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> Issue 53 > Page 6 - Our Uncle, Dan R. MacDonald From Talks with John Donald and John Allan Cameron

Page 6 - Our Uncle, Dan R. MacDonald From Talks with John Donald and John Allan Cameron

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1990/1/1 (331 reads)

were different. She was less interested in the classical music of Scotland. She was more interested in the dance type of mu? sic. Which is fine, too, you know. But she didn't always agree with Dan R. when he'd like to play a slow air. You know, she'd tell him, why didn't he play something more lively.... Dan R. had great admiration, for example, for the old violinist in Scotland, Hector MacAndrew. Hec? tor played a lot of slow airs, and just played them very well. And his strath? spey and reel and everything, it was just timed and just terrific. You know, great. And Dan R. had great admiration for that, as he did for Sean Mc- Guire's playing. by that time. She was sick of hearing about Hector MacAndrew. And she said to him, said to Dan R., "Why don't you swim over and kiss his arse!" And she kept go? ing. (Laughter.) And she kept going. Well, he looked at her, you know. And he just didn't like it, you know. Because she didn't have the same appreciation.... Because he felt so strongly about the style of playing in Scotland, how the technique--he admired the technique, you know. He ad? mired it very much.... One time--he was sitting at the table in the kitchen. My mother was upstairs. And he was telling us oh, how much he admired Hector's playing. He said, "And by the time," he said, "some time," he said, "I'm going to have enough money saved, and I'm going to buy a tick? et," he said, "I'm going to fly over to Scotland and I'm going to listen to him play, and I'm going to play for him, too." My mother happened to be walking down the stair--happened to be walking by the table TfCilixc Aid. Dan R. MacDonald and friends in Southwest l'argaree • Computerized Wheel Balancing • Alignment & Brakes • Complete Road Service • Shocks 539-5670 265 PRINCE ST. • SYDNEY iiPGOOdrich BRUNSWICK- (What I'm in? terested in is that Dan R. had no fear in do? ing two things: he had no fear in bringing new old music into our repertoire. And he had no fear of compos? ing new music for the reper? toire. It was not a question of, "Well, that's the old music, and that's what we should be playing." He was very modern.) Oh, you're right. You're ab? solutely right. He didn't deviate very far from the old tradition. I suppose his mu? sic is more closely related to Scott Skin? ner's music--that's the more modern trend in the Scottish music--than it is to the older Highland stuff. Of course, Dan R., his father was a fid? dler- -Johnny MacDonald- -Johnny the Carpen? ter, they called him. He'd be my grandfa? ther. He was well regarded as a fiddler. He played by ear. But he was quite a popu? lar dance player in his day. Dan R.'s mother died at an early age. My mother'd be Dan R.'s only sister. They were separ? ated, you know, at the early--oh, I don't know--around 1915, thereabouts. And Dan R. lived in the Judique area, and my mother lived near Port Hood--Glencoe Station. So DOISJLJ llm ffouin. DONUTS. ( OPEN 24 HOURS • 7 DAYS A WEEJT) 412 Welton Street Sydney (562-5033) 1058 Kings Road Sydney River (539-3931) Sterling l/lall Glace Bay (849-0988) Cor. Charlotte & Townsend Sydney (562-8085) Prince Street Sydney Shopping Centr?? (539-4287) Cape Breton Shopping Plaza Sydney River (539-1399) 106 King Street North Sydney (794-8337) i{Mm "ANays fresh because you keep eating them!"
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