blog/newletter june 2018
Spring has been a busy few months between all the sunbathing in my Glasgow garden (that’s right), filming for an exciting new documentary in Germany for the Gaelic channel (more details about that to follow) and visiting Mexico with singer and travel buddy Kim Carnie. My first review for Folk Radio UK was published (read here) and I also spent some time with the legendary Margaret Bennett – learning songs, stories and how to make a good bean stew. I've spent a lot of time composing over the last few months and I’m delighted to have stepped into the role of Music Director, for the very first time, for an exciting new project that will be showcased at the end of the year in Edinburgh, more details about that later too. But for now here is some information about an exciting few collaborations and performances I'm involved in over the next few weeks...
POSTPONED: DUE TO ART SCHOOL FIRE
Mischa Macpherson, Kathleen Macinnes & Kim Carnie
It’s a real privilege to get to sing with these two ladies and the three of us were really looking forward to our first performance at the CCA as part of the Ceol is Craic concert ‘An Ginealach Ùr’ with Innes White on guitar and Alistair Iain Paterson on piano and harmonium. Unfortunately this event has been postponed due to the devastating fire that broke out on Friday night at the Art School. Check back later for more information about a rescheduled date.
Donald Grant & Friends
WIGMORE HALL, LONDON: 22 JUNE
I’m delighted to be joining Donald Grant for this concert at the end of the month. Donald is an exceptional classical violinist and gorgeous fiddle player from the Highlands of Scotland. I had the pleasure of performing with him at Weesp Chamber Music Festival in the Netherlands last year, and again at Celtic Connections this year with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra as part of Òrain Nan Gàidheal. You’ll have no doubt heard some of his sublime string arrangements on many of Kate Rusby’s albums and this concert will include traditional tunes as well as his own compositions. He’ll also be joined by the Elias String Quartet, uilleann piper and flautist Calum Stewart, and guitarist Ewan Macpherson. Come along if you can make, it’s set to be a very special night.
Hebridean Celtic Festival
ISLE OF LEWIS: 18-21 JULY
I will be heading up to Lewis to perform at HebCelt this year. Click here for a rundown of the concerts and events I will be involved in and have a look at their website for tickets and details of all the brilliant acts performing over the weekend.
I’m also delighted to be teaching at Fèis Tìr a’ Mhurain and Fèis Eilean an Fhraoich, which I first attended as a toddler almost 20 years ago. The Fèis massively inspired and encouraged me over the years and if you know any kids who might be interested, give them a nudge along to one of these weeks – I can’t recommend them enough.
Mental Health in Musicians
I have also been continuing my research into Mental Health in Musicians and was invited to speak at the Wide Days event in Edinburgh last month with Help Musicians UK and a local GP. The panel discussion raised lots of important issues and received an overwhelming response from the music industry audience. With over 70% of musicians currently experiencing some form of mental illness, things need to change, and fast. Plans are hatching for a new website and a Glasgow based support group, and in the meantime if anyone is struggling please remember you can contact the Help Musicians UK dedicated and confidential phone line - open 24/7.
Òrain Nan Gàidheal - Video
In case you missed it on iPlayer, I’ll leave you with a song from the Òrain nan Gaidheal concert that I had the pleasure of being part of earlier this year. It was an honour to sing with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra as well as a huge host of mighty talented musicians and Gaelic singers. Abair oidhche a bh’againn!
Until next time...
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