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!

Monday, 12 April 2010

Music going back into the Community.

Tonight I was asked by local music entrepreneur Rob Ellen to go and sing some Gaelic songs at The Acoustic Session evening at the Strathpeffer Coffee Shop.- in particular some Songs from Ross-shire. Rob has been working very hard at establishing these regular acoustic sessions in the area, over the last few months and it is a great way for local audiences to get to listen to some fantastic artists from near and far. Tonight featured Australian 'folk diva' ( her words not mine), Janette Geri , on tour throughout Scotland and Ireland. Not a singer I have known before tonight but a singer songwriter with great guitar and vocal skills. The first set was by talented local young singer songwriter Mary Ann Frew and it is just venues such as this, that give artists like Mary Ann the ideal opportunity to hone and develop their performing skills. And thats something which is too often sadly lacking in comunities these days. Small comfortable, friendly venues which are not intimidating but allow the artists to showcase their talents with no pressure. This series of events is run on the North American 'house concert' style and in this instance, no alcohol on sale, but good old fashioned coffee, tea, home baking, soup and sandwiches- just like the old Taigh Cheilidhs ( house ceilidhs) of days gone by. Professional PA ensures reasonable sound and the intimate nature of the venues mean the place feels full with an audience of 'bijou' qualities.
Its commendable too that these venues really do bring acoustic music back into the Communities,as it used to be. Music of good standard, unusual acts to the area as well as giving local musicians more opportunities to try out new material perhaps.
Heres hoping that Rob managed to spread his model to more communities and bring more artists to local audeinces. Run on a showstring , its a great idea and one which local audinces should a) know more about and b) support. Its not easy to get an audience out on a MOnday night in the Dingwall area but the Coffee Shop had every table occupied. Watch out for more relaxing and very interesting evenings coming up soon.

Gaelic Song for today -Mi le m'uillinn by Karen Matheson-

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If you'd like to ask me any questions about Gaelic Song or Music, then please leave your comment here and I'll try to help you if I can. Tapadh leat!