Andy Rigby has been making and playing harps, flutes, marimbas and teaching since 1991, after ten years working as an engineer. Well known in Australia as a teacher in schools, a performer at festivals around the country, and instrument maker at community events, he has also performed extensively with family band Blackwood, Moving Harps and many other ensembles and musical combinations.
'Tunes of the Andy's' and 'Andient Music' are two albums that started out as a simple idea to record all the tunes I have composed in the last five yearsor so. Then I added to it some of my older tunes which I still perform (but are not avaliable on CD anymore), a few 'and friends" tracks to mark where I am with my music, and before i knew it I had a two CD's!
The recent upserge in Kwela whistle music suggested a whistle theme for one disk (Tunes of the Andys) and of course harp is the main focus for the other CD (Andient Music).
Kwela is a type of township jive music which flourished in South Africa in he 1950s and 60's. The pennywhistle was the main melody instrument and the craze spread to Britain and other countries. They mostly played on Bflat Hohner whistles (used on the CD as well as whistles in C), and would often team up with clarinets, saxophones and other swing band instruments.
The special sound of the kewla whistle is achieved by turning the whistle through (up to) 90 degrees, and inserting it further than normal into the mouth of the player. This flattens the pitch, makes the whistle louder, and makes the sound much more reedy.
Whistle with attitude.........
Andy Rigby - whistles, flutes, harps, marimba, guitar, cuatrenor, hammered dulcimer, piano, bouzouki, cajon, tamborine, shakers
Jeremy Dunlop - mandolin
Rebecca Hood - wire-strung harp
Randall Mathews - 5-string viola
Tunji Beier - drumkit, zarb, kanjira
Brian Starting - tenor saxophone, fiddle
Lyndal Chambers - trombone, accordion
Cavel Mc Intyre - clarinet
Gus Rigby - alto saxophone
James Rigby - guitar
Jane Thompson - whistle
Maggie, Elsie and Naomi Rigby - marimba