It’s that time of year again…

Glen Coe DSC02264 LR

It really is a double whammy – all the manic run-up to Christmas, and then just seven days later, there’s the new year! I’m sure some universal administrator in the past could have organised this a little better…

Whatever the joys and frustrations of this time of year, there is so much which is really good, not least the winter season itself. For me, the magic at this time of year lies in the beauty of nature in its winter state – the landscapes, the light and the cool crisp air. This has inspired so much wonderful music – old and new, the best of which is always a joy both to listen to and perform.

I’ll be writing a blog for the new year, so I intend to keep this one fairly short, focusing mainly on the attached photograph alongside some music inspired by the image in the photo. ‘Mist-Covered Mountains’ is an old Scottish traditional melody from the Ballachulish region of the Scottish highlands, which is very close to Glen Coe where I took this photograph. This is a superb example of what I mean by fine music being inspired by a winter landscape. The tune is essentially a simple folk melody, but it’s intricate beauty lies in its simple bare quality – for me, this parallels very closely with the raw image of the mountain top covered in an icy mist. The recording is an excerpt of a track from my CD entitled ‘The Playful Pachyderm’ (reproduced here by kind permission of Hyperion Records Ltd.) which I recorded with the New London Orchestra conducted by Ronald Corp and the wonderful Scottish harpist Catriona McKay – you can find details and audio samples of this album at

Let this evocative music ease you into a new year with new challenges…

One thought on “It’s that time of year again…

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