James MacDonald Reid

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James MacDonald Reid is rooted in Highland Gaelic storytelling traditions. He tells stories from direct living sources; tales from the epic cycles and legends of specific localities in Skye, Uist, Atholl, Argyll and Lochalsh.

Adept on both the Lowland and the Highland pipes, James mixes his storytelling with music, song and traditional Highland folk dance. James’ storytelling style is modelled on that of the older Gaels, whom he heard when he was young, particularly his piping teachers. This means rich language with a steady delivery and minimum dramatisation or character voices. Where there is a rhythmic or sung section, the original Gaelic and English is always rendered.  His approach is suitable for older children, community venues and festivals.

Born in a Gaelic-speaking family, James has lived in Scotland, Canada, the United States of America and Yugoslavia, and is now based in Edinburgh, though he spends much of his time in Argyll where he has a family home near Inveraray. An experienced performer, whose development as a storyteller followed his achievement as a musician and dancer, James has featured in the Scottish International Storytelling Festival and many other events, distinguished by his authentic natural homespun Highland dress.

‘James MacDonald Reid, is a reminder that the Scottish, specifically Gaelic, cultural inheritance is a fragment in the huge mosaic of universal myth. Reid is a hugely accomplished teller of tales; quietly humorous and learnedly respectful of his craft.’ (Scotsman)

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