Well known Scottish piper, James Duncan Mackenzie has released his third solo ablum. Fìbhig (pronounced Fee-vik), an Old Norse word meaning ‘of a bay and hamlet,’ features 19 tunes and one song, all composed and recorded by Mackenzie from his home in Shawbost on the Hebridean island of Lewis.
Other musicians featured on the album include Alasdair White, John Lowrie, Innes White, Luc Mcnally and Allan Nairn, as well as Gaelic singers Calum Alex Macmillan, Eilidh Cormack, Katie Mackenzie, Seonaidh MacIntyre, Fiona J. Mackenzie and Cristin Mackenzie.
Mackenzie said: “Fìbhig was written and largely recorded from home over a two-year period like no other. The tunes on the album are very much inspired by place, people and island life. Fìbhig is the name of a small village, of only two houses, at the end of road we live on in Shawbost on the west side of Lewis and is a beautifully rugged and wild place. It has been a bit of a journey working on this recording and learning more about the recording process along the way. I was very grateful to have some wonderful guest musicians and singers join me on the album who also recorded contributions from their homes.”
Fìbhig consists of 10 tracks and Mackenzie plays Highland pipes, wooden flutes, whistles and guitar. All the tunes can be found in Mackenzie’s debut collection, the James Duncan Mackenzie Collection, which he published in December. The book will be review soon on Bagpipe.news. Mackenzie won the Silver Medal at the 2019 Northern Meeting playing The Bicker.
From the village of Back on the Isle of Lewis, James started piping at the age of eight and was initially taught by Pipe Major Nick Gordon and the late Pipe Major Iain Murdo Morrison. He is a former member of the folk band Breabach with whom he released four studio albums and toured internationally with for over a decade playing Highland Pipes and wooden flutes. He has also played with Scottish Power Pipe band. Creative Scotland funded the recording.
Last year’s Royal National Mòd generated £1.2m for the economy of Inverness and the Highland Council area.
The evaluation was undertaken by Angus firm, Glamis Consultancy on behalf of An Comunn Gaidhealach. The Mòd took place at Eden Court Theatre from October 8-16,