Player Profile: Alex MacDonald

Alex Macdonald, our die-hard rocking viola star. I know Alex as a talented BBQ’ist (you should watch him butterfly a chicken like a pro) and cocktail maker.. invite him to your party and observe the magic.. He’s also VERY good at computer whispering. We find out what this ‘prawn in a paella’ has to say about his part in the Blackbird Orchestra.


Alex MacDonald, Viola player for the Night Sky

Please tell us about yourself and what you play in 3 sentences.
I’m a amateur mixiologist, gardener, scientist, and a classically trained viola player. A viola is slightly bigger but looks exactly like a violin. It’s not a show-off thing but it has a couple of times to shine, usually for an introverted or contemplative moment.

How many blackbird shows have you done now?
3.5 – I went to the first ever show – blew my mind at the time.

Which is your favourite show and why?
Night sky. It is the most fun I’ve ever had doing a gig – as much as the audience was. The perfect mix of space-boogie, ballads, and sci-fi tunes.

What is the best moment in the Night Sky Show?
Star Wars – Imperial March. It’s like being on the Death Star and knowing the awesome planet destroying capabilities at your fingertips.

How do you feel when you’re performing?
What a question! Well at the least I hope is that I feel my instrument in my hands. But when the music is really happening I often feel like I’m seeing the whole band from the outside in – looking at myself as a lever in a Rube-Goldberg machine or a prawn in a paella dish.
None of that does it justice – I’m always listening and thinking about the music, what’s happened, happening, and going to happen.

What would be your dream blackbird gig theme?
Uhh…  I can’t imagine! Something with characters and a story… Trapeze?
I think my love of science and music is satisfied by the night sky show.

What’s your favourite thing about BBE?
Music best with musicians you’d want to party with – that’s always true with BBE. But what makes BBE seriously satisfying is the Wagnerian idea of complete art. Going to a blackbird gig is like walking into a different time and space continuum – there’s no proscenium arch or stuffy concert etiquette.