We asked Chris Gray a few questions.
Originally from Lockerbie in the South West of Scotland, Chris Gray is a Highland & Border piper, whistle player, pianist, and composer. Chris performs original compositions, and music from the Scottish, Irish, and Scandinavian folk traditions. With a deep understanding and respect for traditional music, Chris’ compositions celebrate these roots, while integrating exciting new influences from other acoustic and contemporary music genres.
In January 2020, at the Celtic Connections festival in Glasgow, Chris released his self-titled debut album, featuring all original compositions, rooted in the tradition of folk music, and a multi-instrumental ensemble. Chris was a 2021 BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year Semi-Finalist, and received a MMus Scottish Music Degree from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. He performs in a variety of settings – solo, duo, trio, and with his 5-piece band. For this showcase, Chris will be joined by Pablo Lafuente on guitar.
As well as performing internationally in Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Slovakia and Oman, Chris is in high demand as a teacher. He has held positions as a piano instructor at Riverside Music Complex and a piping instructor at the renowned Scots College in Sydney, Australia. Whilst in Australia, Chris played many gigs including several folk clubs and also a piano performance at the Parliament of New South Wales. Chris is also a piper with the Inveraray & District Pipe Band and with them has won the 2017 World Pipe Band Championships as well as the Scottish, British & European Championships.
‘Chris Gray has a deep-rooted understanding of the traditional music he has played from an early age. He has a subtle and special touch on both pipes and piano, showing great expression within the traditional idiom but he’s also not afraid to push and mould the music in different ways.’
Piping Live! Festival, Glasgow
“brimming with musical dexterity, ingenuity and expressiveness throughout.”
Allan Wilkinson, Northern Sky Reviews
“As Scotland’s pipers explore ever wider musical horizons, this beautifully-made debut CD from Chris Gray points the way to what can be achieved.”
Iain MacInnes (Former BBC Radio Scotland ‘Pipeline’ Producer)
What are your plans for the future?
In the future, I look forward to performing live as much as possible and feeling the sensation of sharing music with live audiences again. I really thrive on the diverse nature of being a freelance musician – everything from performing to composing, recording, teaching and more! I’ll continue to pursue these different outlets. This past year the pandemic has brought different challenges as a musician and I have worked hard to adapt, being involved with different creative projects – pre-recording shows, commissions to arrange and compose music for various genres, ensembles and projects as well as teaching students online all over the world. I’ll continue to navigate change as we discover it but most importantly, look forward to enjoying the in-person connection with everyone as it becomes possible.
Thanks to Creative Scotland for their support in making this happen.