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For the past couple of years, Dad and I have enjoyed having our main holiday in the UK - airport hassle has just got intolerable!
This year, our main hotel was the Best Western Lochardil House Hotel, owned by Eileen Fraser and Graeme MacBean. It’s a lovely family-run hotel just outside Inverness, so we were able to drive right up to John O’Groats and the Isle of Skye with ease!
The night we arrived, after we’d had a meal in their excellent dining room, there was a traditional wedding party going on next door - with a typical band and everyone kitted out in their kilts - the men, that is! It was really exhilarating, just to stand and listen for a few minutes!
I vowed that, on our return, I would celebrate our lovely stay there with my own musical tribute to the hotel, and, more importantly, the people of Scotland and their lovely country itself.
I have linked a traditional Strathspey with a faster Reel, both from my own original material. There’s just a little real Scottish snippet during the last four bars!
While I haven’t tried to be exact, the use of pentatonic scales, the occasional drone, and some ornaments - to suggest the ’gracing’ of the pipes - hopefully recreates what we felt and heard on our first night there. God willing, we hope to get back there soon!
I initially started with a Piano-Duet version, but have now brought out some other instrumental combinations, as I’ve done in the past! The wind band version, for example, is having its premiere later this month.
I felt that a string orchestra version could be a useful stable-mate to Princess Grainne’s Air & Jig - to balance an Irish-inspired piece with one from Scotland!