2007 marks a second bite at the Scotland’s Music apple for John. The first series aired on Radio Scotland in 1992 to wide acclaim, and his accompanying book earned him the 1993 McVitie's Scottish Writer of the Year Award. He is currently writing a new, extended edition based on the research that informs his second Scotland’s Music series.
John has been creating award-winning radio since the seventies - as in Scotland’s Music, usually as writer, researcher and presenter. As well as for Radio Scotland, he has made programmes for Radio 3 and Radio 2, and his radio work has been aired as far afield as Ireland, New Zealand and even Iceland.
Radio is only one of John’s many passions. He is a composer, a poet and playwright, and a musicologist of some renown. He lectured on classical music for Glasgow University Extra-Mural Department, and has travelled the world lecturing and broadcasting on Scottish music. He also finds the time to raise Highland cattle on a croft near Elgol in Skye, with the help of his wife, Bar, and the occasional mucking in of extremely well-fed and watered guests.
John has recently been studying Gaelic at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig in Skye, and in 2006 he was appointed as a Research Fellow and Gaelic Music Course Director. He is one of the team of researchers undertaking the five-year research project, “Window to the West – towards a redefinition of the visual within Gaelic Scotland”, funded by the AHRC.