A new book from the Lowland and Border Pipers’ Society Publications presents 30 years of new music

As part of the celebrations marking thirty years since the foundation of the Lowland and Border Pipers’ Society, an open competition was held for new tunes written in what might be called ‘the Border or Lowland style’.
All the tunes entered to the competi-tion are presented in this book and, as can be seen, a fine selection of tunes was entered, making this a real competition and the winning tunes worthy winners. Standing above them all was Gary West’s tune ‘The Jedburgh Ba’ Game’ which paints a picture of the traditional game which is still played between ‘the Uppies’ and ‘the Doonies’. The second place tune was “The Gin Drinker’s Dream” by Paul Roberts and the third was “The Waterdog” by Craig Hohm. Mark Bourassa’s tune “Bicycle on a Hill” was highly commended. Where composers provided a commentary to their tune, this has been included and it is good to see the historical con- text into which Gary’s tune fits.
However, these tunes make up only roughly one third of the book; the rmainder are taken from across the Society’s thirty years. It is, in effect, a history of the Society’s thirty years in music.
Many of the remaining tunes are winners from the Society’s annual competition. Others are taken from Common Stock, particularly the early years and it is interesting to see names such as Andy Hunter and Gordon Mooney cropping up.
As an aside, in going through the past issues of Common Stock, I was struck by what an interesting and informative journal this is. There is a wealth of information ranging from the history of bellows pipes to accounts of characters such as Francie Markis, one of the links with the Lowland/ Border tradition. I cannot recommend the back issues of Common Stock too highly. But I digress …
To complete the picture, there are also a few other ‘Society’ tunes which have not been published before. There are two by Hamish Moore from his time as artist in residence in Barga and there are two named for our own Rona MacDonald and Jeannie Campbell. And, since the ladies are pleased with their tunes, they can’t be too bad.
In compiling the book, some tunes were inevitably left out – an editorial choice. However, some were omitted because I was unaware of them. One such is a tune written by Jon Swayne with the wonderful title ‘Cowpie’. Had I known of it, it would have been included. The next best thing, thanks to the cooperation of our Journal’s Editor, is to reproduce it here.