6th November 2100
1) SIGHTS (from The Unseen Stream)
This piece is from my first album “The Unseen Stream” and features the beautiful fiddle playing of Nollaig Casey and Wondrous Oboe from Chris Redgate. The Oboe was played using a technique called “circular breathing” which involves breathing in and blowing out at the same time (!) allowing the theme to be played on one unbroken stream of air.
2) FOR HIM WHO WILL NEVER RETURN (New & Unreleased)
This is new and was recorded in the summer 2011. It is arranged from a traditional song that I have loved for a long, long time. My dear friend Barbara Dickson (one of the finest traditional singers in the world) sings the definitive version, and it is from her that I first heard it. It showcases two sets of Uilleann Pipes – beginning in the lower, mellow key of C known as “flat-pitch” and then onto my classic set in “concert pitch” D, made in Lincolnshire by the late Genius of pipemaking, Dave Williams.
3) NOW VOYAGER (from The Madness of Crowds)
From my latest album “The Madness of Crowds”. I am a serious disciple of the poet Walt Whitman and this takes inspiration from a stanza in his epic “Song of Myself”. For more information on tracks from the album you can find notes on this site.
4) FRAGMENT (from The Pursuit of Illusion)
This is a choral piece from the album “The Pursuit of Illusion” and was recorded at the Early Music Centre in York with the Cantores Choir. The words, which come translated from ancient text written by the Dead Sea sect. The Sublime lead vocals are of course sung by my Diva, Joanne Hogg.
5) ORKAHAUGR (from The Madness of Crowds)
Again, check out notes on the site for “The Madness of Crowds”
(from The Unseen Stream)
My arrangement of the mid-section of the Jean Sibelius classic.
This has quite a history for me and has, to a degree, became identified with my particular style of playing the pipes. I arranged this for the Glorious Emperor String Quartet (who have featured heavily in all of my work over the years) and have since played it live around the world hundreds of times : most recently with my Finnish Brothers and Swedish Sister in the band Nightwish.
I hope to play it at least a hundred more times….
(New & Unreleased)
Dunmail Raise is a beautiful pass through the Cumbrian Lake District and was the site of the last battle of Dunmail, an 8thCentury British king. The lyrical Fiddle playing of Peter Knight, the wild Oboe playing of Chris Redgate and the ethereal singing of Olivia Sparnenn drives the piece through this timeless landscape into something much more mysterious.
(from The Pursuit of Illusion)
This piece is rooted in my deep love of Magic and Conjuring. I see the direct effect of a great magical illusion in the same way as I perceive music: a portal to a timeless, wordless state of wonder.
I love the hypnotic trance-like induction caused by the Low Whistle in the end section of this piece and, yet again, we have an incredible bone-melting performance from the Diva, Jo….
(from The Unseen Stream)
Another epic and a bit of a favourite amongst people who are familiar with my music. This should build its own imagery within the theatre of the listeners mind. That’s the way I like to do it anyway…
(from The Madness of Crowds)
( in alphabetical order) –
Nick Beggs…Rosie Biss…Terl Bryant…Nollaig Casey…Julie Darling…Barbara Dickson…Neil Drinkwater…Andy Duncan…The Emperor String Quartet…Heather Findlay…Tim Harries…Joanne Hogg…Nick Holland…Peter Knight…Brad Lang…Chris Redgate…Duncan Rayson…Olivia Sparnenn…Frank Van Essen…York Cantores Choir.
With all the very best to all