Strathspey and Surreal – Sat 23rd 1pm, concert hall


I’ve really enjoyed writing the music over the Christmas period. The piece is made up of 6 tunes (which sorted a few of my christmas presents). It opens with a tune called Dramtime, written for my Dad. Dramtime is 1pm, Granny Pam comes over and any family members kicking about join for a dram.

One of the ideas I had was to transfer a vamping piano accompaniment onto the fiddles. I recorded the parts into my laptop and from there jammed ideas until the tune came about.

What follows is a tune called “The Swell in Ardtoe”. The room in which dramtime happens looks over the water. It is normally flat calm, but a rare swell created perfect waves for surfing. My boyfriend, Mike Guest was straight out and in the water to surf and we all sat with our drams in the warmth watching excitedly…in the warmth.

Another idea was to take any other sounds of a typical Strathspey and reel, such as fiddle tuning, yapping, squeaking and build a piece from them. This tune is called disassembled. I promise it’s not that bad.

svalbard_0612_7798_700px1After I’d written a few reels I thought it was a good idea to not write another. This is a Waltz, I wrote for Mum. I called it Little Auk for Mum, as she’d been really hoping to see one of these little birds and the day I was due to print out the tunes, She saw one.

I decided to try writing a Strathspey, So I wrote one in E and called it Lulu and the Girls of Rumster. One dramtime, Granny Pam was telling us about the cows she had on Rumster farm. She was very fond of them and had names for them all, Lulu, Primrose, Rosemary, Mirabel – were a few.

It finishes with a reel in E, since after a strathspey its all ya want. So ended up writing another reel, I named it Freckles. Because it sounds happy and Mike Guest is a happy chappy.


We had our first rehearsal last week, and it was a great laugh. ShonaSimon and Aidan‘s and pieces are brilliant and all quite different so I think its going to be an entertaining afternoon! looking forward to saturday now!

The fiddlers are Shona Mooney, Mhairi Mackinnon, Laura Wilkie, Patsy Reid, Lori Watson, Kristen Harvey, Lauren MacColl, Chris Stout, Aidan O’Rourke, Catriona Price, Adam Sutherland, Innes Watson, Ross Couper, Jenna Reid and Rua MacMillan.

They also have six Students from Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. They are Ryan Young, Sally Simpson, Robbie MacKenzie, Bernadette Kellerman, Madeleine Stewart and Graham Rorie.

They’ll be conducted by Dave Milligan.

The four pieces are: (performance order)

  1. Disassembled (Jenn Austin)
  2. 100 Days (Aidan O’Rourke)
  3. For A That Variation (Shona Mooney)
  4. Deil Amang the Fiddlers (Simon Thoumire)

The concert is being videoed and recorded and will be made available on YouTube in due course.

Tickets are available here for the gig –  Sat, 1pm in the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall Main Auditorium