Julie Fowlis: the making of a new album
Julie Fowlis faces an interesting situation when she’s giving concerts -- most of the time, even in her native Scotland, people don’t understand the language in which she sings. Not that she doesn’t like to sing in English or work with artists on projects in other languages, too “but this is just what I feel drawn to, the songs from home. When I’m singing for myself, that’s what I like to sing,” she says.
Home for Fowlis is North Uist in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides, where she grew up listening as much to tradition bearers singing in Scots Gaelic as she did songs that topped the UK charts. She left the island to study classical music, but “once I finished my degree course, there just seemed to be more opportunities for me along traditional paths,” she says. Indeed there were, first as a whistle and pipe player and sometime singer with the group Dochas and then with a solo career. Last year, she was named Scotland’s first ambassador for Gaelic in recognition for her work bringing wider attention to the language, and she’s won many awards for her music.
Just now she’s releasing her third album, called Uam,
which means from me in Gaelic. Eddi Reader and Jerry Douglas are among the guests sitting in as Fowlis and her core road band add songs from Breton and Irish American tradition to their program. Here is a short film about the making of Uam.
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Dual: Julie Fowlis & Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh
Dochas: An Darna Umhail/ A Second Glance
photograph of Julie Fowlis at the Royal Glasgow Concert Hall, copyright Kerry Dexter