Hamish Moore's final article for 2008

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So, here we are on the last night. It feels strangely ghost like. The Duomo Bells have given me the time but the town is so quiet.
Marino is closed with the flu, Ricardo is on a day off, The Altana is shut for holidays and there really is no one about and it’s a bit grey and damp.
Its unusually cold though and so has September been. It sort of went from winter to summer with no spring then intense 35 degree heat for 10 – 12 weeks then back to winter. Apart from anything else, Keane’s beard is back on so its got to be winter. I wanted to stay so much at least until the end of October or even the end of November but it wasn’t to be. I am aff home to be with my Dad who is ill. Keane says there is a reason for this that we don’t know about yet – si si . Credo.

What a year ———- so far.


And all I want to do here in this wee blogette is just go through some memories – maybe even a list – just to pin point on the eve of departure some deep feelings and thoughts – highlights / low times / breakthroughs / brick walls / frustrations / elations, si si va bene .


So – and it was on the 2nd of February that this journey really began, back in the holding area for The Rosyth Ferry, with Fiona and new Maura and Fin and Sarah and Joyce, the journey down through France, over The Alps and down in to Italy and on up into Garfagnana and Barga.
I worked hard that first two months, played my fiddle a lot in the wee Piazza Sargentone flat, met Jesse and Heidi and had some great times with them. All was new and exciting. Aristos and getting to know Marino. The Jazz club on Friday nights was something to look forward to. The walks round the town getting to know you; every street and lane, path and hiding place.

Isernia for the Spring Piping School and Scapoli to meet The Zampogna makers.

April and the birds at Latriani, the cold and the walks in and out of Barga.

The visitors starting and the pattern emerging.

Getting to know more and appreciate more and May and more visitors.

Home again in June for a spell and into Casa Rosa in the Giardino – what a delight – home – home – home – at least really like a home.

July and August were just so so mental and don’t know where they went – wall to wall west of Scotland accents especially round Alpino and Bar Onesti. Concert after festival after concert.

Now just seen in September and the personal highlight with the success of the concert which I put on in the Theatre – so meaningful to be able to express what is a real emotional communication through this wonderful and rich culture of ours. Special thanks to all the musicians who so willingly took part for no fee and special thanks to Sangstream who raised the money for all the musician’s airfares.


A’desso – devo andare a Scozia domani

I will miss the warmth of the people who are lovely and have time for the important things

I will miss the food and wine – just based on its simplicity but a raw and rare freshness of ingredients in fact so fresh that nothing can ever taste quite like it again.

I will miss the way this funny wee town operates in its streets and its piazzas – it is a walled town and it has its own life and way of operating and very special character within these walls; its own rules and own way of being.

I will miss also my Italian – some days are better than others but in general I am just loving feeling the beginnings of a new communication system in my life

I will miss the spectacular beauty of my surroundings; The Apennine Alps, The Piazzas, The wee narrow and winding streets, the roof scapes, the light, the freshness of the air, the Carrara Marble range, the heat in summer, the art and the music and the artists and musicians, the poets and the photographers.

But most of all, I will miss all my new friends – what a joy you all are.

None of this would have been possible without Keane ———-– Barga – wake up to your greatest living treasure.

I have a funny feeling I will be back. Spero e Aspettami

Grazie tutti . Grazie Mille. Hamish Moore 2nd October 2008


The complete Hamish Moore articles recounting his year as Artist in Residence 2008 can be seen here but if you would like to listen instead of read, then pull up a chair, make yourself comfortable (the interview lasts for nearly an hour) and listen to the podcast which Hamish recorded this afternoon to wrap up the Artist in Residence 2008 project.

He went for a walk around the town and recorded his thoughts and ideas on a variety of subjects ranging from “Scottishness” – “ignoring people in the street” and “just what was the crofter wearing as he sat down to play his pipes?”

Click on the link below to hear Hamish (in English)

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It’s true, as Hamish Moore writes, that Barga leaves a lasting mark on those who genuinely share its life. But they leave their mark too. One of the most remarkable things about this town — part of its animating spirit — is a keen sense of the extraordinary qualities that people like Hamish bring to the mix that defines a community. If part of you will always be barghigiano, Hamish, it’s equally true for the rest of us that a corner of the Piazza Angelio will remain “our piper’s workshop.”


Till another time. Thanks to you all . Tioraidh an Drasda. RW


I only met you for a short time in August but you felt like a friend. I will be thinking of you and your Dad and hope our paths cross again sometime, maybe in Aberdeen.
Take care.

Jesse and Heidi

Seamus….. What a treat for us to read what you write and listen to your music of Barga. You have been able to bridge and connect so much about Barga in so short a time with your writing (new to you) and your music (a language that you have always had). You have done this so well and with such respect and poignancy. Heidi and I were lucky enough to be discovering and learning about Barga when you first were as well. I remember you talking to me quietly about finding your voice in Barga, your first voice of course… Read more »


Ciao Hamish. We met but once, but once we met I immediately realized why I had seen your smiling face so often on these pages. Best of everything and perhaps we’ll meet again. Ciao Hamish. Kerry


Hamish, my new “incrociato” has stoped me going to Aristo’s for the past few weeks… I think it’s my round so take a strol down for a glass of wine.

Lyle Crawford
Lyle Crawford

The truth is, we really need two Hamish Moores. One for Barga and one for Scotland. It has been a joy following the blogs, and it will be a joy to catch up with you again in your iconic workshop at Dunkeld, or maybe even here in North Berwick. Your father lives in the house I was born in overlooking the beach and the sea and Fife beyond and the sun is shining today, perhaps to welcome you home. What a great adventure you have had. It has been a joy sharing it with you.