Robert Louis Stevenson is one of my writing heroes, and a constant source of inspiration for me.
A gig last November to coincide (almost) with RLS day was something of a success – you can get a clip of the closing piece, Hyde’s Last Words, featuring the awesome Kenny Mackay on lead guitar. It was kind of fun – due to, er, ‘volume issues,’ we lost touch with the backing track, but with Kenny blazing away, all I had to do was hang onto his coat tails with some sort of rhythm guitar.
I hope to do more Stevenson-related shows some time. I’m available for weddings, funerals and bar mitzvahs.
Thrawn Janet has always been one of those stories that just lived on and on in my memory; but it in 2012 I hit on the idea of doing a spoken word recording of it. I re-read it with a performer’s eye, and got more and more excited by the idea.
I was working to a deadline, of a rather strange sort: the climax in the story is set on the 17th August, 1712, so I released my version on 17th August 2012, the 300th anniversary. Why not?
The project threw up some interesting issues for me. Stevenson’s Scots is – I’m presuming – the type of Edinburgh Scots he grew up with in 1850s and 60s Edinburgh. To my ear, as a twentieth-century Fifer, there’s not that much I don’t recognise, but there are one or two spellings – the word ‘hot’ being rendered as ‘het,’ for example – that give rise to a pronunciation that doesn’t seem right to me. So I’ve had to produce my own reading script – and as uncomfortable as I might feel changing a single syllable of the Master’s words, I feel much more comfortable with the result.
The full version of Thrawn janet is now available.
I’m now working on a full audio version of Markheim,which I planned to release on 28th August 2013. Unfortunately, it proved a little more tricky than I anticipated. By way of compensation, there is now Hyde’s Last Words, a piece of my own composition which adds Edward’s version of events to the multi-layered narrative. Careful, it’s X-rated!