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Event Series Event Series: Mare Music presents…

Donald WG Lindsay & Alasdair Roberts


Mare Music

Wed 18 Sep 2024 @ 7:30 pm - 10:30 pm


Old Lab
1 Summerhall
Edinburgh,EH9 1PLUnited Kingdom
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0131 560 1580
Age Group: 16+
Duration: 3h
Contains flashing lights. Standing only event. For access information please contact the venue directly

Scottish musicians Donald WG Lindsay and Alasdair Roberts have been friends for thirty years, since their teenage days. In these three decades, their careers in music have taken them down differing yet similarly unorthodox paths, and they’ve continued to make a lot of music together, usually informally. They’ve only rarely appeared together in concert, but in autumn 2024 they will remedy this state of affairs with their first duo tour.

Donald WG Lindsay is best known as the creator of the ‘Lindsay System’ three-octave keyless chanter for the Scottish smallpipes, as played by him on the critically acclaimed album History of Sleep recorded in collaboration with Glasgow experimental legend Richard Youngs. Donald is a former convenor of the Lowland and Border Pipers Society, with which he has a long association. Although a traditional singer since his teens, Donald has rarely ventured onto the stage as a vocalist, although he has recorded sporadically. In late 2020 he received airplay on BBC Radio 6 Music from Iggy Pop, who described his music as “…beautifully played… the whole record is really good.”

Alasdair Roberts is primarily known as a singer, guitarist, writer of songs and interpreter of traditional songs from Scotland and beyond. Since the nineties he has released several albums, mostly on the Drag City label, variously acclaimed both by aficionados of traditional song and experimental music. He has toured extensively in Scotland and worldwide. A keen collaborator, Alasdair has worked with many fellow musicians and practitioners from other disciplines including theatre, film, poetry and puppetry. He is a member of the folk quartet The Furrow Collective and the cult underground group Current 93.

For their duo tour, Donald and Alasdair will present a programme featuring a rich variety of pipe tunes with guitar accompaniment, as well as a broad selection of songs both traditional and original. The pipe tunes bring together a diverse range of influences, from Scots fiddle tunes (Donald’s elder brother’s fiddling being an early influence), by way of Hungarian and Romanian pipe music, to classic and contemporary Highland piping and Lowland, Border and Northumbrian tunes. The songs range from variants (some rare, some more well-known) of traditional ballads or ‘muckle sangs’, to songs from the Scots lyrical tradition from the early modern period onwards, to contemporary songs written by both Alasdair and Donald.

Support comes from Fidra.

Fidra is a folk music project based in Leith, Scotland, led by singer-songwriter Craig Salter. Fidra’s music is inspired by the natural beauty of the Scottish landscape and the rich musical heritage of the country. Intricate guitar work, profound vocals and soaring fiddle create a unique sound that is both captivating and emotional.

Bringing together musicians from across Scotland, Fidra’s music evokes elements of traditional Scottish folk music combined with a modern edge, blending a wide range of acoustic and electronic sounds.

“Beautiful” – Grant Scott, BBC Radio Scotland

“A lovely sound, instruments weaving melody lines around each other in a very pleasing way” – Celtic Music Radio

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