Dougal, the enigmatic, often aloof, but highly respected record producer has today passed away. His faithful servant, Julie, was with him at the end. I had a last minute compering engagement to meet so I couldn’t be there. That will haunt me for some time. We are both heartbroken. We have both lost a mentor and guide and he will be sorely missed. His passing was anticipated, but nevertheless it turned out to be sudden on the day.
It will have been obvious to my readers that Dougal has been central to my work since 1994. He was a constant companion and encouragement during my composing and recording efforts since he joined us. His contributions as production assistant were marked by his insights communicated almost exclusively by body language and even simply by entering or leaving the room during recording takes. The orientation and movement of his tail on these occasions often expressed all that needed to be said. Many musicians would have been offended by this behaviour but I learned to admire and respect this directness. In particular, I learned to interpret his use of his self-grooming in communicating his satisfaction, or otherwise, in the way a session was progressing. This guidance will be sorely missed in the future.
It’s true that in later years he would limit his criticism to my music to either wakefulness or sleep, but even in these times his eloquence was sublime and his instinct true.
I cannot thank him enough. Rest in peace, dear Dougal.