Tuesday, 27 February 2018

★★★★★ ★★★★★ ★★★★★

Oh my stars, (as a wee girl used to say in a misremembered Victorian (?) children's drama from the early 80s where the actor who played the amiable chef from Fawlty Towers was a mean dad, but I digress...)

So last week we had the live premiere of "Hamilton Mausoleum Suite" in the mausoleum itself.
The Mausoleum's cupola
Well, the reviews are in and...*drum roll*...it's 5 stars all the way!!  *gong, duck whistle*

"Something a bit special"★★★★★ The Scotsman (read more)
"A huge palate of sound and feeling" ★★★★★ The Skinny (read more)
"Bloody freezing" ★★★★★ The Sunday Mail

I'm extremely chuffed of course, but it was really the amazing musicians who earned all those stars: Justine Watts (violin), Stewart Webster (violin), Emma Connell-Smith (viola), John Davidson (cello) and Sharron Griffiths (harp).

If you listen here from 1 hour 5 mins, I was on the BBC Radio Scotland's "Out Of Doors"  programme discussing recording in the Mausoleum along with very knowledgeable guide Peter.

I'll be introducing one more live performance of the Hamilton Mausoleum Suite at The Tower Digital Arts Centre, Helensburgh on 13th March. Tickets here.

The nice folks at the highly recommended Glasgow Music City Walking Tours asked me to blog about the project - so I did.

What else? Young Offenders Episode 3 made me laugh and cry at the same time.

This is an amazing, suitably epic New Yorker article about Henry Worsley's Antarctic Expeditions.

Tracyanne & Danny is a new project featuring Tracyanne Campbell from Camera Obscura and Danny Coughlan from Crybaby. Produced by Edwyn Collins & Sean Read (Dexys), I can vouch that it is a wee beauty.

UK dates, US dates, album release date and a new song can all be found at:

Toodle pip!

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Cacio e Pepe

As I type I am reflecting on last night's live performance of "Hamilton Mausoleum Suite". What a privilege to hear my music played by great musicians in an amazing venue!

Sincere thanks to the musicians, punters, Hamilton Low Parks Museum staff and, well, everyone who has been supportive of my notion which became an idea, then a concept and then a thing.

Here is a wee handheld, lo-fi taster; "Stone Lions Lullaby" (violin & harp) and "The Mausoleum" (string quartet)...

Felt like a culmination of something. Although we are doing it again next month in Helensburgh...
To book tickets go here and click Live On Screen

More info on the "Hamilton Mausoleum Suite" album at www.francismacdonald.com

I was on BBC Radio Scotland's "Classics Unwrapped" the other night. I'm blethering from 4 mins 43 seconds. You can listen here.

In other news...

I just had a pleasant city break (as they call it) in Belfast. The Titanic Exhibition was fandabbydozy (sp?). The Gilbert & George Exhibiton at The Mac provoked one of my children to announce that it "hurts my brain". G&G might claim this as a victory.

Elle is pretty dark and dramatic. By the end I felt like I'd binge-watched an entire series of a disturbing French psycho-drama.

Lady Bird = brilliant.

I loved "Loveless". I'm all for a long slow film in the hands of an intelligent, confident filmmaker, that keeps me thinking about it days later.

"Young Offenders" is a hoot - the film on Netflix AND the series on BBC One.

Pity Paddington 2 didn't do better at the BAFTAS. Loved that film.

Recipe Corner - this was a revelation...

And finally, Esther....

The Teenage Fanclub bandwagon is starting to roll...

Monday, 5 February 2018

New t-shirt Design: "Comfortingly Orthodox" (The Guardian); "An Artist Of Stature" (The Peterborough Telegraph)

"Hamilton Mausoleum Suite" just got honourable mentions in The Scotsman...

"Fragrant pastoral passages"
...and the Guardian...

"Bach-like harp...pastoral exploration...comfortingly orthodox"
...and the Peterborough Telegraph...
And it entered the Top 50 Classical Artist Charts at Number 30.

Max, Andre & Francis - the Dream Team
In other news I saw Scottish Opera's production of Greek and loved it and The Transatlantic Sessions at Celtic Connections and loved it too. Julie Fowlis always a highlight. John McCusker was there too.

Fortune cookie song idea...
I have mastered Panettone bread and butter pudding, btw - so watch out.

This New Yorker article on women and the mafia is nuts...

What else? Oh! Don't forget "Hamilton Mausoleum Suite" LIVE performance in The Tower, Helensburgh next month. The Helensburgh Advertises are excited...

You can order "Hamilton Mausoleum Suite" here - or at all good physical and digital music retailers....

Tinkety-tonk, old fruit, and down with the nazis.