From: Macmeanmna News [naidheachdan_at_gaelicmusic_dot_com]
Sent: 30 March 2009 22:14
Subject: Publication of new Blair Douglas Music Book

Attachments: Blair.jpg
This week sees the launch of a stunning collection of tunes and Gaelic songs by an award-winning Skye composer.  Blair Douglas, the Skye-based musician and composer, voted Composer of the Year at last year’s Scots Trad Music Awards, will launch Mànran* which features about fifty of his compositions in staff notation, coupled with extensive background notes in Gaelic and English.  Settings for the pipes are provided for a number of the tunes.
The collection includes many of Blair’s best-known compositions such as Kate Martin’s Waltz, Solus m’Àigh, Nelson Mandela’s Welcome to the City of Glasgow, Angels from the Ashes and Skye Glen Waltz.
Blair is a consummate musician with an international reputation, and considered to be one of this generation’s foremost tunesmith and songwriters. The enduring popularity of his work, and the fact that many of his tunes have entered the repertoires of traditional musicians and pipers, is testament to the eagerness with which this collection has been awaited.
Blair was born in Uig in Skye and a rich musical vein came down to him from both sides of the family.  His mother, Ina who was of North Uist people was herself a great singer and musician and many singers and tradition bearers pepper his father Alasdair’s family.  They were from the north end of the island, their forebears having come originally from the Borders to Skye.  So, as they say in Gaelic, Blair did not have to ‘buy’ his musical ability, it was already in his blood.  Blessed with this innate talent Blair has, through tuition he received and the influences to which he was exposed honed and perfected his abilities.
It was the playing of the late, lamented Niall Chẹis of Lewis which inspired Blair to buy an accordion. This he quickly mastered and then he teamed up with Calum and Rory MacDonald, fellow Skyemen with North Uist connections and together they formed the Run Rig Dance Band to play at the North Uist & Bernera Association concert in Glasgow.  For Run Rig, the rest, as they say, is history but Blair eventually pursued a solo career. His first album, Celtology was published in 1984 and remarkably is about to become available again, not on the original vinyl, but on CD.  Thereafter came the CDs, Beneath the Beret published in 1990, A Summer in Skye in 1996 and in 2004 Angels from the Ashes was published and two years later saw the publication of Stay Strong.
To mark the publication of Mànran, a small launch event will be held in the Aros Centre, Portree on Saturday 4th April at 2.30pm to which all are invited.
Mànran is published by Macmeanmna Ltd and is available from a number of music outlets and .
*Mànran, -ain, -an, s. .m. Tuneful sound, melody.  2 Humming of a song or tune, cooing.  3 Entertainment, feasting.  4 Blandishment, dalliance, amorous discourse.  5 Report, rumour, intelligence, news.  6 Murmur.  7 Love-song or sonnet. 8 Humming song.  9 Dandering.
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Thanks for your interest.

Arthur Cormack, Shona Cormack, Mary Ann Kennedy and Cailean Maclean
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Gaelic Music Recording & Distribution
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