Tag Archives: Edinburgh

Tonkori



Yesterday I was in Edinburgh for lessons. I also managed tea at the Scottish Malt Whisky Society, and a look round the newly refurbished Royal Museum.

In the new museum there is a small gallery of musical instruments, and I was delighted to see a tonkori on display. I have never seen one before, but some years ago a friend in Japan sent me a copy of Oki, Tonkori. This very interesting string music, on an instrument with only 5 or so notes, has to my ear many parallels with the indigenous European string arts such as lyre, jouhikko, kantele, and harp. I think the musical patterns are suprisingly reminiscent of the music in Robert ap Huw’s manuscript.

Makars Court Stone Unveiling


Yesterday I was at Makars Court in Edinburgh for the unveiling of the stone dedicated to Lachlan Mòr MacMhuirich, the famous Gaelic poet. This photo (thanks to Karen Loomis) shows me playing the harp to accompany Malcolm Maclean reading Lachlan Mòr’s Brosnachadh or incitement to Clan Donald before the Battle of Harlaw, July 1411. Seated behind are Elizabeth Grubb, Lady Provost of Edinburgh; Alan Currie (hidden); Councillor Deirdre Brock, Convener of the Culture and Leisure Committee, Edinburgh City Council; Dr. Donald William Stewart, University of Edinburgh; Robert Currie, President of the Clan Currie Society, and George Grubb, Lord Provost of Edinburgh.

Lachlan Mór MacMhuirich and the Battle of Harlaw

On Friday, July 22nd, and Saturday July 23rd, I am taking part in interesting and important events in Edinburgh, organised by the Clan Currie Society.

On Friday 22nd, at 11am, a stone will be unveiled in the Makar’s Court, outside the Writers Museum just off Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. The court is paved with stone slabs, each commemorating an important Scottish writer, and the latest stone is for Lachlan Mór MacMhuirich, and will be engraved with the first two lines of his famous brosnachadh, or incitement to Clan Donald before the battle of Harlaw in July 1411:
A Chlanna Cuinn, cuimhnichibh
Cruas an am na h-iorghaile

On Saturday 23rd, starting at 10am, in the Royal Scots Club on Abercrombie Place, Edinburgh, there will be a symposium on Lachlan Mór MacMhuirich and the Battle of Harlaw, with a good selection of speakers.

You can find out more details on the Clan Currie event website.

See also my Harlaw music pages.