Tuesday, 16 January 2018

To Tom Cruise...Signed, Squiggle MacSquiggle

Yikes. I've been signing some Hamilton Mausoleum Suite LPs (limited edition, heavyweight vinyl) for mail order...


You can still click to order CDs/LPs here.

My interview with the Skinny is now on-line here.

The other day I was interviewed by John Toal on BBC Ulster's Classical Connections Show. You can hear me gab from around 1 hour 27 mins - link here.

And if you have the STV player app, you can watch my interview on STV2's "Live At 7.30" show here (from around 3mins 30). Learn the truth about my phone calls with Tom Cruise.

But enough about me.


The other day I attended the Blueprint night of Scottish DIY short films at the good ol' GFT. OK, OK - I was there because this was being shown, but the whole night was great. Special mention goes to Daniel Cook's indescribable "The Kind And I". Here's a clip  - but if you ever get the chance to see the whole shebang on a big screen - see it.


Oh - if you missed The Story Of Scotdisc, it's a hoot. There are 17 days left to watch as I type...







Wednesday, 10 January 2018

"Sounds Like A Record"


On Friday 12th Jan I'll be on STV 2's "Live At 7.30" yakking' about my (released on Jan 26th).


"Sublime" 7/10 (Uncut)
"Stirring, solemn beauty"     (Mojo)
“Exquisite” (The Skinny)
“Captivating” (Vents Magazine)
“Wonderful” (A Closer Listen)

Pre-order it on CD/LP here.

In other news, I saw The Beguiled and dug it.


Inside Number 9 - Bernie Clifton's dressing Room = wow.


The hits just keep on coming.


I caught up with some vintage Tom Baker Dr Who-ing recently with this curio. Hooray for those 70s TV production values.


Bob has so many gems you forget for years and then trip over. Like this.

Talking of Bob - I love this kind of stuff:


Twitter introduced me to this Seamus Heaney poem.

Btw - here's a wee interview I did with The Skinny...

Abyssinia.

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Waltzin' Into January

It's January...


Stuff I have recently consumed:

The return of The League Of Gentlemen;
Three quarters (so far) of  City Of The Death;
Peter Capaldi's last hurrah;
One third of Trouble In Mind (thanks, Santa);
The first episode of Little Women;
A wee bit too much festive food.

I'm looking forward to the new series of Inside Number Nine.

And I wouldn't say no to the addition of a Glasgow date on Bob's new European tour.

Talking of too much food, btw, Glaswegians who have not tried Chaakoo Bombay Cafe - I can recommend it...

On Jan 11th you can see this short musical doc on the big screen at the GFT as part of their Blueprint: Scottish Independent Shorts event:


My new album "Hamilton Mausoleum Suite", recorded with brilliant soloists from the Scottish Festival Orchestra, is released on CD/LP/DL on Friday 26th January.
"Transporting Chamber Music" ★ ★ ★ ★ (Mojo)
"Sublime" 7/10 (Uncut)
You can pre-order it here.

You can join my mailing list here.

Tinkety-tonk!


Wednesday, 27 December 2017

"Sublime...quietly lovely" 7/10 (UNCUT)

Aww... nice Christmas present from Uncut (following on from 4 stars in Mojo):

Ocht...

You can pre-order "Hamilton Mausoleum Suite" on CD or heavyweight vinyl here.


And if you haven't seen it, here's a short film about the album, directed by Charlie Francis:




And now I shall make like Mr. Beebe.
"Mr. Beebe, while social resources were endless, went out to order some tea..."

www.francismacdonald.com





Friday, 15 December 2017

"Miss Bartlett was unequal to the bath..."

I keep thinking about this...



Amazing film in my 'umble opining.

I was in good ol' London town this week for stuff. If I have free time I like to pop in to the National Gallery.

Three cheers for Canaletto.

I know - my phone-photo is somehow *better* than the original painting...
I saw Paddington in Paddington and took the opportunity to tell him how much I loved his work (Paddington 2 is a better sequel than The Godfather II).
Bear barely bare.
And I stopped the TARDIS from falling over in BBC Television Centre.


If you want to catch up with "The Force: The Story Of Scotland's Police" you can do so here. Worth it for archive footage of football hooliganism hyperbolically narrated by Archie "Apocalypse Now" Macpherson. And the best graffiti ever; directed at Frankie Vaughn and daubed by the hand of a defiant, chib-inclined native of Easterhouse  I enjoyed providing the music for this series.

Tomorrow is the last episode of Best Laid Plans on Channel 4; another series I've enjoyed creating music for. Stop me if I'm boring you.

I am giving this a go:


It's a demure hoot.
...She looked around as much to say, 'Are you all like this?'...
 ...The clergyman, inwardly cursing the female sex, bowed and departed with her message...
...'My dear,' said the old man gently, 'I think that you are repeating what you have heard older people say. You are pretending to be touchy...Now, this was abominably impertinent, and she ought to have been furious. But it is sometimes as difficult to lose one's temper as it is difficult at other times to keep it... 
Oh, if you want to purchase some Camera Obscura-related art for a good cause - click here.

You can buy "Bonjour" my album with Harry Pye here.

And you can pre-order my "Hamilton Mausoleum Suite" album here.

Carry on up the Khyber.

Monday, 4 December 2017

Paper Cuts

Yesterday I bought some paper-cut images by Chop Pop who spent two years recreating scenes from Camera Obscura's video for "Let's Get Out Of This Country" in order to create an alternative, paper-cut version:


Some images will be for sale on-line soon. All proceeds go to fund research into Sarcoma.

As I type the second instalment of this will soon be broadcast:


And there are only two episodes left of Best Laid Plans on Channel 4. Yikes.

"The 10th Duke" is another preview track from "Hamilton Mausoleum Suite".


It features a string quartet drawn from the Scottish Festival Orchestra and an opening chord borrowed from Stravinsky:
"Early in the compositional process, Stravinsky devised a chord which stretches from D4 to E5 to A6. One day while he and Dushkin were having lunch in a Paris restaurant, he sketched the chord on a napkin for the violinist, who thought the chord unplayable, to Stravinsky's disappointment. On returning home, however, Dushkin tried it out on his violin and was surprised to discover it was actually quite easy to play." 
This is from Wikipedia but I first read about it in Alex Ross's book "The Rest Is Noise". (Sometimes I like tackling books that are beyond me.)


You can pre-order "Hamilton Mausoleum Suite" here.

And here's a wee stocking-filler idea:



Go see this...

 



Talking of films; idea for entirely fictional domestic film scene:

INTERIOR. DAY. A KITCHEN SOMEWHERE IN GLASGOW, SCOTLAND

 7 YEAR-OLD GIRL:
DADDY YOU SHOULD GO TO THE GYM MORE OFTEN..

47 YEAR-OLD DADDY (WHO NEVER GOES TO ANY GYM):
WHY?

7 YEAR-OLD GIRL:
SO YOU CAN GO ON NINJA WARRIOR UK.

Maybe cut to:

INTERIOR. NIGHT-TIME. 47-YEAR OLD MAN IN WHEELCHAIR, SPECTACLES ASKEW, WEARING AN OXYGEN MASK AND AN ILL-FITTING MUSCLE SHIRT, IS BEING WHISKED DOWN A HOSPITAL CORRIDOR TOWARDS AN EMERGENCY ROOM....

FADE TO BLACK.