The World Through A Piper's Fingers: Tunes from Rory Sinclair and friends
In Celebration of The 3rd International Gathering of Clan Sinclair, Scotland, 2010

Crave Music was pleased to be involved in this diverse and inspiring collection of tracks, recorded over a four-month period in early 2010, featuring Rory Sinclair on a variety of bagpipes (Highland, smallpipes, electronic). His talent both as a musician and a producer yielded some astounding results on an ecclectic mix of music from traditional Scottish fare to more modern rock and roll. Utilizing many members from his casual band Gordon's Acoustic Living Room, they participated on various tracks and came out with a product that will have you thinking twice about the capabilities of the bagpipe in modern music.

Gordon's Acoustic Living Room @ The Free Times Cafe
Liner Notes (excerpt):

You can order a copy from Rory by . Price is $20 if I hand it to you and $25 if I mail it to you.

Over the past seven years, it has been my great pleasure to play in a band here in Toronto, which we call Gordon’s Acoustic Living Room. The band has indulged me as I brought pipe tune after pipe tune to try out – some Scottish and some not. When playing pipes with other instruments, rather than as a solo competitor or in a pipe band, the beautiful chords that are part of Scottish pipe music but merely implied with pipes alone, become manifest as the other players join in. This I love. Over time it started to dawn on me – indeed this is the seed of this collection – that there are many genres of music in the world that lend themselves to pipe solos if not also whole pipe tunes.

Rory 'Gus' Sinclair
July, 2010

    Track List: (with accompanying notes from the CD)
  1. Lost on the Bayou (Bill Bourne & Alan MacLeod) (3:47)
    This Cajun tune for pipes and guitar was composed by the fabulous duo Bourne and MacLeod of early ’90s fame. When I heard it first in 1990, I have to say that it took me by storm, well before I had even taken up my pipes again.
  2. Waly Waly & The Kilworth Hills (Trad & G.S. McLennan) (4:43)
    The first is an ancient Scottish melody that has its own words but newer lyrics – The Water is Wide – came into the canon in the last century. The Kilworth Hills was composed by the piping genius G.S. MacLennan during his stay on duty with his regiment in Ireland in the 1920s. The harmonies, three parts for Waly and two parts for Kilworth, were composed by Rory.
  3. Redemption Song (Bob Marley) (5:45)
    This classic Bob Marley tune is sung by Gaye. We are blessed on this tune with the wonderful sounds of the Trinidadian pan played by Andy and the wah guitar by Dean.
  4. Hector the Hero (J. Scott Skinner) (3:31)
    This was originally a fiddle tune composed by the legendary J. Scott Skinner of Aberdeen. But since then, pipers have taken it on and over. Here we have small pipes, fiddle and flute carrying the tune and delicious harmonies at the end composed by Joe Rennix.
  5. Calypso Piper (P/M Robert Mathieson) (2:04)
    For me, this is a break-out tune. It so completely captures the Trinidadian Calypso idiom and took my breath away when I first heard it. Andy, one of the finest steel pan players in the universe joins us for this tune. Pipe harmonies composed by Rory.
  6. C'Est La Vie (Chuck Berry) (3:58)
    No introduction necessary. Chuck at his best, this time channelled through the vocals of Wayne and the guitar of Dean.
  7. Highland Cathedral (Korb & Roever) (2:24)
    A tune, written in the ’80s, by two Germans in complete respect for the culture that emanates from Scotland. This version appeared originally on the 2007 Xmas CD of Metropolitan United Church in Toronto and appears here by kind permission of same.
  8. Watermelon Man (Herbie Hancock) (6:04)
    A classic – now brought to you as a duet between sax and highland pipes with funk wah.
  9. Andrew MacNeill of Colonsay, Piobaireachd (William Barrie) (2:45)
    Piobaireachd is the classical form of Scottish pipe music and the tradition goes back to the 15th century. This is a modern piobaireachd composed by Willie Barrie in the early ’90s for his friend and fellow piper Andrew MacNeill. The melodic line is to die for. I must have listened to Willie sing it 1000 times on a tape before I tackled it. Here is the ground of the tune, the main theme. The full tune continues on for another 15 minutes. Piobaireachd has a rhythmic scheme but it cannot be called a tempo and can be hard to follow for other players.
  10. 1Stand By Me (King, Leiber & Stoller) (5:28)
    A classic - one of the great feel good songs of all time.
  11. Smallpipe Set (Rory Sinclair) (5:12)
    Three tunes composed by Rory and performed by him on the lowland Scottish smallpipes, using three chanters in three different keys. The instrument was made for him by Julian Goodacre of Peebles Scotland. Moonlight on Birch Island, for dear friends Biff and Sue Matthews for their hospitality at their cottage on Georgian Bay; Lady Iona Sinclair, for the 30th birthday of the daughter of Malcolm Caithness, Chief of Clan Sinclair; and The Untitled Waltz – there is a great story behind the title … email me for details.
  12. Jazz: Norwegian Wood (Lennon/McCartney) (11:36)
    A familiar tune in a new – nay, strike that – completely new setting complete with South Asian overtones. Guitar by studio jazz maestro Wayne and electronic bagpipe cum wah by Rory. This track was done in one take – Wayne and Rory had thought about what was going to be done a week ahead of time. Bert and Terry found out on the day and the arrangement came into focus as we played.
    With Performances By:
    Rory Sinclair, Terry Campbell, Bert Clarke, Dean Cavill, Wayne Neon, Brian Morgan, Barry Pausey, Gaye Zimmerman-Huycke, Jonathan Rudin, Andy Phillips, Wayne Cass, Dave Hamilton, Dr. Patricia Wright

    YouTube Video of "Lost On The Bayou" performed live (CD track overdubbed) at
    The Free Times Café, June 20, 2010

    Video by John-Marc Hamilton and Robert Jackson
© 2010 Crave Music Studios Toronto.