The Lindsay System
Donald WG Lindsay
"Rebirth of the Scottish Smallpipes"
Siya Makuzeni, Thiago França & Donald WG Lindsay - Third Eye TV 2021
"...speaks to hope, and innovation..." Corey Mwamba, presenting "Freeness" on BBC R6 Music
"You're gonna flip your wig!" Stewart Smith, presenting Third Eye TV
During September and October 2021 I fulfilled a commission for the "Jazz at the Third Eye" project, curated by music journalist and academic Stewart Smith. Thanks to an additional grant from The Lowland and Border Pipers Society, the spellbinding South African vocalist and trombonist Siya Makuzeni and awesome Brazilian Saxophonist Thiago França were also able to take part and the result was a mind-expanding remote trio collaboration, which produced 25 minutes of sublime improvised music, that I feel honoured to have been a part of and which for me personally will forever define the experience of living in the middle of the South Atlantic ocean.
Soundtrack to Film : My Old School
Shelly Poole - Jono MacLeod / Hopscotch Films (released Jan 2022)
During a short break from Ascension Island in August 2021 (our only trip off the island during our three year stay there), at the invitation of my former school chum & film director Jono MacLeod, I took a prototype print-out of a "Low F" Lindsay System chanter to Luigi Pasquini and Omar Aboreeda's Dystopia Studio in the West End of Glasgow in order to offer up some experimental bass-smallpipe licks for a cover by Blue Rose Code of the children's hymn "One More Step Along the World I Go". The song had been our school anthem, and had been chosen by Jono to accompany the closing credits of his film "My Old School", in which I'd also participated a couple of years previously. "My Old School" is a feature documentary examining the story and motives of our infamous classmate "Brandon Lee" (aka. Brian MacKinnon), a skilled con man who managed to pass himself off as a 17 year old (then aged 32) in order to attend fifth year at Bearsden Academy alongside us kids.
Donald WG Lindsay & Richard Youngs - Good Energy 2020
"...the sound and expression are given focus in a present-moment bliss, not unlike our best dreams while we are asleep..." experimental piper & composer Matthew Welch, reviewing for Bagpipe.News
"...gorgeous, slumbering stuff..." Jude Rogers for The Guardian
"A possible comparison would be the recent work by Tashi and Yoshi Wada, not least due to the presence of pipes, but Youngs and Lindsay create a sparser, more intimate affair" Daryl Worthington for The Quietus
"...Lindsay coaxes such soaring sweetness from his pipes that any images of a gruff Scotsman shrieking the dead to wakefulness will no doubt be banished..." Mat LaBarbera for Tone Glow
This was the fruit of a number of improvisation sessions between Richard and myself, most of which I think took place in early 2019. We performed publicly at The Glad Cafe and in Tchai Ovna, and then transposed the experience into a recording environment at Green Door Studio in Glasgow, with engineer Sam Smith.
KL Fortson - Antlion Entertainment 2019
Kendal wrote "Hora of the Hanged Man" for the Lindsay System chanter & guitar back in 2015, and included it on his 2019 album "Strange Bedfellows". The album was recorded during his stay in Suzhou, China, in collaboration with a number of musicians and artists there including the Suzhou Symphony. See "White Envelope for Wu Wren", with a watercolour animation by Matvey Rezanov.
Richard Youngs - Fourth Dimension Records 2017
"...Youngs...mingles deracinated vocal perambulations with beautifully keening pipes and drones, courtesy of Alasdair Roberts and Donald WG Lindsay..." Richard Fontenoy for The Quietus
"...its focus (is) on pibroch, the extended piping form associated with the Scottish highlands. That's no more apparent than in the tracks with piper Donald WG Lindsay. On 'Kinning Park', Lindsay lays wheezing bagpipe drones against Young's processed harmonies and Roberts' wordless folk melodies, while 'Bridge of Allan' sets the pipes against shimmering synth drones and chopped-up vocals suggestive of Berlin-era Bowie at a Hebridean séance." Stewart Smith for The List
Had a great time making this with Richard & Alasdair Roberts, recorded at the Kinning Park Complex in Glasgow, using my Dad's ancient Highland drones, a Sinclair chanter & the Lindsay System Swan (the opto-electro-acoustic smallpipe chanter I built last year). Ali & me can be heard on track 1 "Kinning Park", and track 5 "Bridge of Allan".
Donald WG Lindsay - Barnbeth Records
"...beautifully played 12-string...the whole record is really good." Iggy Pop for BBC Radio 6 Music "Confidential"
I'd forgotten to include this release in the discog until today (20th December 2020), after it popped up on the radio, on Iggy Pop's "Confidential" show on BBC Radio 6 Music (thanks Iggy, and glad you enjoyed the song!). One of my favourite Rabbie Burns songs, accompanied for this recording by my Eko 12-string, which is re-strung in unison courses. The tropical heat down here on Ascension has been testing its ability to hold up to the tension of that stringing, which might interfere with plans to record some more songs in this style.
Various Artists - Monorail 2017
- I was very touched to be asked to contribute to this limited edition CD, curated by Alasdai Roberts for Glasgow's Monorail as a companion to Alasdair's album "Pangs". I sang a version of "Lord Randal" that I learned in 1999 from the late John Eaglesham's singing while recording him for the Traditional to Digital project at the University of Glasgow.
Kirsty Potts - Kirsty Potts 2015
"The longest song on the album, and one of its triumphs, is the bawdy Cuckoo’s Nest. Set to a catchy tune and making excellent use of the smallpipes, it rocks along at a lazy, suggestive pace, demanding to be taken seriously yet allowing itself a few laughs" Sol Loreto-Miller for Bright Young Folk
- Kirsty's excellent album has the added distinction of being the first commercially released recording, and first professional studio recording of any kind, to feature the Lindsay System Chanter. The chanter featured is the Version 1.0 Beta, of which only 20 copies were made. It can be heard on track 4 "The Cuckoo's Nest"
Alasdair Roberts - Drag City 2015
"On nearly every song his voice and nimble guitar lines are joined by Alex South’s clarinet and Donald Lindsay’s tin whistle...and here the wind instruments add undeniable atmosphere and do much of the heavy melodic lifting" - Matthew Murphy for Pitchfork
"Clarinetist Alex South and tin whistle player Donald Lindsay appear throughout the record in bright dashes of color" - Timothy Monger for AllMusic
"...when Donald Lindsay’s tin whistle is added to the mix, as on the excellent Hurricane Brown, the moods smudge and smoosh through California Dreamin’-esque harmonies of plaintive, pensive loveliness" - Joe Shoorman for Record Collector Magazine
- The parts Alasdair was looking for on whistle for this album weren't ideally suited to the range of the instrument. This provoked the development of the "Hurricane Brown" eight-hole Qwistle in the key of E.
Alasdair Roberts & Friends - Drag City 2013
- I popped in to help Alasdair & co with a rousing arrangement of Peter McLeod's classic 2/4 March "The Conundrum".This would be the last thing I recorded using traditional Scottish Smallpipes in the key of "A", although nobody could have known that at the time!
Love, Loss & Liberty (The Songs of Alistair Hulett)
Various Artists, 2011
"The treatment of 'The Dark Loch' by Alasdair Roberts with Donald Lindsay and Clutch Daisy is one of the highlights for me. The small pipes are a mournful and fitting accompaniment that bring tears to my eyes." Andy Carr for 21st Century Reviews
- It was an honour to be able to contribute along with Alasdair, to a CD in memory of the late Alistair Hulett. Alastair's singing and politics made a deep and lasting impression on both of us.
Soundtrack to film : Burke & Hare
Joby Talbot - Ealing Studios / John Landis 2010
- An adventure in London with Alasdair Roberts & Alastair Caplin. Directed by John Landis (Blues Brothers) on behalf of Ealing Studios, and featuring Simon Pegg & Andy Serkis, this film received mixed reviews - none on account of Joby Talbot's excellent score however. A particular highlight for me was taking a swing solo on the Highland pipes, with full (pre-recorded) band backing.
Joy to the Person of My Love / False Astronomy
Alasdair Roberts - Rif Mountain 2010
- This project of Alasdair's arrived at an interesting time, during which my then-eight-year-old son Ryall & me had been stargazing and planet-hunting intensively amongst the dark skies of the sma glen, north of Crieff. On hearing that I was recording a song called "false astronomy", Ryall produced two paintings he titled "The Night Sky" and "The End of the Night Sky", which Alasdair liked and decided to use for the label art and record sleeve respectively.
Alasdair Roberts - Drag City 2010
- Bit of piping here. I can't actually remember doing this.
Caledon - REL Records 2005
- An album of powerful orchestral/operatic arrangements of some favourite old Scots songs. I thoroughly enjoyed playing for this!
Donald Lindsay - REL Records 2003
"...an interesting and uplifting album, and a welcome glance at another aspect of the Scottish piping tradition that is seldom heard on this side of the Celtic Sea." - Sean Laffey for Irish Music Magazine
"mellow toned piping...captivates the listener" - Common Stock - journal of the Lowland & Border Pipers Society
- A collection of music written by my uncle, the late Rev Alex Muir (Canisbay & Keiss/Clachan a Luib). Played mostly on Scottish smallpipes, accompanied by producer Keith Easdale on cittern & whistle, and Celine Donoghue on fiddle. Recorded at The Practice Pad (now the Audio Lounge) by Stuart Glasgow during 2002.
"The Heritage Industry Volunteers" 2002
"very, very good" - Holly's Demo Hell, New Musical Express
- Few musicians can claim to have received a positive review from Holly. In fact, the only other demo I saw pass through the demo hell unscathed had been sent there by my friend Alasdair Roberts in 1996 - possibly revealing a penchant on Holly's part for Scottish folk. We each only entered this particular underworld once, considering ourselves lucky to have survived.
Appendix Out - Drag City 2001
- Alasdair's band from the early days, and one of the few outings I've made using a beautiful Hungarian duda (bagpipe) by Horvath Zoltan. This instrument was an important influence in the development of the Lindsay System chanter, having a low E in the "kontra" chanter, and a "flea hole" for semitones - the LSC-Duda connection will be fully explored in "Ascension Method", along with all other tributaries into the new design. This same duda was also used on one memorable occasion to play "Psycho Killer" at a "David Byrne Supper" organised by Craig Tannock in Mono, Glasgow. The duda was a gift from Peter Jeager, a Hungarian academic & friend of my father. and later spent some years on loan to The College of Piping museum in Otago Street. In January 2019, following the merger of the College with the National Piping Centre, it joined the collection of the Museum of Piping. This gift represented the completion of an instrument exchange with the Leskowsky Museum of Musical Instruments in Kecskemet, Hungary.
Travels in Constants Vol. 13
Appendix Out - Temporary Residence 2001
"I'm tempted to say that Track 3, Ritual Ingestion of a Yellow Rhizome is unique in its blending of Donald Linds(a)y's piping and krautrock beats. But this is the Internet, and somewhere some bright spark will be googling "pibroch krautrock" for the explicit purpose of outing dullards like me." - I found,and felt I had to include a quote from, this lovely blog entry
- I was involved for this record in "Ritual Ingestion of a Yellow Rhizome", a smallpipes & loops experiment that Alasdair concocted. This could be regarded as the beginning point of an exploration of extended technique on the smallpipes, further developed over the years through experiments with Alex Neilson, The Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra, Paul Baran, Luke Fowler, Tony Bevan, Williwaw, Rafe Fitzpatrick and others.