Calum wows Ardrishaig with a percussion masterclass

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By Eve Maxwell

Calum Huggan captivated the audience with his marimba playing  in Ardrishaig Public Hall.

The afternoon of Saturday January 20 started on a lively note with a piece by the name of Libertango by composer Astor Piazzolla. The music was a frenzy of Argentine sounds that whipped the audience into a whirlwind, this was followed by variations on Dowland’s Lachrimae Pavanna – originally a work for lute.

The marimba imitated the sound of a Renaissance lute and Calum’s playing was greeted with murmurs of agreement from the audience members.

Just before the interval we were left with a piece of music written for marimbist Momoko Kamiya by Takatsugu Muramatsu, its title Land. This piece was my personal favourite and Calum told us that this piece reminded him of the Isle of Skye, a place he calls home, and the undulating sound of the exotic marimba seemed to convey the impression of Scottish hills.

As we all sat down after the interval again we were given an impromptu pop quiz which was comedic but informative, and in Calum’s words the audience received ‘top marks’.

He then performed the second and third movements of Caritas, a piece by Solemn and Majestic by M. Burritt, the second movement of which was sweeping and swelling with emotional sounds while the third movement came straight out of a music box. The second last piece was E. Sejourne’s Nancy, a sombre and sweet piece of music that stayed so quiet that the audience was almost afraid to breathe.

The afternoon was finished with Dr Gradus ad Parnassum by C Debussy and the music was arranged for marimba by Calum Huggan himself. The piece comes from a collection of six playful piano miniatures dedicated to the composer’s then three-year-old daughter and the contents of her toy box.

Calum Huggan has performed solo debuts within the major concert houses across Germany and the UK, as well as performing with orchestras around the world. He is also a much sought-after percussion tutor and workshop leader.

The next Mid Argyll Arts Association concert will be held in the grand surroundings of the Argyll and Bute Council chamber, Kilmory on Saturday February 10, starting at 7.30pm. The instrumentalists playing will be the Solem Quartet.


A virtuoso percussion performance in Ardrishaig. no_a05CalumHuggan01

Calum Huggan. no_a05CalumHuggan01