New musical work will showcase ancient Gaelic poetry with a modern twist
A new musical piece of work showcasing ancient Gaelic poetry with a modern twist will be debuted by award winning young Gaelic singer, Mischa Macpherson, at next month’s Blas Festival.
Mischa’s commission, ‘Bho Èirigh gu Laighe na Grèine – Sun, Moon, Land, Life, Sea’ is a suite of new Gaelic songs, incorporating ancient Gaelic poetry, photography and short films. Mischa has breathed life into old Gaelic poetry inspired by the natural world by creating this new piece of music, presented across five movements – Sun, Moon, Land, Life and Sea.
Lewis-born singer Mischa Macpherson has already scooped several major UK folk awards – a fitting testament to her music’s pure-distilled expressiveness and radiant vitality. Named Gaelic Singer of the Year at the MG Alba Scots Trad Music awards and BBC Radio 2’s Young Folk Award Winner, she is a musician in high demand performing extensively with her own band as well as a vast and diverse list of other projects including Martyn Bennett’s GRIT Orchestra (2016) and The Unusual Suspects of Celtic Colours (2017).
For her commission, which has been sponsored by Thorntons Investment, Mischa will be joined by a stellar line-up of musicians including James Lindsay, Signy Jacobsdottir, Charlie Stewart, Innes White and Alistair Iain Paterson.
Stephen Webster, Chief Executive at Thorntons Investments, said: “Mischa is a very talented young musician and her commission idea was a worthy winner of the Thorntons Investments inaugural commission prize. We look forward to seeing it performed throughout the Blas Festival and beyond. The prize money will facilitate professional recording of the piece so that it can be enjoyed for many years to come.”
‘Bho Èirigh gu Laighe na Grèine – Sun, Moon, Land, Life, Sea’ will be performed several times during Blas Festival, which runs from 7th – 15th September:
Tuesday 11th September – Farr Community Hall, Strathnairn
Wednesday 12th September – Applecross Community Hall, Applecross
Thursday 13th September – Rogart Village Hall, Rogart
Friday 14th September – Roybridge Memorial Hall, Roybridge
This year, to coincide with the Year of Young People 2018 which is a year-long celebration and showcase of Scotland’s young people, proposals for the commission were sought from young musicians, under the age of 26, from across the country. To celebrate the year, Blas, which aims to celebrate Gaelic culture and the thriving Scottish traditional music scene over nine days of concerts, cèilidhs and larger events in venues across the Highlands and Islands, has introduced some other exciting opportunities for young people to perform, design and deliver some of the main festival events. This year’s Blas Festival is supported by the Year of Young People 2018 Event Fund, managed by EventScotland, part of the VisitScotland Events Directorate
Mischa will also be performing at the final event of Blas Festival; Òran Mòr. Òran Mòr, meaning Great (or Big) Song, will be an enormous concert at the Northern Meeting Park in Inverness on Saturday 15th September, featuring over 1,000 young musicians from Fèisean across Scotland as well as various youth music groups and initiatives including the Highland Council Youth Music Groups and the National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music.
The talented youngsters will take to the stage with the bands they have chosen including Mischa, traditional music supergroups Skipinnish, Trail West and Breabach and Brìghde Chaimbeul. A new Gaelic song written by Glasgow-based Gaelic student, Robbie MacLeòid, will be performed by every single musician taking part in the concert, the largest event Fèisean nan Gàidheal will have organised in its 30-year history.
With 35 events and well over 1000 musicians performing, this year’s Blas Festival promises to deliver yet another music filled nine days. For the full programme and details of how to purchase tickets, please visit www.blas-festival.com.