Friday, May 30, 2014

Julie Fowlis

30 May 2014

Regular readers will be aware of my crush on the Scottish Gaelic folk singer Julie Fowlis. I recommended her first album 'Mar A Tha Mo Chridhe (As My Heart Is)' here in February 2006, just a few months after it was released, and I have written about her here several times since. On Thursday I made the short journey to The Stables in Wavendon to see Julie Fowlis and her band who are currently touring to promote her new album 'Gach Sgeul (Every Story)'. It was an excellent concert. Julie Fowlis has an amazing voice – beautiful, delicate and precise – which gives slow ballads a haunting, ethereal quality (enhanced by the sibilant Gaelic consonants). She is also an impressive performer of traditional Gaelic mouth music, creating a bewildering chain of rapid-fire percussive rhythms with her voice. And then she picks up a tin whistle and demonstrates incredible technique that would be worth the price of admission on its own. She also surrounds herself with amazing musicians, including her husband Eamon Doorley and Tony Byrne on guitars. Byrne's playing in particular was exquisite. And it was a fantastic bonus to discover that her band includes the Scottish fiddle player Duncan Chisholm. I wrote here about Duncan Chisholm in December 2010. He creates a velvety melancholy sound from his violin and his excellent albums 'Farrar' and 'Canaich' are two of my favourite folk recordings of recent years. Chisholm has the ability to make the fiddle sound like a human voice while Julie Fowlis can make the voice sound like an instrument: the combination of these two effects was truly magical.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home