OCAIDICH! / Improvise!
11 November 2017, CCA
Our OCAIDICH! / Improvise! event marked a new and exciting collaboration for Ceòl ’s Craic.
In partnership with Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra, we assembled a diverse band of performers to produce a rare atmospheric evening exploring new juxtapositions of Gaelic song and experimental music.
Traditional works exploring themes of mystery, transformation and implicit/explicit relationships provided the inspiration for interactive responses in music, spoken word and visual art.
Award-winning Gaelic vocalist Christine Primrose chose the ancient Gaelic songs at the heart of the event, magical and mysterious pieces which displayed her encyclopaedic knowledge of Gaelic folklore, while Lorraine Wilson embraced contemporary and traditional influences, guided by her Mingulay heritage.
Hebridean poet, writer and broadcaster Peter Mackay performed two specially composed poems to an astonishing sonic backdrop created by Martin Green.
Green is best known as accordionist for innovative folk trio Lau but is increasingly recognised for his solo work in experimental electronic composition. After asking the audience to sing a single note en masse, he sampled and manipulated it through his eccentric Heath Robinson-ish electronic rig. The resulting musical creation was joyful, surprising and unsettling.
Visual artists Cath Keay & Simon Ortega created a simultaneous series of back-projected artworks, reflecting the musical improvisations with organic images that evoked the landscape and seascape of the Gaidhealtachd.
Throughout the evening the Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra, which draws players from free improvisation, jazz, classical, folk and rock music, provided a breathtaking musical response to the Gaelic texts. Although their work is at the experimental cutting edge, their enthusiasm and simple delight at creating new music ‘in the moment’ proved infectious.
The original concept for the event, presented by Ishbel Murray and John Cavanagh, came from GIO’s bass player, Una MacGlone, who was also instrumental in its realisation.