Norman Matheson MBE 1932-2022

It is with sadness that I report that Norman Matheson MBE passed away at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary yesterday, 10th January. He was 89. Norman was born in Inverness. He spent his formative years in Avonside a few miles from Tomintoul, the Moray-shire mountain village where he had his early education.  His father was, for a while, a garage manager in Inverness and his mother a district nurse in the village. Norman was…

Review: Piobaireachd is for Everyone by Dan Nevans

Reading of this book, I imagined it would make ceòl mòr more accessible to pipers who had little interest in it, hopefully inspiring them, and that it would help listeners gain greater enjoyment from performances. This has been attempted in the past and proved a tall order. There have been publications on the theme of piobaireachd appreciation before and Seumas MacNeil’s ‘Piobaireachd’ [available here] is one of the more successful….

A Reset of Silver Medal Qualification is Required Post Pandemic

The last major piping events at the Argyllshire Gathering (AG), Oban, and the Northern Meeting (NM), Inverness, were in 2019 and the next such events will be, hopefully, in 2022. We will all be three years older by the time we sit down to listen once more to these great competitions.Looking at past programmes of the Northern Meeting it is surprising how the names of the players change in a…

Review of Online Bagpipe Music Book: ‘The Fyrish Collection’ by Niall Matheson

The title of the book comes from Fyrish Hill (Cnoc Fhaoighris, in Gaelic), near Evanton in Easter Ross. On the cover is the depiction of a summit monument built in 1782 on the orders of the laird, General Sir Hector Munro of Novar, who had served in India. At the time the population was being expelled from the land in favour of sheep and human survival was a under threat….

Review: ‘Over the Chindwin to Lochaber – A Scottish Piper’s Memoir’ by Pipe Major Evan Macrae BEM

Evan Macrae was the Pipe Major in the Cameron Highlanders for 13 years and served in various theatres of war and conflicts including places in the Far East – but this is not a war book. It is an easy, pleasant read. Evan was born in 1922 and commences with his earliest memories as a young lad, one of a family of four. Despite knowing him, I was surprised to learn…