This album is taken from the soundtrack for the BBC TV film Mairi Mhor. Catherine-Ann MacPhee is a great singer entirely able to express the powerful emotion expressed in the lyrics of the great female bard of Skye. Accompanied on harp, fiddle, pipes, whistles, percussion and vocals.
"This is a truly magnificent piece of work, worthy of a place in the collection of every Gaelic music". The Gallery.
Nuair Bha Mi Og; Coinneamh Nan Croitearan; Eilean A Cheo; Soraidh Leis An Nollaig Uir; Soraidh Le Eilean A' Cheo; Oran Beinn-Li; Camanachd Glaschu; Oran Sarachaidh; Clach Agus Mairi; Luchd Na Beurla; Mar A Tha; Faistneachd Agus Beannachd Do Na Gaidheal.
Mairi Mhor nan Oran ('Big Mary of The Songs') began to write songs when she was 50. Long exiled from her native Skye, left a widow with five children to bring up, she was maliciously accused of petty theft, and even more maliciously put in prison in Inverness for 42 days. Anger and shame drove out the first song - 'Luchd na Beuria' ('The Speakers of English'). From then until she died 26 years later she wrote many fine songs and in the 1880s, when she returned to Skye to become the 'Bard of The Land League', she drew huge crowds to rally the crofters' resistance to decades of landlord exploitation and clearance. She is one of the glories of Gaelic Song.
No finer singer could have been chosen to interpret the songs of Mairi Mhor than Catherine-Ann MacPhee. Her voice grows stronger and sweeter every year, being full of immense musicality and with a great range of feeling. She has been hailed as one of the great Gaelic voices.
When John McGrath, of Freeway Films, set about the task of making a film of Mairi Mhor, it was Catherine-Ann MacPhee he immediately invited to sing the songs and Jim Sutherland enthusiastically agreed to act as musical director of the film. Jim Sutherland enlisted the talents of Mary Ann Kennedy (clarsach. keyboards and backing vocals): Allan MacDonald (Highland pipe and whistles); John Martin (fiddle); the Banal Waulking Group (additional backing vocals) - listen for them on the final track - while Jim added percussion and 'whirlie tubes'. The result is some wonderful music in a fascinating film and a third album by Catherine-Ann MacPhee.
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