBP 15.00

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