Film ‘s Craic
01 March 2014, CCA Glasgow, 350 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, G2 3JD
This event, in association with the Glasgow Film Festival, featured a unique synthesis of archive and newly commissioned film, old Gaelic song and music that didn’t exist before the performance began.
The event commenced with the screening of “The Western Isles” (1941) an historic film starring a young Kitty MacLeod, who went on to become a pioneering Scottish folklorist.
The astounding performance which followed featured Strange Rainbow (virtuoso harpist Catriona McKay and electronic composer Alistair MacDonald) who were joined for this event by Gaelic vocalist Margaret Bennett. Their first set took water as its source and the trio conjured soundscapes which evoked everything from melting glacial ice to calling seabirds to the pounding waves on the cliffs of St. Kilda.
One highlight was Margaret Bennett’s mesmerising version of A’ Bhean Eudach (The Jealous Woman), a tale of sibling rivalry which ends with a murderous drowning. MacDonald took Bennett’s solo voice and with loops and electronic processing transformed it into her own spine tingling backing track.
In the second half of the evening video artist and classically trained chorister Aileen Campbell gave a mind-spinning performance accompanying her whirling images of the frozen Norwegian landscape with her electronically processed vocal pyrotechnics.
This diverse group of artists have been so inspired by the collaboration that they plan to reconvene in the near future.