Recorded at Toronto's Metropolitan United Church —
where the Rev Dr Malcolm Sinclair is Minister — Highland Cathedral (2:29)
features CSAC's own Rory Sinclair on bagpipes with Dr Patricia Wright
on organ, playing an arrangement by James D. Wetherald.
This track is featured on the church's 2006 album,
Look at the World: Music of Canada and Beyond.
To order your copy of the CD, for $20 plus $5 shipping,
please call the church at (416) 363-0331 ext. 26, or email <email@example.com>.
The music for Highland Cathedral was written
in 1982 by Ulrich Roever and Michael Korb reportedly
as a pipe tune for a Highland games in Germany.
The tune has since become so popular that it is considered
traditional, and has been proposed (with several versions
of lyrics) as Scotland's national anthem. Its inspiration
is the story that all of Scotland's clan chiefs gathered
in a secret place known as the Highland Cathedral, where
they promised James King of Scots that they would stop
feuding and live in peace. It is said the truce
lasted all the king's life.
As well as being President of Clan Sinclair Association Canada
and a welcome presence at all Sinclair Gatherings, Rory is
also Piper to the Earl of Caithness, who
is Chief of Clan Sinclair.
The portrait at right, painted in 2005 by Laurie McGaw of Toronto, shows Rory
formally dressed in Sinclair Red, holding his pipes with the Chief's banner in his right
hand, while his left hand rests on three books of significance in his life. Click here or on the portrait to read more.
The 100th anniversary of the birthday of the present Chief's father was 29-Sep-2006.
In honour of Brig. James Roderick Sinclair, 19th Earl of Caithness, CVO, CBE, DSO, Rory
on that occasion recorded three pipe tunes: Flowers of the Forest, The Black Bear and The Earl of Caithness.
[Click to listen.]
While visiting Turkey in August 2006 — taking his pipes,
of course — Rory had the opportunity to visit the Gallipoli memorial.
In August 1915, a pitched battle
took place at Gallipoli over an area no larger than two tennis courts,
ending with 7,000 dead and 14,000 wounded.
At Gallipoli, Rory had the opportunity
to play Flowers of the Forest at the cemetery of the Lone Pine,
for all the soldiers of that war. Although it was originally a lament
for the fallen of Flodden, 9 September
1513, Flowers of the Forest is now a mark of remembrance.
Rory's guide at Gallipoli, Ali, had lost a grandfather, and
had a great uncle wounded there. Rory in turn had lost a great uncle in the
same war, at Vimy in France, and had a grandfather wounded there. After playing
for the fallen of both sides, Rory was honoured that Ali gave him a special memento,
a spent .303 bullet chained to a Turkish crest —
In 2006, Rory gave three lectures to the Piobaireachd Society
in Scotland on the Iain Dall Mackay chanter owned by the family
of Clan Sinclair Canada's first piper, the late Lt. Col.
John Sinclair of Nova Scotia.
For an earlier article on the Iain Dall MacKay chanter, from the
Winter 1998 issue (Vol 3 No 10) of Roslin O Roslin,
For the 2005 International Clan Sinclair Gathering, the Rev Malcolm
Sinclair of Toronto ON once more teamed with Rory – and his bandmates –
to produce a CD of music and song. In Honour of Our Roots
features a completely new song about Malcolm's great-uncle, a Pipe Major
in the Gordons who died after the 1st Battle of Yprès, as well as
several pipe tunes that Rory has composed.
This CD would not have been possible without Dean Cavill, "Producer,
Sound Engineer, Recording Engineer, Sound Aesthetician and Man of Magic".
To read the liner notes for In Honour of Our Roots,
With a group called Gordon's Acoustic Living Room
(after their rehearsal site), Rory has a regular gig at Toronto's
longest running folk club, Free
Times Café, generally on the third Sunday of the month —
check the websites to confirm dates and details.
The top photo at right is GALR's publicity shot — a collection of
their musical instruments in Gordon's living room.
The second photo is Rory playing guitar, with GALR
at a birthday party in 2004.
Clicking on either photo will connect you to Wayne Neon's GALR webpage,
with more photos. (Wayne's website hosts pages for a number of musical
groups, as well as for his own neon art.)
The GALR musicians also play together in other groups,
and at special events.
Inspired by the joke of a few years ago,
the musicians who performed for Robbie Burns Day, January 25th, called
themselves The Burns Unit. Click here
to see more photos from Burns Night 2004.
Their track Glasgow City Police Pipers
(4:43) was recorded at Warthog Studios, Toronto, Canada.
to listen to an MP3 of Mix #9,
burned at 1:03 am, November 28, 2002 — arranged,
produced and engineered by Dean Cavill.
Original pipe tune: P/M Donald MacLeod;
arrangement: Rory Sinclair.
Foreign language consultant: Dave Murphy.
Burns Unit personnel heard on this track:
Rory "Gus" Sinclair — Great Highland Bagpipe, Deger pipe;
Dean Cavill — guitars, mandolin, bass, synths;
Terry Campbell — loud snare;
Dave Murphy — Gaelic war cry.
The Pub: A popular watering hole frequented by University
of Toronto folk and their ilk (Floor 2/4)
Mr. Sinclair as Alec,
Mr. Murphy as Hamish,
Mr. Cavill as the Incredibly Blittered Driver (IBD).
[Note: No patrons were harmed in the recording of this production.]