I've had big debates, mostly with Ben Daglish, about whether music really needs words. As a songwriter, I can't help but put words to music, and anyway sometimes the words come first.

However, this is a selection of pieces which have no words at all. There are simple folk-style tunes of mine, some not so simple tunes of mine, and some pieces by other musicians known and unknown. Some will be already included in albums on the Songs page, notably Concerning the Waves and Firefolk.

In the days when I played the brass-strung harp, I recorded two albums with that instrument alone, which are now available here in digital for the first time. (Busker only, Harpers Solstice coming soon)

The rest are individual pieces which I enjoy playing, and are there for anyone to play who wants to, in the time-honoured way. If you do use them yourself, please just credit me as their maker if they're mine, and let me know if you do, I do like to hear where they get to..

I hope to get round to writing out the dots, and as I do that I'll put them up here, but in the meantime take them by ear. If you particularly want the dots for a particular tune, get and it will spur me on to getting it written out.




Harper's Solstice

Two 20 minute improvised pieces on the theme of solstice celebration, from the excited gathering of the tribes to the still point of solstice, and out again into the new cycle of the year. Originally released on cassette, back in the mists of time. Now digital. Played on a 30 string brass-strung harp.


The Busker

From the times when I used to play the harp in the street, and for weddings and gatherings, this is a varied collection of pieces, some mine, some traditional, some from other musicians I met along the way. Again, originally released on cassette, and available now for the first time in digital.


Individual Tunes


Written by me unless marked otherwise. If you're looking for accurate copies of the ones I've borrowed, these might not be the ones you're looking for. Follow links to album titles where marked. The rest are coming soon as they get recorded.


Whistle Tunes:

Cliffs of Lalla Fatma
First swallow of Spring
Hawk Stone
Last swallow of Autumn
Return to the Mt.
Pookah's Leap (from CONCERNING THE WAVES)
The Auld Reel (TRAD)
Golden Eagle/Fisher's Hornpipe (TRAD)
Jacky Tar (TRAD)
Morrisons Jig/Trip to Sligo (TRAD)
Morning Star (TRAD)
Off to California (TRAD)
Clarke's Hornpipe (TRAD) (from TOMORROWS ANCESTOR - Pissing In The Well)
Ravens'Wing/Jackson's Reel (by PAUL DOOLEY/TRAD)
Strayaway Child (by MICHAEL GORMAN)
Pearl wedding (by WILLY TAYLOR) (from TOMORROWS ANCESTOR - Pay The Man )

All played on low D, low Bb and alto A whistles made by the very helpful Alba people in Scotland, (except Pookah's Leap, that was before I discovered Alba).


Guitar Tunes:

Macpherson Strut/Fly in the Ointment (both co-written with JACKIE SIMPSON)
Snakes and Ladders/Pennyroyal
Bwlch-y-mynydd (from TOMORROWS ANCESTOR - I'm Your Child)
Camino de Santiago (from COMPOSTELA - Romar's Song)

All played on a lovely Lowden L25 steelstring with D'Addario strings.


Fiddle Tune:

Planxty Kindred, (played by ANNA BROOKS, from FULL MOON - Flashback)


Harp Tunes:

The Wave
Midsummer Jig/Myrtle's Fancy (from CONCERNING THE WAVES)
Otterslide (from CONCERNING THE WAVES)
Rights of Man (Trad) (from CONCERNING THE WAVES)

Played on a Border Harps maple Clarsach with 30 brass strings.