This new digital book, ‘The Fyrish Collection’, is by double Gold Medallist Niall Matheson (pictured). It has more than 50 tunes covering every genre of pipe music from ceòl mòr to jigs and reels. Piobaireachd highlights include Niall’s well received tunes Salute to P/M Alasdair Gillies and Salute to the 51st Highland Division.
The composer’s other works have already met with considerable acclaim. They are steeped in Highland character and lore, truly traditional but also modern.
The book takes its name from Fyrish, a small hill monument behind Alness in Easter Ross where ‘the sun goes down in the summer and shines through the arches’. It is pictured on the front cover:
The 50-page book has notes on the stories behind the titles of the tunes and also two full pages of very interesting photos of Niall, covering his family and piping career.
All tunes are perfectly laid out in clear, computer-based notation by graphics expert Colin Melville. The book fits neatly onto all tablet devices. It is available now via the Piping Press Shop here.
Of his work, Niall writes: ‘The tunes in this collection span the entirety of my piping career and represent many of my fondest memories over that time.
‘They are mostly written in a traditional style, but I have always enjoyed and encouraged the development of piping from one generation to the next and I would be delighted to hear the young, creative minds of today giving their take on these melodies.’
Listen to Niall playing part of Salute to P/M Alasdair Gillies:
Niall was brought up in the village of Newtonmore in the Highlands. He learned to play the pipes under the guidance of John MacDougall and Dr Kenneth Mackay.
At 19 he joined the Queens Own Highlanders with whom he served 11 years. During that time, he was posted all over the world to such places as Northern Ireland, Germany, Belize, Kenya, and the Gulf.
He attended the Army School of Piping at Edinburgh Castle in 1990 where he gained a ‘Distinction’ Pass on his Pipe Majors Course.
In 1994 he left the Army and moved to Inverness to open Cabar Feidh Bagpipe Supplies and concentrated on teaching and competing. As a prolific soloist, Niall has won the very highest awards in piping.
Highlights include both Gold Medals, at the Northern Meeting and Argyllshire Gathering, as well as three Braemar Highland Gathering Gold Medals. His record round the north games is equal to any.
Niall has been the Piping Instructor for schools in East Ross since 1997. During his time there he has taught many top young pipers and formed the very successful Ross and Cromarty Pipes and Drums School (RACPADS) pipe band which he led to victory as both European and World Champions in the Novice Juvenile ‘A’ grade.
The ‘Fyrish Collection’ is available here.