Sign up to the Kings Place newsletter to find out first about our events.
Pipes and voice are at the heart of the Gaelic tradition – in Gaelic, the phrase ‘to play the pipes’ translates as ‘singing the pipes’. Brìghde Chaimbeul and Aidan O’Rourke both have a gift of playing instrumental music in a way that really sings. They ditch excess, don’t bother with anything gratuitously flash. Instead they tap into the most stripped-back, visceral and lyrical voices of their instruments. In this performance they collaborate with Julie Fowlis to interweave Gaelic vocals into their uniquely hypnotic duo sound.
Winner of the Horizon Award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2019 – Brìghde Chaimbeul is one of Scotland’s fastest rising stars. A native Gaelic speaker, her style is rooted in her indigenous language and culture, but draws inspiration from a variety of piping traditions such as from Cape Breton, Eastern Europe and Ireland.
Her debut album The Reeling has had an extraordinary response since its launch at a sold-out Celtic Connections show at the start of 2019. She was joined on the recording by violinist Aidan O’Rourke from experimental folk trio Lau, who also produced the album (and whom performs alongside her at some of her live appearances), Radie Peat from the Dublin band Lankum on concertina, and the pioneering 82-year-old singer and piper Rona Lightfoot contributing canntaireachd (a phonetic singing tradition used to teach pipe tunes – the word means ‘chanting’ in Gaelic).
Working closely with Aidan O’Rourke, Brìghde has devised a completely new way of arranging for pipe music that emphasises the rich textural drones of the smallpipes; the constancy of sound that creates a trance-like quality in the tunes. She has collaborated with many established artists over the years, including Ross Ainslie, John McSherry, Paul Meehan, Aidan O’Rourke, Carlos Nunez, Martin Green, Allan MacDonald.
Julie Fowlis is a multi-award-winning singer who is deeply influenced by her early upbringing in North Uist, Outer Hebrides. A multiple winner at the Radio 2 Folk Awards, Julie has graced stages around the world, from village halls in the Highlands to Carnegie Hall, New York, The Philharmonie de Paris, the Royal Albert Hall and Shakespeare’s Globe in London. Touring regularly throughout Europe and the US, her festival performances have included World Festival of Sacred Music in Fez, Morocco.
She sang at the closing ceremony of the Ryder Cup in Chicago in 2012 to a TV audience of 500 million and at the opening ceremony of the Glasgow XX Commonwealth Games in 2014, to a TV audience of over 1 billion people. Forever to be remembered as the singing voice behind the hit songs in Disney Pixar’s Brave, she was also involved behind the scenes working with Eric Whitacre’s singers in the Dreamworks Animation How To Train Your Dragon 3: The Hidden World in 2018, and collaborated with Norwegian composer Einar Selvik on songs for Assassins Creed Valhalla: Return of the Druids.
Julie also presents for radio and television, and in addition to her two degrees, she was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music by Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.