Dr Angus MacDonald’s musical inﬂuences were formed growing up in Glenuig in Moidart and from visits to his mother’s people in South Uist where the piping tradition was especially strong.
He has also been inﬂuenced by the music and Gaelic song he heard in Cape Breton in the years that he lived there. In the ﬁddle music, especially in the strathspey playing, Angus recognised the rhythms he was brought up listening to in the songs his father sang and in Gaelic music in general. The words of a song associated with a tune, provide a template which preserves the inherent rhythm and character of that tune over generations. Though a healthy culture will undergo changes, traditional music as played today in Scotland has been inﬂuenced by patronage by aristocracy and has been sanitised and made more genteel. The older Scottish and the Gaelic names have been replaced by labels such as “Lady so and so’s favourite”. This did not happen in Cape Breton or to “puirt a beul”, the Gaelic song, dance tunes in Scotland. It is from this platform that Dr Angus’s arrangements and expression of the music comes.
Dr Angus recorded A’ Sireadh Spòrs for Temple Records in 1990, an entirely solo piping recording. For this recording he has added accompaniment to some tracks. The repertoire is largely traditional with several entirely new compositions of his own and of his brothers, Allan and Iain.