Dr Angus MacDonald - Maidean Dubh' an Donais (The Black Sticks Of The Devil)

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Music samples


(December 2009) 17 tracks: Angus MacKinnon of Eigg / MacBeth's Strathspey / Stornoway Castle * Dh'ith na Coin na Maragan / Reel of Tulloch / Muileann Dubh / Cailleach Liadh Ratharsair * The Air Tune / Fàg a' Phìob Bhochd / The Hawk * Murachadh Thobha Churraig Dhuibh / Maighdeanan a' Choire Dhuibh / Cur na Gobhair às a' Chreig / Chuckie MacLellan's Reel * Roderick MacDonald's Strathspey / CBCs Glen and Carl / MacFarlane's Rant / Ciaran Tourish * John MacFadyen of Melfort / Dora MacLeod / The Little Cascade * Con Cassidy's / An Ath Bhanais / Jimmy Ward's Jig / Nighean na Caillich * A Thearlaich Òig a' Chuailein Chiataich / Fear a' Choire / Mànus Mòr na Guaille / Fìre Faire * Essan Cottage / The St Valery Pipes / Coinneach air an Stiùir * Highland Harry / Back of the Change House / Dan J Campbell's Reel / Stumpie * Luinneag Mhic Leòid / Chloe's Passion / Co Ni Mire ri Màiri / Highland Jig * Kantara to El Arish / Ewe With The Crooked Horn / Sandy Cameron / The Flaggon * Òran Mòr Mhic Leòid / Maidean Dubh' an Donais / Nach Dannsadh am Ministear * Buntata's Sgadain / Jonnie Sullivan's Reel / Sir Ronald MacDonald's Reel / Mary MacDonald's Reel * Fr Eugene's Welcome to Cape North / Goose Cove / Larry and Eleanor Parks * The Maids in the Green / Bill Lamey's Jig / Connaughtman's Rambles * Dhanns i Leam, a Mhaighdeann Bhrèagha / South Uist Golf Club / A-null Thar nan Eileanan Dh' Ameireagaidh Gun Tèid Sinn or Over The Isles To America / The Lads of Mull.

Dr Angus MacDonald's musical influences were formed growing up in Glenuig in Moidart, and from visits to his mother's people in South Uist where the piping tradition was especially strong.

He has also been influenced by the music and Gaelic song he heard in Cape Breton during the years that he lived there. In the fiddle music, especially in the strathspey playing, Angus recognised the rhythms he was brought up listening to, in the songs his father sang and in Gaelic music in general. The words of a song associated with a tune, provide a template which preserves the inherent rhythm and character of that tune over generations.

Though a healthy culture will undergo changes, traditional music as played today in Scotland has been influenced by patronage and aristocracy, and has been sanitised and made more genteel. The older Scottish and the Gaelic names have been replaced by labels such as 'Lady So-and-so's Favourite'. This did not happen in Cape Breton or to puirt-a-beul, the Gaelic songs for dancing in Scotland. It is from this platform that Dr Angus's arrangements and expression of the music comes.

For this recording Angus has added accompaniment to some tracks. The repertoire is largely traditional but with several entirely new compositions of his own and of his brothers, Allan and Iain.

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