Next couple of weeks

I’ve been enjoying the opportunity to play in some classical music settings recently, and the challenge of getting my flute chops up to scratch! Following on from Northern Lights Wind Quintet’s Saturday lunchtime performance at St Paul’s Cathedral, Dundee, I’ve two more concerts coming up in October. Flutes en Route is an ensemble that started life while its members were all students at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (now Royal Conservatoire of Scotland). I joined the quartet in 2010, and since then we’ve had lots of great times from recitals to community concerts and the development of a musical storytelling project in conjunction with Live Music Now. We’ll be playing a varied programme at Stranraer ‘Music For All’ (St John’s Church, Stranraer) on Friday 3rd October at 7.30pm.

October also sees the launch of The Glasgow New Music Expedition, a group I’m very proud to be part of. The ensemble performs music by living composers, and will open its concert season at the Arches, Glasgow, on the 17th. Our Artistic Director, Richard Greer, has been working hard to organise it all: no mean feat. GNME now needs an extra boost to its infrastructure to ensure that everything runs in a smooth and professional manner, doing justice to everybody’s hard work so far. If you’re interested in giving the group a hand, take a look at GNME’s kickstarter campaign here. Earplugs at the ready, I’m off to practise the piccolo now…

I’ll leave you with this fascinating video – discovered by accident this morning – reminding us all that everything has its purpose and part to play in a bigger system.

Blabbermouth and more

It was a privilege to be part of National Theatre of Scotland’s Blabbermouth – a twelve hour celebration of Scottish writing in song, poetry and speech – on Wednesday 17th September. A hugely  uplifting, moving and enjoyable experience. Read a round-up from Brian Ferguson here.

I’m off for a return visit to Ramsbottom Festival with Admiral Fallow tomorrow, having first played there in 2012. It has a great line up, friendly atmosphere (and good food stalls if I remember correctly…) Then, the following weekend brings a trio of shows: another outing of Inge Thomson‘s superb Da Fishing Hands at the inaugural Findhorn Bay Arts Festival, a lunchtime concert in Dundee with Northern Lights Wind Quintet, and a solo gig closer to home at the Glad Cafe in Glasgow, supporting Kim Churchill for Glow Arts.

I’m also really looking forward to beginning work with another Belt It Oot singing group next week. I had a wonderful few months teaching on the project earlier this year, and am so pleased it’s been awarded more funding.

Over and out for now…

Emerging Excellence Award

I am absolutely delighted to have received an Emerging Excellence Award from Help Musicians UK, which will provide a vital contribution to the recording of my Celtic Connections commission, ‘Woven’. I’ve booked studio time for later in the year, and can’t wait to get started! For more information about how to apply for these awards, keep an eye on this page for the next deadline. Many thanks to Help Musicians UK for their support.

Coming up…

I’ve a very busy few weeks coming up, and am really looking forward to it all! Some canny suitcase packing is required once again, but I reckon I’ve got it down to a fine art now…

On 1st and 2nd Aug, Admiral Fallow will be heading out to a couple of festivals: Kendal Calling (Calling Out stage, 6pm) and The Glasgow Mixtape (Glasgow Green, 7:30pm). Then we’ve a day at home before the first of two chunks of tracking for our next album. 

It’s also going to be great to tutor at the Folkworks Junior Summer School again – last year was just brilliant. I’ll be part of a concert celebrating 25 years of the Summer Schools, Elvet Methodist Church, Durham on 15th August.

Then it’s straight back to the studio with the band to continue work on our new songs. There are sure to be photographic updates of the process over at AF’s Facebook page, so keep an eye on that for more information on our zen recording rituals.