A 'slip jig' composed for my parents Strathspey home 'Cherrygrove' – for all the great house ceilidhs there with friends and family over the years. A tenant farmer called Donald Grant lived at Cherrygrove before us. He also worked in the goods sheds up at Grantown-on-
Spey East, just over the river from the house.
Track 11 from my second solo album The Railway.
Commissioned by Karen Blessington of Grantown East: Highland Heritage & Cultural Centre © Hamish Napier MCPS/PRS 2018 www.hamishnapier.com
Composer website: http://www.hamishnapier.com
Link to audio of music:
Hamish Napier is a Scottish folk multi-instrumentalist, educator and composer inspired by the heritage and nature of his native landscape. He was born and brought up in Strathspey. For 17 years he lived and worked in Glasgow and Boston’s vibrant, multi-genre music scenes. On returning home 4 years ago, he began his 'Strathspey Pentalogy’, an ambitious 10-year project to produce 5 landscape inspired albums. The River (‘16) and The Railway (‘18) received 5-stars in national newspapers. The Woods (’20) was awarded 'Album of the Year' in the Scots Trad Music Awards – he has previous nominations for Community Composer, Live Act and Tutor of the Year.
Hamish has collaborated with leading artists such as Eddi Reader, Karen Matheson (Capercaillie), Julie Fowlis (Brave), Duncan Chisholm (Wolfstone), Blue Rose Code and Martyn Bennett. He has worked on national TV/radio as both performer and presenter, and appeared at festivals, theatres, music camps and universities throughout the UK, Europe and America.
Hamish's work often includes elements of Gaelic & Scots language and is modelled on traditional reels and jigs. He strives for a balance between tradition and innovation, celebrating and respecting Scotland’s rich musical heritage while transcending boundaries, with jazz, electronic and classical techniques. Hamish combines wooden flutes, fiddles and pipes, with a modern rhythm section and pioneering music production.
His work is often interdisciplinary: syncing his music to landscape films or incorporating poems and stories. Hamish produced a film 'Strathspey Stories' that premiered at the Scottish International Storytelling Festival. He also gathered and recorded 10 hours’ worth of local stories for the ‘Badenoch The storylands’ smartphone travel app, for Cairngorms National Park – a huge project developed over 9 months during the 2020/21 lockdowns.
Hamish was music lecturer and tutor on the BMus Traditional Music course at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland for many years – specialising in flute, piano, music theory, ensemble work and composition. He has taught at dozens of music camps in North America and Europe including Haapavesi Folk Festival Music School in Finland and the Pacific Institute of Celtic Performing Arts in Canada. From 2013-2015 he was the musical director for the Ceol Mor Big Band at Aberdeen International Youth Festival. The 20-piece youth trad band performed several new compositions and traditional North East tunes and songs at Aberdeen Music Hall, The Lemon Tree and at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall for Celtic Connections.
“There’s stunning craft to Hamish’s music-making. The sleeve-notes for The Woods are little Nan-Shepherd-esque prose-poems in their own right. A project of such skill and concentration…I salute the ambition, vision and timescale of his Pentalogy project.”
Robert MacFarlane ‘The Lost Words’
★★★★★ “[The Woods is]…a beautifully constructed, evocative and distinctive album…a splendid and rare treat.” SONGLiNES Magazine
★★★★★ “Scintillating…brilliantly vivid”
★★★★★ “Napier has the composer’s gift of painting a picture with sound, more evocative that an artist. Superb.” FATEA Magazine
"[The Woods is]…a vivid exploration of woodland, and its connection to the past and present. Meticulous research and authenticity drives it…a work of passion and commitment.”
Cameron McNeish, Scots Magazine
“Rich and complex…a tremendous piece of work and highly recommended"
Chris Townsend Outdoors
If you would like to contact the composer – you can email them here.