Commonalities and heritage explored in brand-new music residency

Musicians and poets from across the UK and Ireland create work inspired by ancient diversity

Ten of the UK and Ireland’s finest traditional poets and musical artists including vocalists using five languages, medieval instruments: crwth and northern triplepipes as well as fiddle, harp, accordian and electronics will join together in a music residency to re-invigorate and create new music inspired by past peoples and languages of Britain.

Award winning Scots/ Gaelic singer Josie Duncan, lauded Irish song archaelogist Lorcan Mac Mathuna (photo above), former Welsh poet laureate and singer Gwyneth Glyn, celebrated Irish Sean-Nós singer Doimnic Mac Giolla Bhríde, Belfast fiddler Conor Caldwell, ancient instrument virtuoso Barnaby Brown, poet, singer and performance artist MacGillivray, widely published poet Rody Gorman and medieval Welsh duo Bragod will join together in a house in Galloway in South West Scotland for one week to explore their respective histories and languages through poetry and music.

Inspired by the mysterious Galloway Gaelic song Oran Bagraidh, artists will compose in the space between imagination and history. Taking the theme of multiple identities, within ancient Galloway and indeed themselves, they will explore commonalities and differences between languages, regional histories and musical sensibilities, dipping into traditional, experimental and electronic.

Waves of peoples have passed through the islands of Britain and Ireland throughout time. Many of these Welsh, Irish, Gaelic, Norse, Scots and English speakers traversed and settled in South West Scotland – a major geographic, linguistic and cultural crossroads throughout history and still a significant land and sea border area today.

Oran Bagraidh ‘Song of Defiance’ is the only surviving example of Galloway Gaelic, widely spoken across the region from the 5th to 18th century, always alongside other British languages also spoken in the area.

The recorded work will be released in February 2019, produced by Ben Seal. It will be followed by a tour in UK and Ireland.

The Oran Bagraidh residency is produced by Katch Holmes for Knockengorroch as part of the organisation’s Off Site programme.

The project is funded by Creative Scotland, Arts Council Ireland and PRSF Foundation and supported by Barscobe Heritage Trust.


Further information on the artists

Hebridean Josie Duncan, Gaelic and Scots singer, harpist and Radio 2 Folk Award winner offers crystal clear vocals that come from the gut.

The extraordinary Irish Lorcan Mac Mathuna is celebrated for his haunting and ageless vocal interpretations of ancient Irish manuscripts,

Artist adventurer, poet, singer, playwright and former Wales’ Poet Laureate, Gwyneth Glyn is a cultural colluder, rooted in the Welsh tradition.

Experimental sound artist MacGillivray is a poet, singer, Gaelic researcher, writer and wolf carrier.

Doimnic Mac Giolla Bhríde is a celebrated sean-nós singer from Donegal. He sings both alone and directs choirs, preserving and breathing new life into Gaelic songs from Ulster.

Belfast based fiddler Conor Caldwell crosses the boundaries between classical, folk, and electronic musics, diving into new poetry and creating shimmering soundscapes.

The inimitable Barnaby Brown is a celebrated musician who has recreated the ancient northern triple pipes, which preceded the bagpipes.

Rody Gorman is an Irish born, Skye residing Scottish Gaelic poet who writes and translates between Irish and Scottish Gaelic.

Bragod are a strange, beautiful and esoteric Welsh duo who play medieval strummed and bowed lyres and perform music to the metre of ancient poetry, resulting in time signatures ‘folk’ has never seen before.


For press enquiries contact Katch Holmes 07872 964 986