Trying to define a musical style in a few lines on a web page is near impossible. Instead, I’ll try and give you an idea of what I’m trying to achieve through my music.

There will always be a strong link to the legacy of man through the ages in my work - how we have adapted to the highs and lows in a technological age, and, how we treat each other and the land we all share. Above all my latest body of work, Pan’s Calling, aims to connect the past to the present in what I regarded as not time immemorial, but time orbital.  (Think the wheel of a bicycle going round and round, but on a new piece of road with each revolution)

With memories of the past entwined with ideas and visions for the future I also try to catch a single moment in time on a more personal level - a fragment of the human condition if you like. (This is akin to Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns, whose many works typified the struggle of man)

Strong melody, chordal harmony and natural & man-made sounds can all be heard in many pieces. What I then try and do is apply these facets to areas other than regular instruments, and of course vice versa. All music was inspired from nature in the beginning, so tonal and ambient qualities are also very important to me. I want the music to be felt rather than just heard. Most music today stems from a folk tradition of songs or tunes for a variety of functions that were used to commemorate and celebrate the big themes of the day (love, loss, movement of people, battle etc.) It is these same themes that interest me today.

During the Highland Clearances of the 18th Century many people left these shores for the new World. Some left through choice and others with no choice but to leave. This haunting drama traces the final journey of a young girl to an emigrant ship that lies in wait. From the wail in her dreams to the waking stark reality – from a last look at the land of her birth to her ghostly after presence, we quite literally follow her Last Footsteps of Home.

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Robert Aitken

composer - producer - music & media educator

Sample from Pan’s Calling, Last Footsteps of Home

Music Without Bars