that many of the Scottish tunes are named after people. I decided
that I would write a very long tune giving 4 bars of music to each
person on the island of Papay. There are 70 people living there,
which makes 280 bars of music without repeats..
as writing music I also write words - forming ideas through flow
of consciousness. I wanted to approach the composition in the same
way - writing a single line melody from left to right which would
flow from my pen as easily as words do. My starting point was the
fond memories I have of playing with Margaret Rendall (accordionist)
in the Papay pub on Saturday nights so the beginning melodic curves
and rhythms are reminiscent of the Scottish and Island tunes we
played together for the Papay dances.
found the melody took a life of its own and steered me into darker
tonal areas. I suppose I could not escape the changing moods of
the weather in the Islands which was unknowingly influencing me.
The melody became as unpredictable as the wind, weaving into the
brightness of the diatonic folk tunes and out into territories more
akin to Ornette Coleman's free jazz improvisation or early twentieth
century attempts at atonalism.
that the tune should be played by a fiddle and flute player, two
percussionists playing military snare and hide skin drum, and a
non musician improvising on accordion to add a layer of familiar
texture, and to be as disruptive as the ever blowing wind.