Alisdair is from Perth, Western Australia. He began piping at Trinity College in Perth at the age of 13 where he also received tuition from local pipers John MacMurchie and Malcolm Brown. In 1996 which was his final year of high school, he was promoted to Pipe Major of the Trinity College Pipes & Drums where he led the band to various juvenile championship wins in Western Australia. In the same year he was also a member of the Grade 3 Armadale City Pipe Band when they won the Australian & South Pacific Pipe Band Championships.
Alisdair joined Western Australia Police Pipe Band (WAPOL) in 1997 and was a part of a very successful period for the band winning the 1998 Grade 2 World Championships, 2001 Grade 1 American championships and a 10th place at the 2004 World Championships Grade 1.
In 2005 whilst still living in Perth, Australia, Alisdair became the first fly in guest player for the world renowned Strathclyde Police Pipe Band, 12 times winners of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Associations World Pipe Band Championship. In 2006 Alisdair was appointed to the position of Pipe Major of the Western Australia Police Pipe Band which he held for 12 months before relocating to Glasgow in October 2007.
Alisdair is also an accomplished solo piper having won many prizes throughout Australia and has recently started competing in Scotland. At the end of 2008 he joined the ranks of the 8 time World Champions, Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band where he has won every Major title including the Scottish, British, European, Cowal, Ulster, All Ireland and World Pipe Band Championships. In 2011 Alisdair was a part of the band that completed the “Grand Slam” winning all 5 major championships in one
season including the World Pipe Band Championships.
With his piping career beginning at the age of 9, John has had many years of piping experience. As well as the traditional solo and pipe band competition circuits he has a good deal of experience performing with orchestras, trad groups, cross-cultural collaborations and his own experimental ensembles.
He originally received tuition from his father, Brian Mulhearn – proprietor and pipe maker at the Ayrshire Bagpipe Company, and a well know face on the Scottish highland games circuit. Then, moving onto lessons with Angus J. MacLellan – former Pipe Sergeant of the Strathclyde Police Pipe Band and double Gold Medalist – he received the tuition that would provide a solid grounding for what would become a successful junior solo piping career, winning most of the major prizes on the junior circuit.
During his late teens and early twenties John took a break from piping, allowing time to explore other musical genres. It was during this time that the seeds were sown for what would become his debut album in 2009 – a record that forges a connection between traditional pipe music and contemporary electronic music. At the same time as working on and releasing this album his career as a solo competitive piper and teacher was rekindled, working up an impressive record on the games circuit and at the major gatherings. Recent achievements include being runner-up in the 2012 Highland Society of London Gold Medal at the Argyllshire Gathering.