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Craig (Haggis) McFarlane
The Hangman's Beautiful Dog
Elemental || 15.12.2006 + p+p +tax

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Haunting, atmospheric bagpipe and synth experiment with Mark Robson and Basil Brooks guesting.

Recorded in the Glastonbury Studio - the first two tracks during the same sessions as Mark Robson's 'Lines in the Sand' CD . So by happy circumstance we have here some more music that evolved alongside Mark's initial font of inspiration. In fact certain fragments or elements of these tracks may possibly appear woven into a future instrumental Mark Robson album, but in an unrecognizably different form.

The world is divided in many ways and one I know to be deeply true is between those that love the skirl of pipes and who's blood quickens at their sound, and those who simply can't abide the 'noise' - I am of the former persuasion. Here we have a wonderful and unique celebration of Craig's 23 years of piping (you may have spotted and heard him at the beginning of Nik Turner's recent DVD). Craig is without doubt a master piper (trained in the Scots Guards before hitting the open road), and if you are not lucky enough to catch him occasionally beguiling the passers by with his pipes in Glastonbury High St during the Summer months then try this.

Track one is a ancient highland pibroch (classical highland pipe music) with atmospheric keyboards and synths by a couple of Craig's mates that you may have heard of before. Track two is another pibroch based tune which breaks into a kicking hornpipe with didge and rhythm programming section, and the final track is a pretty far out progressive experiment featuring flute, pipes and a mighty 6ft Gong (or Tam Tam as it should be properly called), and is a bit of a trip.

The very brief track nine is the very first recording to be released from the Gong Unconvention in Amsterdam. Many of you will have heard Craig play during the Pip and Pierre tribute as it paraded around the streets near the Melweg led by the pipes and the El alien.

You will not have heard anything like this before, it's a first - this style of piping is rarely heard outside of Scotland - and everybody needs some gently psychedelically influenced pibroch in their lives, don't they? Then again if you hate the pipes avoid this like the plague.

Comes in a plastic sleeve with a simple folded insert - therefore postage will be cheaper than that automatically quoted by the Kasbah.

Tracks: [60'58]
  1. An Daorach Bheag (The Little Spree) [8'04]
  2. The Massacre of Glencoe and Hornpipes [4'16]
  3. Salamander [5'12]
  4. Crackle Fire [9'06] (poetry and synths lead into a version of 'The Little Spree')
  5. Reel of Tulloch [3'31] (chanter, double bass, bodhran and hand drums)
  6. Caber Feidh [7'31] (Strathspey selection, with double bass and drums)
  7. Rain [13'14] (poetry, Irish flute, synth; pibroch excerpts 'Massacre of Glencoe' and 'Sir James MacDonald of the Isles' Lament', morphing into jigs…)
  8. The Lament for Mary Macleod [7'58] (written c.1642; Mary was a Dunvegan poetess banished by the chiefs from Skye out to Barra)
  9. Outro [2'04] (recorded during the Sacred Geometry set at the Gong Unconvention, Melweg 2006)
Personnel:
  • 1, 2 and 3: Spring 2004-2005, Glastonbury studio
    • Craig McFarlane {Highland Bagpipes, Irish Flute}
    • Basil Brooks {Analogue synths, Ghost voices: 1,2}
    • Mark Robson {Grand piano, Keyboards, Didgeridoo: 1,2}
    • David Knight {6' Tam Tam, track 3 - the one used at the 2005 Gong Unconvention}
  • 4, 5, 6 and 7: Live at the King Arthur, Glastonbury; full moon, 14th March 2006 - bagpipe and synth driven; ancients pibroch + uptempo reels, jigs, hornpipes, extemporaneous vocals
    • Mikey Cosmic {synth}
    • David Hatfield {double bass}
    • Jamuna {voice and kalimba}
    • Simon Bramich {Bodhran and Striking Lighting}
    • Arj {hand drum}
    • Guitar Jake {guitar}
    • Paul Connolly {lighting and tech}
    • Gem {recording}
  • 8: May 2006, Glastonbury studio, May 2006
Studio:
  • Paul O'Reilly {programming, recording and production}
  • Greg Shepherd {recording (Track 3) and compilation}
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