On the Shores of Loch Ness

This is a neo-psychedelic piece based on traditional Celtic tunes. Many of the songs from the psychedelic era in the 1960s borrowed from the old modal traditional tunes: you can hear "Shady Grove" or "Matty Groves" in both the Jefferson Airplane's "Volunteers for America" and the Grateful Dead's "St. Stephen". So I am merely sticking to tradition on two levels ...

For the beginning main movement, imagine a storm raging over Loch Ness. Then the storm dies down, and a thick mist settles over the Loch in the "spacey" movement ... there is a vague suggestion of a large form cruising just beneath the ripples on the surface. In the "goofy" movement, the clouds part just enough for a ray of sunlight to play upon the Loch ... and the monster takes the spotlight, armed with straw hat and cane, to dance an aquatic strathspey. Finally, we return to the main movement, for yet another storm over the Loch (hey, this IS Scotland, after all).

The main movement is loosely based on the air "Loch Ness" as published in "Aird's Airs" (I.A. Aird, Glasgow, ca. 1780) ... found in the online collection, Richard Robinson's Tunebook. The "spacey" movement is based on the older air "Scotch Cap", and the "goofy" movement is based on the strathspey "Scotch Mist" ... both found in Richard Darsie's Tuneweb collection. Darsie's own site appears to be down, but his transcriptions can still be found at many folk music sites, notably Ceolas. Many thanks to these (and all the folks) who maintain online archives of traditional music at their own expense, out of their love for the music.

The MIDI arrangement is for electric guitars, organ, electric bass, and drums, plus numerous effects.

This sequence uses an expanded pitch bend range, so be sure to hit that "RESET" button if you don't play it all the way through.

click for MIDI reset