Pibroch on the Hardanger fiddle

Yesterday, Delphian Records released the CD counterpart to my PhD thesis: Spellweaving. The experimental rehearsals for this were a source of deep joy. I was sharing pibroch with two wonderful musicians who were receptive, supremely capable and from whom I had much to learn. It was an invigorating two-way exchange from which I emerged wiser […]

Fear Pìoba Meata – The Timid Piper

This is a glorious piece of music, unjustly neglected. Its combination of brevity and musical depth is ideally suited to amateur pibroch players and learners. If competition organisers can’t change the rules to allow gems like this to gain currency, then something is seriously wrong! This is one of many good tunes that don’t fit our institutionalised thinking or event categories. The […]

Aged Warrior’s Sorrow

At Invermark Piping School (2015), Jack Lee presented a variety of short pibrochs to students.  They included Aged Warriors Sorrow, Sister’s Lament, The Pretty Dirk and two Nameless tunes. He asked the students to choose a tune for which they would then compose additional motions, as an exercise in musical creativity. From the manuscript evidence of the primary sources, it is […]

Cumha Roderick Cannon

Score of Cumha Roderick Cannon This is a musical tribute to Roderick Cannon, my closest colleague and an inspiring mentor. I will miss his bubbling enthusiasm, sunny spirit and warm generosity sharing his latest discoveries and insights over the phone.  It has been a privilege to exchange work-in-progress with him since 1997, debating pibroch’s darkest corners, sparking precious rays of light through our critical sparring. […]