The main news since my last blog update is the release of my new album âLand of the Standing Stonesâ but as itâs been a couple of busy months since I wrote a blog thereâs been rather a lot happened in between so Iâll come to the album later.
Thereâs been a host of events which Iâve performed at throughout September and October including a performance at Marschial College as part of the Aberdeen Energy Festival, and at the Atholl Palace in Pitlochry for renowned folk singer Jim Malcolm. As part of the ongoing Atomic Doric project for Woodend Barn in Banchory Iâve led a couple of fiddle workshops and led a walk up to the spectacular Loch Etchachan deep in the heart of the Cairngorm national park (a round trip of 22 miles but an unforgettable experience). There were a couple of radio interviews for BBC Radio Scotland and a day out on the âFiddle Busâ for Aberdeen Universityâs Elphinstone Institute taking in fiddle related sites around the North East. I had a couple of performances at Crathie Kirk with the Royal family in attendance which included HRH The Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, The Duchess of Rothesay, Prince William, The Duchess of Cambridge, The Queen of Norway, The Prime Minister of New Zealand and his High Commissioner to the UK.
On the 5th October was one of the most enjoyable concerts which Iâve ever been involved in. The James Scott Skinner tribute concert at Aberdeenâs Music Hall featured dancers, young musicians, BBC Radio Scotlandâs Mark Stephen, Old Blind Dogs and Cape Bretonâs fiddler extraordinaire Natalie MacMaster. Having produced, directed and performed at the event it was incredibly rewarding. Other events which took place in October were performances at Haddo House, Kincardine House and Dinnet House, a fiddle workshop at Braemar Castle, the Deeside Food and Fiddle Festival, The Deeside Doric Dirl, a fundraiser for The Alford Heritage Centre, a performance in Mayfair, London as part of the London Art Fair, a performance at The Lemon Tree in Aberdeen for The Aberdeen Dance Festival, a fiddle workshop for The Garioch Fiddlerâs in Inverurie and a performance at Birkhall for HRH Prince Charles and his guests which included The Duchess of Rothesay and Prince Harry.
A busy couple of months!
On the 18th October and at long last I had the launch of my new album âLand of the Standing Stonesâ. With 51 original tunes and the music and lyrics to a ballad itâs easily the most ambitious recording Iâve been involved in but also the most rewarding. The launch itself was held in The MacRobert Hall in Tarland and I was ably supported by friends and family. There was a great turnout and the cdâs are now available in many shops as well as to download or direct from Birnam CD and Amazon.