THE MAKING OF MY SUMMER ISLES ALBUM #3

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Week 2

8th -11th December

I shouldn’t be surprised as it is December in the Highlands of Scotland but, the weather has been so bad for my time writing at home! In an ideal world I would have planned to write the album in the Summer months but this was the only window in my diary. On one of the slightly better days myself and my dad went for a walk to Fox Point.  The sky was so vivid that day and the islands were looking amazing. (see photo)

Another day with occasional breaks from the rain I took the dog for a walk along Badentarbet beach and made a start sketching the view. (Not advisable to sketch with a dog lead in one hand!) I drove the car to the view point and did some sketches from there also. In the last year I have not made as much time for sketching as I’d like so it is taking a while to retrain my eye. Sketching and taking photographs are an important part of the research process for me. I will post developments later on.

This week I made a start writing a Pibroch which I would like to develop and put on the album. Murdo Macleod was the last crofter-fisherman to leave Tanera and on Kist o Riches he talks about the ghosts, the botach and the general superstition that surrounded their lives on Tanera. This inspired a recurring riff in 7/8 (maybe a haunting ghost!) and there is 4/4 melody to go over the top. There is also a great story about the MacCrimmons from Skye working at the herring fishing on Tanera.  The young MacCrimmon won the Pibroch competition even after someone had put pin holes in his pipe bag! I have written this track in the style of a Pibroch with a main theme and variations and I hope to develop most of the textural variations in the studio.

This week I also wrote The Clachorian (Stone jumping birds), Isle Ristol, Bottle Island and Tanera Treasure. At this stage I am not sure if these will make sense on my final idea for the album but you never know in what guise they may be used!

I travelled to Inverness on the Friday of that week for the MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards and was absolutely delighted that Summer Isles Festival won Community Project of the Year!

Week 3 blog coming soon.

This album is supported by Creative Scotland Creative_Scotland_bw960

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