Niall Matheson is a much-admired piper with musical roots in the Highlands. Having been taught to play in his native Newtonmore by John MacDougall and the great
pibroch authority Dr Kenneth MacKay, Niall enlisted in the Queen’s Own Highlanders, a regiment with a taste for piping and a willingness to nurture raw talent. These were good years in which he learnt his craft in the company of a number of gifted young players, many
of whom went on to have successful competitive careers. Niall emerged after 11 years with the regiment as a thoroughly polished performer - a convincing interpreter of the big music
of the pibroch tradition, and also a wonderfully fluent player of the lighter music, always willing to throw caution to the wind in pursuit of a good tune.
His competitive successes have included winning the Oban Gold Medal in 1998 and the Inverness Gold Medal in 2001 (considered the highest accolades in competitive piping), as
well as numerous awards on the games circuit in the Highlands, where he has concentrated his efforts. Since 1996 he has been schools piping instructor in Easter Ross (covering an area from Tain to Alness), as well as promoting pipe band music through the Ross and Cromarty Pipes and Drums School, which he founded in 2004.
This recording is a distillation of Niall’s musical experiences: material learned from his early mentors (listen to his fine interpretation of the Lament for Mary MacLeod, taught to him by Dr. Kenneth MacKay); tunes which have served him well on the competition circuit; proven recital material; and, above all, his own compositions. If there is one revelation on this album, it is not that Niall is a very fi ne player (we knew that already), but that he has such
a gift for writing pipe music. In all he includes 20 original and highly melodic compositions, and these will go a long way to sealing his reputation as an accomplished tunesmith, as well as a talented performer.
1) Angela's Wedding / MacGregor of Ruaro / Jimmy MacKenzie, Stornaway
2) Asian Tears / Rockin' Miss Molly / Paddy O'Rafferty / Barbara's Jig
3) Piobaireachd MacLennan / Miss Ashleigh Bell
4) Alexander MacDonald of Heisker's Farewell To The Monarch Light / Barney's Balmoral / Kalabakan / Lt. Col. D.J.S. Murray
5) Brian Stewart / The Calrossie Pipers
6) The Shores Of Loch Ness / The Beating Zone / Cutting Bracken / The Old Wife Of The Milldust
7) The Argyllshire Gathering / John MacDonald of Glencoe
8) Highland Harry / Dora MacLeod / Loch Carron / Sandy Cameron
9) The Lament For Mary MacLeod
10) Big Donald MacPhee / Val Goodman's Fancy / Paddy's Leather Breeches
11) Pipe Major John MacIntosh's Welcome to Ku-ring-gai
12) Towerhill Dreams / The Bee Hive / The Boys From Kiltearn/ Jake The Snake / The Valellen Piper
13) Pipe Major Norman Gillies / Pipe Major Alisdair Gillies