Lorne MacDougall: Hello World

Scotland, like Ireland, is proud of its heritage and traditional music, and quite rightly so. It takes its music and musicians seriously and pays them homage. Lorne MacDougall is a piper, and not just any piper — he is brilliant! You don’t get to be 3 times BBC Radio Scotland “Young Traditional Musician of the Year” finalist for nothing. Mind you he was awarded a BA in Scottish Music at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in 2005 — so I suppose that helps! 

On Hello World Lorne demonstrates his musical dexterity in a variety of tunes, jigs, reels, and slow airs using his Highland pipes, reelpipes, small pipes, and whistles. Some of the tunes are in a traditional style and others in a modern style verging on almost folk rock.

The title track, a set of tunes called ‘Hello World‘ was penned by Lorne, as are most of the contemporary work on the album. The score for ‘Hello World’ and ‘Scalascraig’, the other tune in the set, is included in the booklet containing the set notes. This may be of interest to the pipers amongst you.

I don’t profess to be an expert on the pipes — so the score was lost on me! But I know what I can hear, and I liked what I heard, and I can appreciate the skill. I think you will too.

To add a little light and shade to the entertainment of the album, at track 8 there is a song ‘Fishermans Dream’ written by John Martyn sung by Ross Kennedy (guitar and bouzouki), one of the guest musicians on the album. The others are James Mackintosh, percussion and drums; Duncan Lyall, bass guitar; Brian McNeill,: concertina, octave fiddle, fiddle, and mandolin; Adam Brown, bodhran; Troy McGillivray, piano; Andy Thorburn, piano; Martin Simpson, guitar; and Siobhan Miller, vocals.  

Overall, I found this quite a good, entertaining album with some really good music that deserves to be listened to, rather than being resigned to just background music as is so often the case.

You can buy the album online here and lean more about Lorne MacDougall – Scottish piper extraordinaire!   

(Greentrax Records, 2010)

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