Eilidh Mackenzie - Bel Canto

Eilidh Mackenzie - Bel Canto

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Gaelic Singer Of The Year - MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards 2010.

(November 2009) 14 tracks: Pago io vovro (a chiad pog / the first kiss) * Chan eil cuimhn' am * Here we go again * S mise gam tholadh * You misunderstand me * Òganaich mo chridhe * Suidh san oisean * Cesar's Tree * An Còmhradh: Sandra Kerr * Cait an robh thu ghealltaire ghallda * Gentle Kisses (an darna phòg / the second kiss) * Faillirinn o ille ghasta * Rèidhphort * Dìreach nar dithis (an treas pòg / the third kiss).

Bel canto, beautiful singing, is a term used to describe, in particular, the preferred light, bright quality of Italian opera singers, learned through the mysterious teaching practices of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Ann Patchett, award-winning American author, used the term for her novel Bel Canto - originally set in South America, Eilidh has taken Patchett's story, transferred it to Gaelic Scotland and composed original music around the narrative themes of love, music, identity, language and communication. The song cycle follows the tale of an opera diva and her audience members being taken hostage by a group of native terrorists. As the songs and story progress, boundaries become blurred.

With Brian McAlpine (piano), Ged Grimes (bass - ex-Danny Wilson, Deacon Blue), Gordon Gunn (fiddle), Christine Hanson (cello), Allan Macdonald (mouth organ) and Terry Small (guitar). Guest singers include Michael Marra, Elizabeth MacCormack, James Graham, Anna Meldrum, Eilidh's sisters Gillian and Fiona ‘Gress' Mackenzie and Eddi Reader.

Born into a family of singers, Eilidh and her three sisters were brought up in the village of Gress on the Isle of Lewis. From an early age she has had a strong interest in traditional Gaelic song, an interest that in her paternal family goes back several generations.

Eilidh Mackenzie is a Mod Gold Medallist and founder of the teenage song-group Canntaireachd. Since teenage years, she has been a keen songwriter, writing for herself, for her bands Mac-talla and Mackenzie, for individual commissions including the Brahan Seer Festival, Lasair Dhe and Sorley Maclean projects, as well as various television programmes. In 2005 she devised the idea, wrote the songs for and produced the first ever Gaelic musical Taigh Màiri Anndra, which centred on the life and work of folklorist Margaret Fay Shaw.


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