Pianist and composer James Ross and the Maxwell Quartet present a live performance of Ross’s work The Piper of Windy Ha’ which features on their new album, Landscape to Light.

Pianist James Ross says: ’The Piper of Windy Ha’ is a Caithness folktale. After drinking from a well, a young man from Windy Ha’ farm encounters the Fairy Queen, and accepts from her a set of magical bagpipes. He can’t play, but she promises they will make him a rich and famous musician: on one condition. He must return to the same spot seven years hence. Seven years later, having made his fortune as a piping superstar, he returns to the well and is never seen again. Don’t mess with the fairies!’

The album features original compositions by Ross which draw on his and the quartet’s folk music heritage and classical training. The works invite listeners to Ross’s homeland of Caithness, the northernmost point in the Scottish mainland, and draws inspiration from the power of the sea, legends of fairy mischief and landscapes depicted by Scottish novelist, Neil Gunn.

Landscape to Light is out on 21 June 2024 on Phenotypic Recordings.

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