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This is the first solo album from Dougie, a piper who has spent several years playing with others and who now is releasing an album of his own material which he feels reflects where he is as a musician and a tune-writer. So Composed is made up of mostly his own compositions with a smattering of other recently written offerings. He is supported by Graham Rorie on fiddle, several guitarists and a full drum kit.

Throughout, you can hear resemblances to the Red Hot Chilli Pipers, which is not surprising since Dougie has played with them since 2009. You can also hear something of Ross Ainslie & Jarlath Henderson at times, though Dougie tends to rock it up a bit more. And you can hear similarities to Rura too, especially when the pipes and fiddle play together in the marchier tunes, of which there are a few.

My personal favourite is one of these marches, written by John McCusker (Wee Michael’s March), and Silver Sands is a slow, march-like air written by Dougie that is beautifully played with sympathetic electric guitar accompaniment from Ali Hutton. These moments give you the chance to recover from the wilder tracks. But, the variation of tunes types, accompaniments and energy levels mean that the album is constantly moving, and keeps your attention throughout.

This is modern pipe music from a first class piper. Not one to be listened to quietly though.

Fiona Heywood

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This album was reviewed in Issue 123 of The Living Tradition magazine.