Michael Grey Publishes New Book of Music

Canadian composer Michael Grey (pictured) has produced his seventh book of bagpipe music. It will be launched as part of the 2018 Piping Live! Festival in Glasgow. Michael has sent this information: ‘“More Music for Everyone”, will be showcased at a session at the National Piping Centre’s auditorium, Wednesday, August 15 at 2:30 pm. The book is his most ambitious to date with over 20 contributors, a perfect bound 92 page full colour production.

‘Said Michael, “There’s no doubt in my mind that this collection of music is the most diverse I’ve yet to publish. It seems to me every flavour and texture of pipe music heard today has claimed a little space.” He adds, “I’ve done my best to include stories and photos to go along with the tunes.

‘There was a time that when it came to tune titles I thought it best to pass little or no info along, just to let the mystery of a title keep pipers guessing. I think now there’s more fun with a little background, so there’s loads of good stories, and photos, too.”

‘Contributing composers include: Bernard Bouhadana, Ryan Canning, Duncan Chisholm, Bruce Gandy, Scott Garden, Ann Gray, Nick Hudson, John Lee, Bill Livingstone, Allan MacDonald, Dr Angus MacDonald, Iain MacDonald, Angus MacKenzie, the late Donald Ewen MacPherson, Iain MacPherson, Sean McKeown, Duncan Nicholson, Dougie Pincock, Neil Smith, Terry Tully, Craig Turnbull and Bob Worrall.

‘The distinctive 1950s letterblock boxing poster-inspired book cover was created by Saltcoats-based graphic designer, John Slavin, featuring a piece of art created by Simon Thorp, artist and co-founder of Viz magazine. Said Michael, “One of Simon Thorp’s great creations, Finbarr Saunders (“and his double entendres”) inspired me years ago to name a tune after his cartoon master of the double meaning. I’ve had so many crazy, down-right hilariously funny experiences in my life, especially when the pipes have been nearby, it struck me completely right that Finbarr take pride of place on the cover.” He added, “In Finbarr we see the lighter side of the world – and who couldn’t use more of that?”

‘Michael promises a good kitchen party feel at the book’s launch. Enthusiasts are encouraged to come along and enjoy tunes from many of the book’s contributors. Free limited edition T-shirts to mark the occasion will be up for grabs – with the grabbiest being luckiest (there’s a limited number available). Michael Grey’s 7th Book: More Music for Everyone will be available online and in all the usual places.’

Of his composing, Michael’s website records: ‘Since his early piping years Michael has been a prolific and innovative composer. Evidence of this remarkable composing success is apparent in the on-going popularity of his tunes with bands and individuals at the major competitions: at 1990’s World Pipe Band Championship in Glasgow, there were more examples of bands performing Grey’s tunes than any other composer, living or dead. In 2001 he was commissioned by Piper & Drummer magazine to compose a new pibroch aimed at pushing the musical boundaries of the traditional form.

A founding member of the 1987 World Pipe Band Champion 78th Fraser Highlanders Pipe Band, he left that organization in 1995 and became Pipe Major of Peel Regional Police Pipe Band, one of the world’s top bands. In 1999 Michael left the PRP Pipe Band to focus on solo piping; this same year he won the Scottish Piping Society of London’s (UK) Strachan Cup and again was the aggregate winner of the Vancouver Indoor Meet.

In 2003 Michael consulted with renowned composer John Beckwith’s commission for pipes and orchestra, A New Pibroch. Grey performed the piece’s premiere in March 2003; the piece aired in June of that year on CBC Radio 2.

An adjudicator, workshop leader and a serious student of written pipe tunes and their composers, Michael has six published books of music and nine solo recordings including the December 2009 release, “Unqualified Favourites“. His fifth book, “Music for Everyone“, was published in November 2006 and is currently available free online.

In October of 2007 he joined the premier grade Toronto Police Pipe Band in the roles of music director and Pipe Sergeant and left the band in September 2013. In November of 2013 he joined the legendary, Glasgow Police Pipe Band.

His sixth book of music, “Damned Suites and Other Music”, was released in limited edition form, November 30, 2012.’


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