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David McGuinness

David McGuinness divides his time between historical Scottish music and contemporary work. As director of early music ensemble Concerto Caledonia he has made fifteen albums, mostly of newly-rediscovered repertoire, and collaborated with musicians in a variety of genres from folk to punk cabaret.

David has been a music producer and composer for television and radio, most notably on several seasons of E4’s TV drama Skins, including collaborations with Gabrielle Aplin, Rae Morris, and the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain. In 2007 he produced John Purser’s 50-part history of Scottish music for BBC Radio Scotland and co-ordinated the station’s observance of No Music Day with the artist Bill Drummond. In 2019 Sony Music reissued the Prefab Sprout album I Trawl the Megahertz, for which he provided the string arrangements.

He is Senior Lecturer in music at the University of Glasgow, was principal investigator on the AHRC-funded research project Bass Culture in Scottish Musical Traditions, and is currently working on the music for the forthcoming edition of Allan Ramsay's collected works for Edinburgh University Press. Recent performance projects include What News, an album of traditional Scots ballads with singer Alasdair Roberts and sound artist Amble Skuse, and Nathaniel Gow’s Dance Band, in which Concerto Caledonia plays 18th-century Scottish dance music while the audience dances the original figures.

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selected discography

with Concerto Caledonia -

  • Songs of Home and Distant Isles (Diagram 5 2020)
  • Nathaniel Gow's Dance Band (ConCal 2016)
  • Purcell's Revenge (Delphian 2015)
  • Captain Tobias Hume: A Scottish Soldier (Delphian 2014)
  • Robert Mackintosh: Airs Minuets Gavotts and Reels (Delphian 2013)
  • Revenge of the Folksingers (Delphian 2011)
  • Late Night Sessions (Delphian 2010)
  • Lion (Boxwood 2007)
  • Fiddler Tam (Linn 2005)
  • The Red Red Rose (Delphian 2004)
  • Spring Any Day Now (Marquis 2003)
  • Mungrel Stuff (Linn 2001)
  • Colin's Kisses (Linn 1999)
  • The Lion of Scotland (Hyperion 1998)
  • Alasdair Roberts, Amble Skuse & David McGuinness Easter Parade/Maria Muoter (Drag City 2020) piano
  • Evergreen Ensemble Curious Caledonians (ABC Classics 2019) square piano, harpsichord
  • Future Pilot AKA Orkestra Digitalis (Glass Modern 2019) piano, melodica, guitar, electronics
  • Prefab Sprout/Paddy McAloon I Trawl the Megahertz (EMI 2003, re-issue Sony 2019) string arrangements
  • Alasdair Roberts, Amble Skuse & David McGuinness What News (Drag City 2018) fortepiano, dulcitone
  • Matt Kivel Janus (Driftless 2016) piano, VCS3
  • Mairi Morrison & Alasdair Roberts Urstan (Drag City 2012) harmonium, piano, dulcitone, glockenspiel
  • Alasdair Roberts The Wyrd Meme (Drag City 2009) harmonium, harpsichord, arrangements
  • Iain MacInnes Sealbh (Macmeanmna 2009) harpsichord, harmonium, piano
  • Alasdair Roberts Spoils (Drag City 2009) harpsichord, harmonium, arrangements
  • The Tiger Lillies Love and War (Misery Guts 2007) harpsichord, organ
  • Suzie LeBlanc Tout Passe (ATMA 2007) harpsichord, melodica, harmonium, arrangements
  • Alison McGillivray Geminiani cello sonatas, Pièces de Clavecin (Linn 2005) harpsichord
  • Chris Norman Ensemble In the Fields in Frost and Snow (Boxwood 2004) harmonium, piano, melodica
  • Suzie LeBlanc La Mer Jolie (ATMA 2004) harpsichord, melodica
  • Mychael Danna (Original Soundtrack) Vanity Fair (Decca 2004) piano, fortepiano
  • Chris Norman Ensemble The Caledonian Flute (Boxwood 2002) harmonium, melodica
  • Mr McFall's Chamber Upstart Jugglers (MMC 2001) piano, hammond, harmonica, producer