A modern classic 2/4 march? “Sir Timothy D’arte MacIntosh of Clachenfugle” by R.S. MacDonald
Composing a four-parted 2/4 march is relatively easy. Composing a good original one is difficult. Composing a potentially great one is a true rarity.
Roddy S. “R.S.” MacDonald may have done just that with the creation of “Sir Timothy D’arte MacIntosh of Clachenfugle.” We are thrilled to bring pipes|drums readers not only a video of R.S. playing the piece on his Blair Digital Chanter but, for the first time, the manuscript of the tune.
Several of his compositions are already modern classics: “Good Drying,” “The Trip to Ballymena,” and “The College of Piping at Summerside, PEI” are heard all over the place. His 2009 music book – The Collection – is one of the best published in the last 50 years. His solo recording, Good Drying, of 2003, is a tour de force of creativity.
R.S. is originally from Inverness, Scotland, and is the son of the great William MacDonald, Benbecula. Not really thought of as a competitor (he stopped competing when he was 21), he has nonetheless made his mark as a composer and a player of the highest order.
At age 26, he moved to London, and later moved to Osaka, Japan, in 2000, and in 2003 to Queensland, Australia, where he is was pipe-major of the Queensland Police Pipes & Drums until only recently. He’s now back in Osaka.
Here’s the video of R.S. MacDonald performing the tune:
About the name of the new tune, Roddy says, “Allan Henderson from Mallaig on the west coast of Scotland is one of the founders of Blazin’ Fiddles. He has developed an ‘alter ego’ recently of Sir Timothy D’arte MacIntosh of Clachenfugle and has produced a couple of hilarious video clips detailing life on the ‘estate’ during COVID-19. It’s the funniest bit of comedy I’ve seen in many years and gave me the inspiration for my new composition.”
He sent the video here to pipes|drums last week, and we immediately recognized the work of a master composer, musician and piper. He kindly agreed to put together a manuscript, and we were fortunate that another of the world’s great modern composers, Lincoln Hilton of Australia, typeset the piece.
“I’d like to thank all the people who have made favourable comments and hope they enjoy playing the tune,” R.S. MacDonald adds. “A big shout-out to Lincoln Hilton of Modern Piping for typesetting the tune for me. Stay safe during these uncertain times and happy piping!”
Willie MacDonald (Benbecula), 1927-2010
May 31, 2010
Celebration of Willie MacDonald, Benbecula’s 80th
November 30, 2007
November 30, 2009
Queensland Police Service pulls plug on competition
January 31, 2004