Alex grew up in the Hutt Valley and developed a love for Irish traditional music as a teenager. He was fortunate to be encouraged and guided by session members such as Pat Higgins and Ruairidh Morrison at Wellington’s Molly Malone’s in the 80’s and early 90’s. Playing Scottish highland bagpipes in pipe band and solo piping competitions under strict and regimented rules and style, Alex was delighted to learn from Hamish Moore of the older piping tradition founded in dance that survived the Clearances in Scotland when musicians emigrated to Cape Breton. Here he found a style of piping that was more closely linked with Irish traditional music, particularly the music shared between Donegal and Scottish West Coast Island and Highland communities. Alex has gone on to learn and play Irish whistle, flute and guitar, along with Scottish small pipes and highland pipes.
Alex particularly enjoys the musical collaborations he’s been fortunate to be a part of over the years. These include musicians that have come together for various Folk Club performances in Wellington, Nelson and Christchurch and while living in Nelson, concerts at the Nelson Centre for Musical Arts and the special performances of Cruisich, The Standing Stone at the Tauranga and Nelson Arts Festivals, driven by the creative energy and music of Bob Bickerton. On his family’s return to Nelson recently, Alex has re-connected with his love of the session, with the warmth and friendship of local musicians inspiring the learning of new tunes and musical collaborations.
Alex is looking forward to sharing tunes, thoughts and techniques with attendees at this year’s Ceol Aneas whistle workshops.