I’ve just returned from an amazing trip to Celtic Colours International Festival in Cape Breton, Canada! I’ve had such a lovely time performing with a group of students from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, called Ùr. For the past three years I’ve formed and shaped the band that travels to the festival, and during the couple of weeks prior to flying to Canada, we create a brand new concert set to bring to the audiences of Cape Breton. Every year the band and the music is different, and this year we were given a longer concert set along with some new and exciting challenges, including accompanying an evening of Gaelic Song hosted by Artist in Residence Allan MacDonald.
Here’s half the band, stopped at the St Ann’s Lookoff on our way to Ingonish for our second gig of the festival. The band this year comprised of Craig Baxter (bodhran), Isla Callister-Wafer (fiddle), Lauren Collier (fiddle), Rory Matheson (piano), Tiernan Courell (flute), Enora Morice (fiddle / pipes / vocals) and Amy Papiransky (vocals).
I arrived back pretty sleep deprived on Monday morning, and after a bit of catching up with things I was back in the Conservatoire today to meet the Trad Guitar Performance Class. I have 9 students in the class, with a whole host of different styles and interests. It’s so great to hear their performances each week – very inspiring!
Next up, I’m heading in to BBC Radio Scotland tomorrow night to chat about the new Kinnaris Quintet album. Our next gig is the Scots Fiddle Festival, which will be a busy weekend as I’m also appearing with Ryan Young, and David Foley & Jack Smedley.
I’m also trying to recover my voice after a really nasty cold, before performing with Laura-Beth Salter this weekend in Dundee. We’re sharing the bill with Greg Lawson and Pete Garnett, so I’m hoping we’ll all get to do some jamming together as a quartet too.
All in all, a busy month, but as November approaches I have a bit more time, and I’m looking forward to playing some Glasgow sessions and perhaps getting some new videos up on my YouTube channel!