Summer weddings, and being in the audience at the Fringe

Today I was playing at Dunglass Estate again - the second time in as many weeks. It's quite an unusual venue, surrounded by an open, uncluttered landscape. The collegiate church (the old stone chapel where wedding ceremonies are held) isn't quite open to the elements - there is a roof to hold off any rain, but there's no door, nor any glass in any of the windows, so it has a great inside-yet-outside feel to it - very atmospheric. And the occasional fluttering breeze meant I was pleased I had bulldog clips with me in my briefcase, so I could secure my music to its stand, just in case!

            Getting ready before the guests arrive. Dunglass Estate, Cockburnspath. August 2016

            Getting ready before the guests arrive. Dunglass Estate, Cockburnspath. August 2016

A lovely touch today was the old-fashioned Rolls Royce ice-cream van that greeted guests as they exited the ceremony. Perfect for a summer wedding - and not something I've seen before.

On another theme, This is the first time in many years that I haven't been involved in a series of concerts or theatre performances at the Edinburgh Fringe. We recently moved house and so I decided to pass this year, although the harp and voice recitals at St Columba's, just down from Edinburgh Castle, have been a regular part of my musical year for a long time. And I can't believe it's already a year since the memorable 'from-scratch' performance of my piece for choir and harp A Moment of Eternity (2012) in the iconic St John's Church on Princes Street, and also a year since Tembu Rongong's beautiful rendering of my 5 pieces for baritone and piano, at the premiere of my song cycle, Dappled Things (2015).

This summer however I got to be a member of the audience for a change: I went to a great Fringe concert in Edinburgh's Royal Overseas League a couple of nights ago. The super-talented London-based harpist Oliver Wass was joined by young international musicians in a lovely concert of French music. Oliver played two pieces by Ravel, both of which were originally written for piano, but which sounded gorgeous on the harp. The rest of the programme featured piano, flute and violin pieces from Debussy and Saint-Saens. And there was a glass of wine included. What more can you ask for? Thank you Oliver for your beautiful playing. Hopefully you'll be back in Scotland for another concert in 2017.