Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Julie Fowlis: the making of the album Uam

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.

Her third album is 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.

you may also wish to see
Julie's most recent album Julie Fowlis: Every Story
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

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posted by Kerry Dexter at


Blogger Alexandra Grabbe said...

Thanks for bringing Julie Fowlis to my attention. Fascinating that she sings in Scots Gaelic!

7:14 PM  
Blogger Peggy Bourjaily said...

How cool that she sings in Gaelic! I definitely want to listen.

4:54 PM  

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