Scottish Piper

Gordon Mooney with his own African blackwood handcrafted Scottish smallpipes, photo by Nancy Lyon

Gordon Mooney has played the pipes since he was gobsmacked by the Highland bagpipes as a wee lad of seven, and discovered the world of grips, birls, torluaths, tachums, crunluaths and the piper's quest for THE PERFECT REED. He has devoted many years to exploring, performing and recording the instruments and music of the Scottish Borders and has published several tune collections and tutors, including a musicological celebration of the Scottish Wedding.

He has been playing ‘The Devil’s Instrument’ for over 40 years but hasn’t entered into any pacts, as yet! He attributes his skill on the Highland, Lowland, Border and Northumbrian Bagpipes and the whistle solely to many years of dedication and practice.

Gordon Mooney with bellows blown bagpipes; photo by Nancy Lyon

Gordon has been recognised as the foremost master of the Bellows blown bagpipes of Scotland and in the 1980’s led the revival in interest both in the bellows bagpipes and their music with his publications and recordings, particularly the influential and much praised album ‘O’er the Border.’ He has performed in many prestigious events and venues in Europe and North America and has taught and lectured to students of the bagpipe and Scottish music.

Gordon is widely recognised as an important figure at the forefront of The Cauld Wind (bellows blown) bagpipe revival.  On 'O'er The Border', his first album (released in 1989), he plays Border Bagpipes, Scottish Smallpipes and Northumbrian Smallpipes, solo and in combination with other instruments.

"The whole record has Appeal - with a big A - and is recommended to all those who get a thrill from the music of the Pipes"

"This collection of music of the Scottish borders is performed with a lilting beauty and the arrangement demonstrates the care that has gone into reproducing the tunes. Gordon demonstrates the amazing versatility of the pipes that left me suitably amazed. Accompanying this album is an absolutely fascinating booklet explaining the history of the playing and the songs"

Gordon's knowledge of piping spans many centuries of music and lore and encompasses many styles. He is an erudite scholar of the music and an outstanding player. His books include, A Tutor for Cauld Wind Bagpipes, A Choice Collection of Tunes for the Lowland and Border Bagpipes, O’er the Border, and A Scottish Wedding.

Awards include Billboard Award 1993, and election as Fellow of Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. He has dual EEC and Canadian Citizenship.

Gordon Mooney pperforms with his daughter Shona Mooney, former winner of the BBC young traditional musician of the year

The revival of interest in the music of the Scottish Borders of the last few decades is due, in no small part, to the pioneering work of Gordon Mooney. Gordon was one of the founding members of the Lowland and Border Pipers' Society , which works hard to promote the playing of "Cauld Wind Pipes."

Gordon’s collections of Border music,‘O’ER THE BORDER’ and ‘CHOICEST TUNES,’ described as "seminal works which deserve a place in any bellows piper's library," have been republished this year by the Lowland and Border Pipers’ Society as

GORDON MOONEY'S COLLECTIONS OF MUSIC FOR LOWLAND AND BORDER BAGPIPES. This 72-page combined collection, includes settings of 95 tunes and detailed historical notes.

When Gordon is not performing, he is making Scottish small pipes and Northumbrian bagpipes and handsome blackwood whistles from enlaid with silver Celtic rings, as in the photo below.

Gordon Mooney's Blackwood Timber Whistles enlaid with Celtic rings

See and hear Gordon playing one of his own compositions on the pipes

in Quebec, Canada in 1994 .

The albums "Time Out of Mind on the Border", "One for the Birds", "A Song for Yarrow" and "Autumn Airs" complete with pdf's of the tunes and a pdf of Gordons "Tutor for the Cauld Wind Bagpipes" can be downloaded from Bandcamp 

You can also hear Gordon and his daughter Shona playing on the LBPS album "Reclaimed" and on the "Grand Concert of Scottish Piping".

You can see and hear Gordon and Nancy on Skye Meditation video and Lochalsh Meditation video and you can hear Shona and Gordon on The Bent, the Broom and the Wan Water video and Scottish Tour excerpt video.

Read some of Gordon's own writing mischief...
and his tales of working in the gloomy bowels of the Edinburgh Public Library

If you would like to contact Gordon Mooney,
please write to him at oddscotland@gmail.com

Scottish lane named after Gordon Mooney?

African Blackwood Scottish Smallpipes,
and fine leather bags and bellows,
handcrafted by Gordon Mooney

Scottish Smallpipes of African blackwood handcrafted by Gordon Mooney

Gordon Mooney's handcrafted Scottish smallpipes handcrafted made from African blackwood

Scottish Smallpipes of African blackwood crafted by hand by Gordon Mooney

For enquiries about placing orders, or for more information or musical samples of Gordon Mooney's blackwood pipes and whistles, please write to OddScotland@gmail.com
or call +1-(450)-915-9354
or +1(727) 465-036-3989

 Scottish smallpipes made from  African blackwood by Gordon J. Mooney