About Me

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Isle of Canna, Scottish Highlands, Highlands, United Kingdom
I am a Gaelic singer living in the Highlands.I have produced 4 CDs - the most recent being "Archipelago- Songs of the Scottish Islands in Scots 7 gaelic""released on the Greentrax label. The other Cds are " A Good Suit of Clothes- emigrant Songs" "Duan Nollaig" - a unique Gaelic Christmas double CD( also on Greentrax, 2007) and "Orain nan Rosach" ( 2006). Since May 2015, I have been lucky enough to be working as the Canna House archivist on the Isle of canna, for the Nationl Trust for Scotland, looking after the incredible folklore archives fo John Lorne and Margaret Campbell.I look forward to keeping you up to date with my music, gigs, news www.fionamackenzie.org Tapadh leibhs! Thank you!

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Burnsong HOuse Day 6

Day of rehearsals for the Big Gig on MOnday in the Scottish Parliament. This week has been full of revelations - and none more so than that I feel like a whole new world of music is on my doorstep, not to sound too cheesy! The people in the house are such fantasic singers and musicians and Ive been priviledge to learn so much from the. And my doo wop BV's are getting better by the minute!
the gig will be broadcast on Radio Scotland on Monday 30th at 10pm .
My songs are called Guthan air a'Ghaoith and Thuirt Thu Riumsa. Guthan was the song I won my place in the House with and Thuirt Thu is one I wrote yesterday.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Lisa and AJ rehearsing harmonies for The Tinto Hymn for the Burnsong Big Gig

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The Burnsong Peacock

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Burnsong House Day 5

Another productive day in the Burnsong House although there were a few very tired musicians floating around first thing. Have to decide today which of our new songs we want to do on Monday - think I'm going to sing the one I actualy wrote for today - a sort of a protest song or as near as Gaeldom can get to a protest song! Quite different to anything Ive ever done - or heard- before.
Task for today is to write about a place or an inanimate object. Im on the Blackberry.....

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Day 4 in the Burnsong House

Some more great songs emerging today, from all. Everyone's style is so different but all have something special. Learning so much about the pitfalls and the intrinsic writing techniques which I either didn't realise existed or even didn't realise I was using anyway.
Really hope that I can come out of here with at least one song which DOESN'T sound like a Gaelic song....

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Day 3 in the Burnsong House

Day 3 dawned with several very sleepy songwriters- some were 'writing' till the very wee sma oors....:0)
Still dreadful weather in the dales.
Task today wa to write in the completlely opposite way to which we normlly write- ie for me , that meant NOT writing the melody without recourse to using accompanying instrumentation - to make me look at chords etc - which- when you dont actually PLAY anything that makes chords, aint easy..... found it very hard not to just write the tune in my head. enlisted the help of Lisa who gave the me benefit of her lovely wee sheruti box but I still found it hard- we'll see what happens tomorrow....
Set list out for the Parliament gig. First set is the 'winning' songs. The gig will be broadcast on the Iain Anderson Show on BBC Scotland on Monday nigt.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Day 2 proper in the Burnsong House

First whole day in Burnsong - dreadful weather, get soaked between house and studio. Started at 10 and had first task - to come up with 10 titles. then a lecture on pitfalls of song writing and various challenges then given task no 2- to a) write lyrics for a song then give them to one of hte other writers to do the melody. Mean that one poor writer had to do a Gaelic song - poor Lisa, she coped fantastically well after a wee Gaelic cramming session! I wrote a song called Barr an Crois- the place we're staying is called Barncrosh and I dont know if its from the Gaelic but Ive used it as inspiration anyway.
Then had to perform the songs we were given the melody to compose- I got Andys' song a- a 'blokes' song!! Kebabs and Playstation 2 and drinking sessions featured heavily......... however he seemed happy with what I came up with!
Now after dinner off to write another one before 11am tomorrow- lyrics and melody with a chorus which EVERYONE can learn....... Any ideas!!!

Monday, 23 November 2009

Day 1 1/2 in the Burnsong House!

All arrived in the House now apart from Nuala, Ziggy & Yvonne. Weather very wet,as it has been in Dumfries for the last few days - extensive flooding as reported in the media, very wet and lots of stranded sheep and cows! W're not really affected at Barncrosh though as we're up on the hills - the llamas will look after us.........
Jennie ( our 'minder' for the week) is looking after us us beautifully and we're all settled into our rooms - the house i beautiful and full of creative potential! Methinks there will be lots of great artistic debate this week and everyone seems lovely.
Joe ( Bennett) wants us to get to work tonight ( hes also going to blog the week - http://joebennett.wordpress.com/2009/11/08/and-so-peaceful-until/- but says he'll be gentle with us as some of us are pretty tired from travelling - 2 from the US, Emily and AJ included- but we're having a musical 'get to know you circle' - bit more fun than the usual 'dynamics' session........

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Day 1 in the Burnsong House......:0)

Heading for lovely warm, dry Dumfries..............with waders safely packed....... hope the floods havnt affected the Burnsong House!
Looking forward to a challenging week - its good to be pushed out of your comfort zone now and then - but it is a bit daunting too! Im sure we will have a great time but the dynamics of 12 creative folk in one house could make for some interesting debate!
Co dhiubh, I shall endeavour to keep up to dat e with the blog- internet connection allowing....
wee articla on Bord na Gaidhlig page about Burnsong-

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Mike Wilson's Music Blog: ALBUM REVIEW: Fiona J Mackenzie - 'A Good Suit Of Clothes'

Mike Wilson's Music Blog: ALBUM REVIEW: Fiona J Mackenzie - 'A Good Suit Of Clothes'

Burnsong Update & Trad Awards! Last Chance to vote!

Things hotting up preparation wise for Burnsong next week. Getting exciting! Local papers ran pieces on it last week and I gave an interview on Radio nan Gaidheal this morning. Im sure it will be a very exhilarating if exhausting week!
And then of course theres the Trad Awards on Saturday the 28th in Dumfries. Its still not too late to vote for Pur's album The Lassies Reply as reviewed on Mike Wilson's Blog here. You can vote at
www.handsupfortrad.co.uk Album of the Year category number 1. the girls will much appreciate your vote! Listen to them on www.myspace.com/purlassiesreply

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Review of The Lassies Reply

Excellent review of The Lassies Reply by Pur which has been nominated for Album of the Year at the MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards- have a listen on their Myspace www.myspace.com/purlassiesreply and if you like what you hear vote for them at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=Y4fgcFLw4XfvD_2fFFtSAKSQ_3d_3d

Give 2 young singers careers a real boost!

Friday, 6 November 2009

Autumn in the Highlands

Weathers getting gradually colder- a lovely fresh crispy morning yesterday with a sharp frost on the grass, but back to grey wetness today. We're still very lucky to live here though, its beautiful whatever the weather!

Monday, 2 November 2009

MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards Nomination

Delighted to announce that MacDug Music's newest release "The Lassies Reply", by 'Pur' has been nominated for Album of the Year at the MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards. This unique album is very special- the only CD in the wolrd of the Songs of Robert Burns sung in Scots and Gaelic. The 2 young singers featured are Katie Mackenzie (Gaelic) and Shona Donaldson (Scots).Please take a listen to some tracks on their Myspace at www.myspace.com/purlassiesreply
and if you like what you hear, please consider casting your vote for them on
www.handsupfortrad.co.uk and look for the link to the MG Alba Awards.
This is a great album, very different to any other Burns album around. We hope you like it!