Gordon Duncan was regarded as one of the finest Scottish pipers in recent times. "While steeped in the art of traditional highland piping, his approach to his music was always imaginative, fresh and at times radical, to the extent that his influence can be heard within an entire generation of younger musicians across Scotland and well beyond," said of Gary West, fellow piper and full time lecturer in the Department of Celtic and Scottish Studies at the University of Edinburgh.
Gordon recorded three solo albums for Greentrax Recordings ("Just for Seumas"; "The Circular Breath " and "Thunderstruck") between 1994 and his untimely death in 2005. "A fourth album was being planned but it was not to be!," says Ian Green, owner of Greentrax Recordings. "A search of various archives, however, revealed some vintage Gordon Duncan solo piping in BBC ‘Pipeline’ sessions, competitions and other sources from which the tracks on this album have been gleaned."
The sources for Just for Gordon include BBC Scotland, Dunkeld Records (a track from a cassette only release of 1990), The Scottish Pipers’ Association (from the ‘Knockout Competition" of 1993), The Festival Interceltique in Lorient (Brittany, France) which provided Gordon’s "MacCallan" trophy win of 1997) and Gordon’s stunning solo set of over 11 minutes at the Vale of Atholl Pipe Band concert in Motherwell in 1996 (not previously released).
"Gordon was always at his best in front of an audience, when his brilliant fingering and variations on the theme were admired by the audiences," continues Ian Green. "All tracks on this CD show Gordon at his very best but some emphasize the sheer genius of the man."
A bonus track, the lovely air "Charlotte", highlights Gordon‘s talents on the low whistle. Gordon was also a prolific and remarkable composer of tunes and many of these are included on "Just for Gordon", including the often recorded "Andy Renwick’s Ferret". Somewhere in the region of 100 artists/folk groups/pipe bands/etc, have recorded this popular tune, including the band Leahy who had a hit in Canada with the set "Call To The Dance" (which included "Andy Renwick’s Ferret").
Other Gordon Duncan compositions which are now almost standards in the traditional music scene include "The High Drive", "The Panda", "Mr and Mrs Duncan’s Golden Wedding" (written for Gordon’s Mum and Dad’s Golden Wedding) and "lan Green of Greentrax".
These and many other tunes which Gordon wrote or made his own are included. A book, "Gordon Duncan’s Tunes," has been published by lan Duncan. It contains 48 of Gordon’s own compositions. Profits from the book and album will go to the Gordon Duncan Memorial Trust.
Buy Just for Gordon.
Author: World Music Central News Department
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