We were blessed with a pair of wonderful guests today and the breakfast table fairly buzzed with wit , gaelic and music. Our family history of musical roots steeped
in the Scotch-Irish traditions goes back to Whitetop Mountain Virginia. This landmark was once owned by my Grandfather; John Blakemore; who also started one of the earliest folk festivals in America. That was the Whitetop Mountain Folk Festival and began in 1931. Eleanor Roosevelt visited there as did thousands of music makers.
John accompanied a legend in Scottish Fiddle Bonnie Rideout and it was a pleasure to meet them.
Here is a short bio on John Purser from the BBC.
“2007 marks a second bite at the Scotland’s Music apple for John. The first series aired on Radio Scotland in 1992 to wide acclaim, and his accompanying book earned him the 1993 McVitie’s Scottish Writer of the Year Award. He is currently writing a new, extended edition based on the research that informs his second Scotland’s Music series.
John has been creating award-winning radio since the seventies – as in Scotland’s Music, usually as writer, researcher and presenter. As well as for Radio Scotland, he has made programmes for Radio 3 and Radio 2, and his radio work has been aired as far afield as Ireland, New Zealand and even Iceland.
John Purser with Highland CowRadio is only one of John’s many passions. He is a composer, a poet and playwright, and a musicologist of some renown. He lectured on classical music for Glasgow University Extra-Mural Department, and has travelled the world lecturing and broadcasting on Scottish music. He also finds the time to raise Highland cattle on a croft near Elgol in Skye, with the help of his wife, Bar, and the occasional mucking in of extremely well-fed and watered guests.
John has recently been studying Gaelic at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig in Skye, and in 2006 he was appointed as a Research Fellow and Gaelic Music Course Director. He is one of the team of researchers undertaking the five-year research project, “Window to the West – towards a redefinition of the visual within Gaelic Scotland”, funded by the AHRC.”
We will talk about Bonnie Rideout and her wonderful accomplishments in the next post.