Iona Abbey

Tyrone created and leads Iona Abbey, Seattle’s only Scottish acoustic ensemble, featuring Scottish small pipes, cello, fiddle, guitar, and bodhrán. The music of Iona Abbey offers a rustic, traditional fireside sound, providing a unique musical experience. Iona Abbey has performed regularly in the Seattle area. Musicians include: Jan Martindale on fiddle; Miriam Shames on cello; Bill Woods on bodhrán; and Ron Rutherford on guitar. Iona Abbey has also produced a 5-track EP (20 minutes) CD. Samples are available for play at the right, and the entire CD is available for order.

In a rare, 2011 critiqued performance of Tyrone on Small pipe and Miriam Shames on cello, a classically trained Scottish juror commented…

“A wonderful arrangement – lovely effect! Perfect tempo on the slow air and also the (hornpipe) — nice, steady playing on the pipes and beautiful, sensitive accompaniment on cello.”

Tyrone’s mission with Iona Abbey is to allow sensitive discovery of the deep Scottish musical tradition through sympathetic exploration with instruments other than the Highland Bagpipe. The music is generally unexplored, even by present day music groups of Celtic origin. The tunes performed by Iona Abbey would often only be heard by pipers in competition or in a pipe band setting, and not usually with string and bodhrán accompaniment. With other instruments accompanying the Scottish Small Pipe, the tunefulness of the music is brought out with a lighter air. The instruments’ melodies become appealing for a wider audience than is usually found at the abrupt unison performance of the Highland Pipe and Drum competition.