Alison Burns aliburns.co.uk Ali is a songwriter, community choir director and workshop leader. She first came across the MacMath collection in 2004, immediately saw the potential for a performance and has been the driving force behind making this project happen. Much of her songwriting work goes hand in hand with devising performances with community choirs. Her songs are are published by Faber, Sing Up! and Oxford University Press and are in the repertoire and recordings of choirs across the UK, and increasingly the USA and Australia. She is also the lead musician for Scotland Sings, Hands Up For Trad’s community choir initiative. Aaron Jones aaronhjones.com Aaron has lived and worked in Scotland for nearly thirty years and currently resides near Moffat in the beautiful Scottish Borders. He spends much of the year touring all over the world and has recorded on over seventy albums and works regularly with some of the biggest names in traditional music. Aaron is a member of Old Blind Dogs (www.oldblinddogs.co.uk), Litha (www.lithamusic.com), and the Kate Rusby Band. Claire Mann clairemann.com Originally from Newcastle upon Tyne in the north east of England, Claire has been performing nearly all her life and has established herself as one of the leading exponents of traditional Irish flute, fiddle and tin whistle in the country. She has won numerous ‘All Ireland’ championships on flute and tin whistle and was honoured to perform for the renowned British Flute Society who described her performance as, “…astonishing.” Emily Smith emilysmith.org Over the past decade and with five solo albums to her name, Emily has established herself as one of Scottish music’s most distinctively sublime voices. Emily was named BBC Radio Scotland’s Young Traditional Musician of the Year back in 2002 and the accolades have continued with her winning the USA Songwriting Competition in 2005, Scots Singer of the Year at the Scots Trad Music Awards in 2008 and receiving two nominations in the 2012 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. She has toured the world and made many TV appearances including the Transatlantic Sessions, Songs of Praise and Scotland’s Hogmanay Live. Jamie McClennan jamiemcclennan.com New Zealand born musician Jamie McClennan was born into a family of folk musicians. He has over ten years experience as a touring musician having played in line-ups ranging from surf bands to pipe bands to traditional bands. Jamie has performed with some of the biggest names in traditional music – The Waifs, Beth Neilson Chapman, Phil Cunningham, Brian Finnigan, John McCuske – and has been in Emily Smith’s band since 2002. His long awaited first solo recording ‘In Transit’ came out in 2009: a collection of tunes Jamie has written while touring around the world. Robyn Stapleton robynstapleton.com/ Robyn Stapleton is the winner of BBC Radio Scotland’s Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2014. Robyn performs the traditional songs of her Scottish and Irish heritage, in the Scots, English and Gaelic language. She studied at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, where she was tutored by celebrated Scots singers Gordeanna McCulloch, Anne Neilson and Rod Paterson, and graduated with a first class honours. Robyn is described as having one of the finest voices in Scottish music, with a uniquely pure tone, wonderful control and an empathy and sensitivity for traditional songs. Wendy Stewart: wendystewart.co.uk Wendy Stewart is critically acclaimed, world class performer and one of Scotland’s leading harp player. She was principal tutor of Scottish Harp at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow for many years since its BA Scottish Music Degree course was first established. She both contributed to and examines for the Traditional Music Grade Exam programme. She played, toured and recorded with Ceolbeg for many years and now continues that connection in a unique pairing of harp and pipes with Gary West.
Folk Song Experts – Our consultants for the project Alison McMorland alisonmcmorland.com Alison McMorland is a traditional singer who, since the 1970s has been active as a collector, performer, broadcaster, teacher and writer, recording solo and duo albums and collaborating with other artists. She has worked on oral history and reminiscences projects as well as giving voice workshops and in Arts for Health. Highlights in her varied career were her time with BBC schools radio when her classic childrens’ record ‘The Funny Family’ (1977) became immensely popular and in appearing with the Albion Band in the National Theatre’s production of The Mystery Plays . For many years she was song tutor at the RSMAD Scottish Music Course and her publications include the songs and life of a Border Shepherd, Willie Scott’s ‘Herd Laddie O The Glen’ and more recently in publishing Elizabeth Stewart’s memoir and repertoire of her famed Traveller family in ‘Up Yon Wide And Lonely Glen’ .
Geordie McIntyre Geordie McIntyre has a life time connection in poetry, researching and collecting songs and song writing. As a peformer he has a wide ranging repertoire embracing the old and the new and has recorded extensively, his latest being ‘Where Ravens Reel’. An early activist in the Scots folksong revival and influenced by Hamish Henderson he also collaborated with A L Lloyd on song research to become recognized for his writings on the song tradition. Geordie has provided the song notes for Topic records and other CDs whilst also contributing to publications on traditional song and ballads the most recent being Up Yon Wide and Lonely Glen, edited and compiled by Alison McMorland.
Macmath: The Silent Page is commissioned by Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival