Wonderfully there was ideal help at hand, Pipe Major David E. Moir. David is Pipe Major of the Pipes & Drums of 75 Regt. Royal Engineers, a Reserve Army unit. He also formed the ‘Crossed Swords Pipes & Drums’, based in Germany with members in nine European countries. They have played twice at the Edinburgh Royal Military Tattoo and at other venues across the Continent. In addition David is Personal Piper to the General commanding British Forces in Germany and piper to the Chief. He has piped at the weddings of the Chief’s daughter and his elder son, aided on both occasions by the drumming of Philip, the younger son. David’s parents live on the property at Finnich Malise so David knows the house, policies and family well.
He says of the piece, “I wrote ‘Finnich Malise’ while serving with the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus. Thinking of the beauty of Stirlingshire was a welcome relief. I wanted a bright, very recognisable tune. It has a re-occurring musical phrase which signifies Andrew and Marguerite's love and enthusiasm for Finnich Malise, and their continual emphasis on moving forward with new projects to improve the property. I hope to record the tune properly when I am over at the Army School of Piping next year.”
Then there was the decision of when and where to present it? The First Durie Gathering was held earlier this year in Scotland. Pipe-Major Moir came over from Germany to attend the last evening’s event at the chief’s home, Finnich Malise. He piped to welcome the guests from five countries to the house, then into dinner, after dinner he explained the history of some famous tunes that he played and then the surprise gift to the Chief: ‘Finnich Malise’ . This terrific tune had everyone’s feet tapping and many humming afterwards.
The Chief says, “It was a complete surprise, and so fitting that ‘Finnich Malise’ should be played for the first time at home during our first Durie Gathering. I have huge admiration for David, as a brilliant piper, at his day job in Germany, and as a magnificent Ambassador for Scotland wherever he goes. It was an emotional moment for me. To have our own pipe tune, and such a catchy one is indeed a dream come true.”
And the following morning the guests staying in the house were woken, like H.M. The Queen, to the strains of a piper - playing the new tune!
The Music of 'Finnich Malise' is attached as a pdf here. Copyright © 2014 D.E.Moir