Duncan Lyall was brought up in Dunblane from the age of 2. At an early age he demonstrated an enthusiasm for music, starting first with piano lessons at the age of 5, then with the guitar a few years later and finally to the double bass. He left Dunblane at 18 to study music at university in Glasgow.
After graduating with a good degree, Duncan started working as a professional musician, playing both double bass and bass guitar with some of Scotland’s leading names in traditional music, including Julie Fowlis, Kris Drever, Donald Shaw and Fred Morrison, as well as a host of fellow Dewar Arts awardees.
To date, Duncan has recorded on almost 30 albums, performed all over Europe and Canada and been a member of some of the leading Scottish traditional groups such as Croft No. Five and Brolum. Duncan has gained a deserved reputation as a top-class traditional musician and is in constant demand as a performing and recording musician.
Duncan writes that he has been developing his playing ‘to incorporate the bass in a more adventurous fashion, following the melodies, harmonising, writing counter melodies or providing a more rhythmic accompaniment with the bow', which are, he explains, techniques more often used by the cello in traditional music.
How the Award Helped
The Dewar Arts Award will go towards helping Duncan buy a new double bass and bow that will give him the flexibility and tone to develop his musicianship.