PS 172 – Lament for the Sword, or The Aged Warrior’s Sorrow (for not being able to wield his sword as formerly)

Here is another tune from the Hannay-MacAuslan collection. Over the weeks, I will be posting more recordings, until all 10 songs* have been recorded. Some tunes I will take you through my interpretive process, much as I did for PS 170 (Glengarry’s March).  I probably won’t take you through the level of sausage-making detail I […]

The MacFarlanes’ Gathering (Too Long in this Condition)

This tune presents excellent opportunities for amateurs and professionals to make tired ears prick up and pay attention. It is one of those tunes begging for a fresh interpretation by a piper who wants to offer something extra – a memorable and authoritative performance that stands out from the crowd. Every year at the Piobaireachd Society Conference, I hear the Music Committee longing […]

The world’s oldest tune and pipe

A couple of weeks ago, I was in Sweden piping at the opening of the Archaeomusica exhibition. Most of the pipes in my case were reproductions of archaeological finds. In 2008, a 42,000-year-old vulture bone with 5 finger holes was unearthed in Hohle Fels cave, southwestern Germany. On 8 April this year, I made a reproduction from a Gyps fulvus radius bone kindly provided […]

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 […]