Category Archives: Music

An optimistic note

(Also available as a podcast here) ‘Put it this way – if it was a horse I’d have to shoot it.’ John, the piano tuner came today. It’s an old joke of his. It’s an old piano, too. Although the … Continue reading

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Songs of hope

(Also available as a podcast here) At this time of year when the air is still and cold, mist gathers over the River Tay and hangs above the salmon pools, making ghosts of the venerable beech trees that line the … Continue reading

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Stranger at the Rodeo

Lost in the hills to the south of Perth is a former schoolhouse, one of the four or five buildings in a hamlet gloriously named Path of Condie. The place feels like an eyrie, with brackeny valleys plunging away below … Continue reading

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A hard rain

Although he was a prominent part of the soundtrack to my student days, I was never a huge Bob Dylan fan. I found the nasal voice, the rudimentary guitar-strumming and harmonica-playing, grating; and the apparent stream-of-consciousness of the lyrics confusing. … Continue reading

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What love requires

Last time I mentioned the Night For Angus concert, a tribute to the life and music of fiddler Angus Grant, which takes place tomorrow at Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall.  Yesterday, in preparation, I listened to a live recording of a … Continue reading

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The Gutenbergs

No one would deny that Gutenberg is a name with which to conjure. Johannes Gutenberg transformed society with his invention of mechanical printing in the 1440s. Half a millenium later, in 1971, Michael Hart, an American student, wangled himself time … Continue reading

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In concert

On Easter Monday I took part in a concert in Dunkeld Cathedral to raise money for Syrian refugees. If that sounds grand, it wasn’t. It was very much a community event, conceived by the cathedral organist, Michael Anderson, and local … Continue reading

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Baby’s back

Maybe it’s an antidote to the continuing darkness – though it’s not quite as dark as this time last week – but I feel compelled to write about uplifting things at the moment. Last week it was wee Dougie and … Continue reading

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Wee Dougie

The light has returned at last, brought back to us by a cold north wind that has also brought with it hard frost and snow. Gone are the seemingly endless days of twilight and the interminable rain we’ve endured this … Continue reading

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The Weight

Sometimes you just have to start writing. I’m sorry if there’s a sense of déjà vu about those seven words, but this is another of those increasingly frequent days when as the (self-inflicted) deadline approaches I realise I have not … Continue reading

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