Guest post by musician Phil Langran on his experiences at Moniack Mhor.
Like many others, I arrived full of that woozy ‘oh goodness what on earth am I doing’ feeling, but the warm welcome from staff, tutors and fellow students soon blew the fears away. And it just so happened that I’d wandered into the best of strangers. A hearty breakfast, straight into group-work and by the end of the first very full day we all had a new song each. By the end of the week we were swimming in songs, inspired by Kathryn and Roddy’s mix of professionalism, drive and sheer enthusiasm. And fun – lots of it.
I’ve been writing since my young and foolish teenage years, and kept going through to my current old and stupid sixties, but I’ve never had such an inspirational week. I was working on a set of songs for an album with my band back home. I looked out across the snow-blasted view from my room and found a title, ‘The Distance’, and wrote a song for my dad. On the last afternoon I worked with Jamie MacRae and Grace Morton on a farewell song, ‘To Be Continued’. And those two songs gave a shape to the whole album. They also took me away from my usual solitary approach and brought me back to the joys of collaborative work.
I went back to Moniack Mhor in December 2017 for an equally inspiring week tutored by Boo Hewerdine and Findlay Napier, and I’m signed up for another in December 2018. I’m very happily hooked on the place.
The new CD, ‘The Distance’, by The Phil Langran Band is available from Folkwit Records.
It’s distributed by Proper Records and therefore available to order from most record shops as well as online sellers
3rd April 2018