I had two speaking engagements this weekend – one, a brief talk about our Bass Culture research project, and the other about the Wighton and Jimmy Shand music collections at Dundee Central Library.
The first was at the University of Glasgow, where I discovered my audience was a group of our own Conservatoire students. They will be experimenting with performing some of Robert Burns’s songs in the Scots Musical Museum and Thomson’s more upmarket collections, as part of a big project in the Scottish Literature department at the University. My input was quite slight, but it was interesting to reflect upon accompaniments to songs and fiddle tunes at different stages in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Then, yesterday morning saw me leave the house at 7 am to go to Dundee. It was a glorious day, and a beautiful autumnal journey. The talk to the Friends of Wighton went well. I talked about the times my research had led me to the Wighton collection; what was important about it; and the treasures in the more recently-acquired Jimmy Shand collection of old Scottish music.
I was happy with my efforts on the harpsichord; the harpsichord itself was lovely to play; and my audience were certainly interested and appreciative. Before heading back to Glasgow, I decided a wee treat would not be inappropriate ….