I’m a Scottish composer and songwriter whose work is very much influenced by the highland landscape where I live. I write music mainly for clarsach (Scottish harp), pipes and recorder, but many of my tunes also work well on other instruments including fiddle and guitar.
Together with renowned harpist and arranger Bill Taylor we released a book of my harp tunes ‘Heartstone’ to positive reviews. Warm reviews have also been received for 'The Barley Skimmers', a book of my pipe compositions. And in early July 'An Orkney Sampler', a collection of my Orkney tunes, will be launched, which I'm really delighted about.
I’ve also worked with acclaimed poet and writer Kenneth Steven, most recently on a music and poetry project based on the ancient Celtic legend of Deirdre of the Sorrows, the performance of which has been described as 'spellbinding' and gave the story new life. Another collection of his poetry A Song Among the Stones is available together with the music I wrote in response to it.
My work as a songwriter is a mixture of both solo work and collaborations with others, including poets Aonghas MacNeacail and Donald S.Murray, and writer Lexie Coynygham. I enjoy writing music to other people’s words or finding the words in their music. Collaborating with different people brings a new perspective and energy that also benefits my solo work.
I play a 19 string wire-strung clarsach from Ardival Harps, Gruar Scottish and Northumbrian smallpipes, and recorder. I've also added keyboard to my repertoire and enjoy all the possibilities each of the instruments I play adds to the composing and arranging possibilities.
Ultimately, whether it’s song or instrumental, in collaboration or solo, for fiddle or pipe, what music is for me is a means of expressing the world around me in a way that goes straight to the heart and allows me to share that experience with others.