…Dr. MacPhail’s Trance

Formed in Argyll, western Scotland with the notion of adapting traditional Gaelic songs with modern production techniques, and named after the Western Capercaillie, a bird native to the Argyll region, Capercaillie, the band, recorded its first album in 1984.

Today’s selection was included on “Get Out” the group’s sixth album, released in 1992, with many of its tracks focusing on the notorious Highland Clearances.

Ranging from the 18th Century to well into the next one, the clearances came about as a result of an agricultural transformation by hereditary aristocratic landowners, who forced crofters (farmers) and their families off their lands in droves (at a rate that reached 2,000 families a day), sometimes brutally.

Tacitly abetted by the government, financial aid for new infrastructure was provided to strengthen trade and support the new sheep-fueled economy.  The great expulsion also hastened the end of Scotland’s age-old clan system. Displaced to the seacoast and the Lowlands, many were forced into emigrating to Australia and Canada where today there are now significantly more highland descendants than in Scotland itself.

That said, today’s selection, an instrumental, is one of the album’s few tracks that has nothing to do with the clearances.  Rather, Dr. MacPhail’s Trance comes to you as a precursor to another “Dream Week” with each selection focusing on Dreams.


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