Scottish musicians outside the Duomo in Barga – v 3.0

Scottish musicians outside the Duomo in Barga

Fifteen years ago Hamish Moore first visited Barga, having heard the Scottish painter John Bellany, extolling its merits on a radio show.

“Barga is full of artists and musicians and creative people of all sorts,” says Moore. “One of the local bars, Aristo’s, is the unofficial cultural centre (site here), and I got involved with music sessions there with my small pipes.”

That first visit to the city then evolved into a year long artist-in-residence as he was installed in a studio in Piazza Angelio. (article here

From there the Scottish connection blossomed into a yearly school for visiting students based on Scots and Gaelic traditional song, music and dance.

The school eschewed the stereotypical view of what Scottish Culture is – the parody of itself which was a politically motivated creation.

They concentrated on rediscovering and celebrating with the help of the best of their tradition bearers their beautiful past traditions which have been saved for them, are now main stream, and represent a living tradition.

The school in Barga was just a small strand of the exciting movement which has overtaken Scotland.




According to Hamish – Barga provided the rest:  the wonderful welcoming people, the spectacular food, the beauty of the city where magic happens and the chance and random meetings will constantly take place in piazzas and inspire a tune or a song – living – soaring – maybe even to heaven. 

The Covid pandemic meant that for the past couple of years the school has been put on hold but this week an informal group of friends and students from the school were in Barga with Hamish Moore enjoying the possibility of playing once more in the piazzas of Barga Vecchia, this time outside the Duomo in Barga Vecchia.

Hamish Moore has been inducted into the Scottish traditional music hall of fame (article here)
The Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame is dedicated to giving acknowledgement and recognition to musicians and industry people who, by their dedication and hard work, have supported and influenced the development of Scottish traditional music during their lives.
BOTH as a piper and as a pipemaker, Hamish Moore has had a vital influence on the Scottish piping scene over the past three decades, particularly in what has become known as the “cauld wind revival” – the renaissance of Scotland’s hitherto forgotten bellows-blown bagpipes.
A time-served piper from a family of pipers, since the mid-1980s, Hamish has been producing – latterly with the help of his son, Fin – high quality sets of Scottish small pipes and Border pipes, with such success that the firm has closed its order books until it catches up with its waiting list. In concerts and recordings, Hamish’s playing has carried the torch for a revival of interest in bellows-blown pipes which has seen them become commonplace on the piping and wider folk scene, compared to 30 years ago when they seemed the arcane, antiquarian interest of a few enthusiasts