"Ceol Binn Mór" - an Octave Mandolin.

 




 

"Ceol Binn Mór" ("Big Sweet Music") is a flattop octave mandolin developed in conjunction with Keith Chesterton and designed with a guitarist in mind. It has a 530mm scale length, a wide nut and has guitar sized fretwire and comes with an Acoustica hard case (when available). The instrument illustrated has a European spruce top and Colombian Rosewood back and sides and was made for Keith Chesterton. Here's a recording of me playing open strings followed by Martin Simpson's "Air for Maurice Ogg" on this instrument in GDAD tuning. You can see a photo-documentary of "Ceol Binn Mór" being made here.

 

Here's a video of Keith playing a traditional French dance tune on his ""Ceol Binn Mór" in GDAD tuning:

 

 

Here's a recording made by Keith that shows off "Ceol Binn Mór" as an accompaniment instrument "Too Close to the Wind". The song is by Stuart Marson, a Northants teacher and singer. Keith learned it many years ago from from an LP by Simon Nicol and Dave Swarbrick It is based on fact and is written about a late 18th century group of highwaymen from the Culworth area awaiting mass hanging. The song takes the form of an imagined letter from one of the men to his wife on the eve of execution.

Here's another a video of Keith playing his own composition "Bunions" and his arrangement of the Sussex trad tune used for many folk songs though possibly best known in Vaughan Williams adaptation as Monks Gate, to which John Bunyan's hymn is often sung :