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05-Nov-2010

Classic CD: ‘An Island Heritage’, by Iain McLachlan, Scotland – UK

Iain McLachlanIain MacLachlan (1928-95) was a 3-row diatonic button accordionist and composer from the Highlands of Scotland who achieved lasting fame as the composer of the haunting and beautiful melody ‘The Dark Island’. Originally composed in 1958 as a pipe lament for a local doctor under the title ‘Dr. Mackay's Farewell to Creagorry’, the tune later achieved worldwide popularity when it was used by BBC television as the theme for the series thriller ‘The Dark Island’, filmed on the island of Uist in the Outer Hebrides in 1963. Countless recordings of this tune have since appeared, but no one played the tune better than Iain MacLachlan himself.

On the re-released CD ‘An Island Heritage’, Iain McLachlan's music comes as fresh as the sea breezes wafting over the Uist machair - Highland and Gaelic as his island heritage. Iain, from Benbecula in the Western Isles, played the accordion, melodeon and fiddle, and is joined by Calum Iain MacCorquodale on accordion and fiddle, and by Calum Campbell on goose and jaws harp. The CD includes the players in various combinations, peforming marches, strathspeys, jigs, reels, and hornpipes. Iain McLachlan's accordion solo performance of ‘The Dark Island’ is, of course, the highlight.

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