13 February 2016
CCA Sauchiehall St.
Ceòl ‘s Craic’s first Gaelictronica event featured an adventurous blend of music and visuals combining the ancient and modern, traditional and experimental, the sacred and the profane.
The artists involved evoked moods ranging from heart rending melancholy to beat driven, ceilidh / techno euphoria!
Our opening act was introduced by M.C Mairi Morrison.
Whyte is a new collaboration featuring (the unrelated) Ross Whyte and Alasdair Whyte.
Ross is an award winning composer and performer whose work has been used in choreography, film and live theatre. Alasdair is a Gaelic singer, Mod Gold Medalist and songwriter who seeks inspiration in ancient Gaelic music.
Their set comprised of imaginative reinterpretations of historic Gaelic songs from the 17th and 18th centuries.
Alasdair’s plaintive vocals were perfectly complemented by Ross’s ambient, sonic creations and beautiful, back projected images of nature.
Shona Brown has worked with artists ranging from Mogwai to the National Theatre of Scotland. She creates complex, ethereal music using vocals, flute and electronics.
The first part of her set featured some of her most recent compositions which reflect both her classical training and Gaelic / Celtic influences.
The highlight of the evening was the debut performance of an as yet untitled piece featuring Gaelic Psalm singers from the congregations of Dowanvale Free Church and Glasgow Reformed Presbyterian Church. The choristers performed a series of psalms complemented by Shona’s evocative soundscapes.
Their performance was accompanied by a mind spinning collage of film clips assembled by Dòl Eoin MacKinnon. The images of Hebridean landscapes featuring contemporary and archive footage served to intensify the composition’s huge emotional impact.
The final act of the evening was The League of Highland Gentlemen.
Ewan Henderson, Seonaidh Macintyre, Ross Wilson and Alec Dalglish are amongst the most highly rated players on the contemporary Gaelic music scene.
Under the LHG banner they combine dazzling musicianship on pipes, fiddle and whistles with electric guitar, synthesisers, beats and sampling technology to create a hi energy fusion of traditional and modern dance music. Added to the mix is the band’s eccentric take on classic tweed tailoring and a refusal to take themselves too seriously.
The rapturous audience response suggests that The League’s mission to bring the ceilidh to the 21st century and beyond is on course for success!
The diversity of talent on display at this event and the artists willingness to embrace new technology and musical genres reinforces the fact that Gaelic culture remains open, forward thinking and relevant to an ever broadening audience.