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Scots & Scottish Gaelic in Storytelling and Song

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St. Elisabeth-Kirche

Invalidenstr. 3

10115 Berlin

Germany

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This series of Friday evening folk music concerts brings the indigenous languages and cultures of Ireland, Scotland and Wales to Germany.

About this Event

The indigenous languages of Scotland are Gaelic and Scots. Both are protected under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, and Gaelic has official status as a national language of Scotland.  The rich oral traditions of both languages are still very much alive in song, drama and storytelling, and the literature of both languages dates back hundreds of years.

Steve Byrne (guitar,vocals) is a folk singer, ethnologist and educator from Arbroath in Scotland’s eastern lowlands, Steve has been immersed in traditional music since early childhood, and continues to write and arrange songs in his native Scots tongue. He is one of Scotland’s most sought after accompanists, especially for traditional song.  Best known as a founder member of innovative Scots folksong group Malinky, he's worked with Scots songstress Emily Smith (2002 Young Traditional Musician of the Year), rising Gaelic singing star Julie Fowlis, and is an occasional accompanist for stellar piper Fred Morrison.  A trained ethnologist - as a graduate of Edinburgh University's School of Scottish Studies - Steve applies his deep knowledge and love of Scottish traditions to all aspects of his musical career, whether as a performer, teacher or workshop leader.

Shona Donaldson is originally from Huntly but now lives near Tarland in Aberdeenshire with her fiddler husband, Paul Anderson. She is one of Scotland’s leading traditional singers. In 2009, she was voted ‘Scots Singer of the Year’ at the BBC Alba Scots Trad Music Awards and in 2016 she became the first woman ever to win the coveted ‘Bothy Ballad Champion of Champions’. She was also a finalist in the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year. Shona has sung on a number of recordings including an album of the works of Robert Burns in Scots and Gaelic and her solo album, ‘Short Nichts and Lang Kisses’. She performs regularly at home and abroad and guests and has been a guest at festivals like Celtic Connections, Keith Folk Festival, Orkney Folk Festival, Cullerlie Traditional Singing Weekend, Willie Clancy Week (County Clare, Ireland) and the Rudolstadt International Folk Festival.

Margaret Stewart (vocals) is a renowned Gaelic singer from the Isle-of-Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, with a career spanning approximately 20 years, with three studio albums to her name. She has a great passion for the songs and culture of her homeland and quite apart from her musical performances in collaboration with the some of the cream of Highland and Irish musicians, is also in demand as a mentor, teacher and lecturer on various themes of Gaelic song and related history.  Margaret began specialising in pibroch song early in her singing career, amassing an impressive repertoire of songs relating to the music of the great Highland bagpipe, and recorded two seminal albums with pipers Allan and Iain MacDonald ('Fhuair mi Pog' and Colla Mo Rùn' on the Greentrax label). She continues to develop performances within this genre and other themes, with 'The Margaret Stewart Trio' or in duet with harp virtuoso, Ingrid Henderson.

Murdo “Wasp” MacDonald is best known for his singing, but he is also a highly regarded melodeon player. Scottish Gaelic is his first language. Both his parents were fine singers and he learned many songs from them as well as others in his community. His father and uncle both played the accordion and he began to learn at age seven. He won the Traditional Gold Medal at Scotland’s national Mòd in 1989, and his sean-nòs or old-style singing has gained acclaim in Scotland and abroad. He has led workshops in song and music at home on Lewis and elsewhere, recently focusing on the bards of Siadar a’ Chladaich.

Line-Up

Steve Byrne - Guitar, Vocals | Introduction to Scots Language

Shona Donaldson - Fiddle, Vocals (Scots)

Margaret Stewart - Vocals | Introduction to Scottish Gaelic

Murdo MacDonald - Melodeon, Vocals (Scottish Gaelic)

More concerts:

27.09.2019 The Welsh Language in Storytelling and Song

11.10.2019 The Irish Language in Storytelling and Song

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St. Elisabeth-Kirche

Invalidenstr. 3

10115 Berlin

Germany

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