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  • 23/10/13

    I'm on a train heading south to Manchester and contemplating my travels over the next couple of weeks.

    I meet up with Kan this afternoon and rehearse for our WOMEX Showcase which is on Thursday night in Cardiff. On Friday Lau arrive and we showcase that evening. I played WOMEX once before with The Unusual Suspects in Gateshead and appreciate the opportunities it can open up globally. It's gonna be a full on few days.

    Then on Saturday morning I hop on a train to London with Kan and we fly out to India that night.
    We're guests of the British Council who have put on the following gigs:
    27/10/13 Mumbai at Bandra Fort amphitheatre
    30/10/13 Bengaluru at Windmills Craftworks
    01/11/13 Kolkata at Calcutta School of Music

    We'll be doing some workshops and masterclasses and hopefully a bit of collaborating in between.
    Pretty excited about this trip. I've never been to India but have heard countless positive reports from friends who have visited. Also had various bits of advice thrown at me the last few weeks: don't open your mouth in the shower, only eat peel-able fruit, sleep with passport under pillow on trains, get good at bartering....
    After we finish the gigs I'm flying north to Bagdogra and then travel to Darjeeling for a 5 day break. What awaits me there? Photos to follow. Ax

  • 15/10/13

    So here we are half way through October. I've had a few weeks off the road now and have been concentrating on writing new music. I've been sharing the writing between the Atomic Doric project through Woodend Barn and Lau's New Music Biennial commission through the PRSF for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next year.

    But, fast approaching is another period of gigging.

    I'll be doing some SOLO-ish gigs in Glasgow and Edinburgh this week. We'll be playing tracks from my latest record Hotline and also some from the previous An Tobar

    Thurs 17th October - Glasgow, The Glad Cafe
    with Sarah Hayes from Admiral Fallow opening

    Friday 18th October - Edinburgh, Pleasance Theatre as part of The Pleasance Sessions curated by The Insider Festival
    with Poppy Ackroyd opening.

    I'll be performing along with:
    Catriona McKay - Harp
    Phil Bancroft - Sax
    Paul Harrison- Piano and synths
    James Philip Goodwin (KAN) - Drums

    Hope to see you there.

  • 12/09/13

    I've had an incredible but intensely busy summer. Things always quieten down a little in September after the madness of the festival season. But not for long...

    My album Hotline was released on July 1st and has been receiving good reviews. Here's one from The Herald. And Songlines gave it 4 stars calling it 'A mosaic placing the traditional next to the experimental - as much jazz as it is folk'.

    Since the start of July I've played festivals in Ortigueira in Galicia, Hebcelt, Larmer Tree, Folk By the Oak, Wickham, Trelawnyd, Sidmouth, Snape Proms, Fiddle Frenzy in Shetland,Telemark in Norway, Green Man in Wales and Tonder in Denmark.

    Low playing Green Man. Lau played this stage on the Sunday evening. It was exciting.

    I've also written the music for a play called The Baroness, a psycho-sexual drama set in the early 1950s and tells the story of the intense friendship between the 62-year-old Karen Blixen (pen-name Isak Dinesen), the writer of Out of Africa, and Thorkild Bjornvig, 29 years old and a rising star of Danish poetry. It opened in Stornoway on 31st August and is touring Scotland through September with the brilliant Dogstar Theatre Company. The play will finish off at The Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh on the 27th and 28th September.

    Rehearsals for The Baroness in Stornoway

    This month sees me writing more and touring less. Reacquainting myself with Edinburgh post festival is always a treat. I've been writing for The Woodend Barn's Atomic Doric project and have started, with Lau, on a new piece for the PRSF's New Music Biennial programme which will premiere at Celtic Connections in 2014 and will be used as part of the Commonwealth Games celebrations in Glasgow.

    There are some gigs though! Kan are out on the road next weekend.

    Thursday 19th - The Tolbooth, Stirling
    Friday 20th - Saltaire Festival
    Saturday 21st - CCA, Glasgow

    Hope to see you at some of these.

    Here's hoping for an Indian summer. Do we even get those?

    Aidan x

  • 23/07/13

    I'm heading north tomorrow to spend some time in some beautiful areas in Aberdeenshire. The purpose is to connect with the landscape and the people and eventually I'll write some music which will be performed in Woodend Barn in November.

    But the next few days are about walking and talking and playing tunes outside, meeting people and being inspired by what's around me. It got me thinking tonight, about what actually inspires me when I write:

    Being outdoors and with nature calms me. The flash of inspiration doesn’t often come to me when I'm outside just because I’m outside and it’s beautiful. It's more to do with when I'm actually writing (and it's grafting, for me anyway) and I have a contemplative place I can go to, to help block out the madness or mundanity or stress of life.

    I sit and play and record and focus on the beautiful things. Then I play more and notate and try and be at peace, to create. Nature and the outdoors and especially the Scottish landscape is a safe and comforting place in my mind.

    If I get a chance to spend time to write in these areas then all the better. It doesn't always lead to calming beautiful music, quite often the opposite, but it helps calm the peripheral thoughts that can often blur the creative channels.

    I often write music about places. This is a strange concept to some people. But it seems quite natural to me. It's not like the music is directly influenced by the shape of that hill or the sound of that wave, it might be, in some way, but the dedication of the tune to a place is more about how that place made me feel and how it helped focus my mind on the music and only the music.

    More info in this project here