Well it’s been a busy while recently, hence the lack in posts! We’ve had a lot of exciting gigs, but lately we’ve done a few at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
We had a brilliant gig in the National Museum of Scotland, where we had everyone singing and clapping along as well as some young children dancing down the front! This was a good opportunity for us to get some new material together as there were some exhibitions in the gallery that we could link our music too. With so much other work on, it’s nice to get some new tunes and songs in to keep everything fresh!
The following week, we also got to meet and play with Natalia Mallo, a fantastic musician who was over from Brazil! We attended a percussion workshop that she did with some teenagers and even got involved with a few things as well. She was talking about and showing us some Samba and Bossa Nova pieces and it was great fun. In the afternoon, Natalia joined with us, and played for a few sets and songs. It was a great experience for us to play with her, and a shame we only had one day.
Trip to the Netherlands
In October this year we were lucky enough to be asked to take part in an exchange visit with Live Music Now Netherlands. Unfortunately, Marianne couldn’t make this trip, so it was time for Ron & Grant to take Aonach Mor to another country! We had an absolute blast while we were over there and we would like to thank everyone from Live Music Now Netherlands for their wonderful kindness and hospitality.
It was nice to see how Live Music Now operates in other countries, as well meeting some musicians and committee members from the LMN Netherlands scheme.
After arriving on the Wednesday afternoon, we were shown around some of the stunning countryside and went for a coffee on a terrace just off of a beautiful canal. That evening we did some preparation for our performances the next day. Thursday morning came, and we were off to “The Lighthouse”, an English speaking school for children with autism. We did 4 short performances for each of the individual classes and let the children hear different kinds of music from Scotland and even let some of the children play our instruments!
Mechteld from LMN Nederland joins us for a tune.
That afternoon we went to Wassenaar where we did a performance for elderly people with dementia. This was a really enjoyable performance, and we even had the help of a translator to relate some of the stories in Dutch which was great! We had that evening off, so made the most of it and went out for dinner and saw some more incredible scenery in The Hague. On Friday, we had the pleasure of hearing meeting the OLGA Vocal Ensemble doing a performance and they were fantastic! They even did an arrangement of Loch Lomond which was a nice surprise for us to hear. Even in Holland, you are never too far from home.
After going on a boat ride around the canals in Amsterdam and checking out some of the local sights on Saturday, it was time to head home. Thanks to everyone at Live Music Now Netherlands for a wonderful trip and thanks to Live Music Now Scotland for giving us the opportunity.
A nice surprise to end 2013 was a short trip to one of the most famous cities in the world; Paris. Unfortunately, Ron wasn’t able to make it along as he was performing elsewhere with the NYPBOS but Marianne and I decided to fly the Aonach Mòr flag for him.
On the evening of Monday 26th December, we were invited to perform a short showcase slot at an event that aimed to strengthen cultural activity between France and Scotland. The event was attended by Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop and French Minister of Culture and Communication, Aurelie Filippetti – so we were in fine company for the few hours we were there. Along with performing some music throughout the event, we were treated to some gorgeous views of Paris, some fine wine and a selection of canapés to keep us going!
Carol Main, director of Live Music Now Scotland, joined us at the event and made sure we were looked after during our time in France. After trying to determine a suitable restaurant to eat in for some time, we enjoyed a lovely dinner with Carol before heading to bed after a long day of travelling.
The next day, we made the journey to the The Bilingual Montessori School of Paris to perform for 60 children from nursery age through to primary 3. We played a mixture of songs and tune sets to give them a taste of Scottish music and got them singing along at times – they were able to join us for Jingle Bells in English before letting us hear it in French. We were very impressed!
Our short trip to Paris over two days came to an end quite quickly but not before we did a little bit of shopping on the Champs-Élysées. The Christmas market there allowed us to fit in a little bit of Christmas shopping before heading back home 🙂 Check out a few pictures from the event at the British council below:
National Portrait Gallery: The Nation Live
After a busy day of playing at a number of care homes in Glasgow, we travelled through to play in one of Edinburgh’s most remarkable buildings, The Scottish National Portrait Gallery. With over 30,000 images and it’s remarkable reputation as a stunning venue, we were excited to be performing as part of “The Nation Live”; a series of concerts run by Live Music Now in conjunction with this exhibition at the gallery.
On arrival we found out that we were to be performing in the Great Hall for quite a small, but appreciative audience. The architecture of the whole room was absolutely stunning, and from the Frieze we could see figures of Scottish history walking back towards a figure of Caledonia, very apt for us given one of our most popular numbers is Caledonia by Dougie MacLean. As we played our first set of tunes, we were surrounded by the most beautiful natural reverb resonating around the room, engaging listeners from start to finish. However, 5 numbers later and we were finished. It seemed to be over in a flash! If only we could have played for longer…
Next up, Grant & Marianne head over for to Paris to perform as part of a visit from Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary and then on the 28th of January we’ll be on stage in one of Scotland’s most iconic performance venues… The User Hall. Looking forward to it!
Our First Blog – North West Highlands Tour
Hello! We are very pleased to have our new website up and running and also new recordings available for you to listen to.
Aonach Mor were formed in early 2013, originally as 2 duos. We decided it’d be better to join forces and have never looked back since Since then we’ve performed throughout Scotland and are a part of the Live Music Now Scotland scheme.
Live Music Now Scotland brings live music into places that may not always have the opportunity to experience it, such as residential care homes, community groups for adults with learning difficulties and disabilities and special needs schools.
Recently we embarked on a tour of the North West Highlands, squeezing in 8 gigs in 3 days. As I grew up in the Highlands this was a welcome change from city life for a few days and I think the boys agreed. On day one we performed in Ballachullish, Inverlochy (Fort William) and Fort Augustus, clocking up a lot of miles and taking in some breathtaking views. As we recently changed our name to Aonach Mor, the boys were really keen to see the mountain. I found this out very early in the tour as every mountain we passed I was asked “Is that Aonach Mor?!” – we had only just left Glasgow at this point and the question was asked around 30 more times throughout the tour (even after I had pointed it out). Our final gig of the day was in Fort Augustus and it was one of the resident’s 90th birthday so we had a lovely party with him. The oldest resident there was an amazing 107 years old!
We then travelled up to Plockton to have a lovely dinner at the Plockton Inn and got some well needed sleep before the next 2 days of tour. Day 2 consisted of a concert in Plockton Primary school and then out to Dornie where we entertained the residents of Aird Ferry Day Centre. The working day was finished off with a concert/workshop for the talented youngsters of the National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music.
With only 2 more gigs to go for this short tour we headed across the bridge to the Isle of Skye and performed in another one of the local primary schools; Kyleakin Primary. We did the same concert again on the other side of the bridge at Kyle Primary and the kids at both schools seemed to have a wonderful time participating and dancing along to our music.
Unfortunately for us it was time to head back to Glasgow. Over the three days our 8 concerts were very enjoyable and we definitely had at least a few months supply of tea and cake too…