May 2008: A Celebration of The Music of Gordon Duncan

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ON THIS DAY in May 2008, Greentrax Recordings released A Celebration of the Music of Gordon Duncan. It’s an album full of sparkling traditional music, including the fabulous Anada Pa Gael from the pipes of José Manuel Tejedor and the fiddle of Duncan Chisholm. The article below was published in Piping Today #34.

FRIENDS, family, students and admirers of the late Gordon Duncan got together at the Perth Concert Hall on September 29, 2007, to celebrate the life and work of a piper and composer who is widely held to have been one of the finest musicians and one of the most pervasive musical influences of his generation.

They included an impressive number of highly regarded Scottish pipers, songwriters and traditional musicians, but also performers from Brittany, Ireland and Asturias — all of whom acknowledged Gordon Duncan’s contribution to their own music and lives, and the inspiration he provided, and they reflected their feelings in the performances they gave that night.

They included Dougie MacLean, Kris Drever, Gordon’s father Jock Duncan and son, Gordon junior, Session A9 (formed by Charlie McKerron of Capercaillie, with Gordon Gunn, Adam Sutherland, Kevin Henderson, Tim Edey, Brian McAlpine and Iain Copeland), Marc Clement, Duncan Chisholm, Maggie MacInnes, Allan MacDonald, Ross Ainslie, Jarlath Henderson, Ali Hutton, Eamon McCann, Sylvain Hamon, José Manuel Tejedor, the National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland, the Atholl Highlanders Pipe Band … the concert was presented by Fiona Ritchie and Gary West.

Rob Adams wrote in The Herald: “As images of Gordon Duncan’s musical life, triumphs and impudence flashed up behind a specially gathered band of piping and traditional music heavyweights playing a selection of his brilliant tunes, here was confirmation — if any were needed — of tribute being paid to a national treasure.”

And the concert, which played to a capacity audience, was held in part to further the Gordon Duncan Memorial Trust’s aims in providing support for piping and other forms of traditional music among young people in Scotland.

The concert was recorded and the CD is now available, proceeds from its sale also going to the Gordon Duncan Memorial Trust. by MIKE PATERSON2008

•The CD is still available from www.greentrax.com, and can also be downloaded from Apple and Spotify.