Wednesday, June 20, 2012

From Scotland: Brave the movie, Julie Fowlis, and music

Brave, the film, is set in the Highlands of Scotland in ancient times. It is an animated fantasy which tells the tale of Merida, a feisty high born girl who, when it comes time for her to marry and choose a husband from a select group of suitors, wants to maintain her independence and choose her own fate. Her choices about that unleash, as she says, “a tiny wee curse, or two...” and the action unfolds. There’s drama, humor, voice actors with the right sound, visual evocation of the Highlands through image -- and through music.

Though she had not been expecting it, Julie Fowlis found that she would be involvedjulie fowlis copyright kerry dester
with Brave -- or at least her music would. Fowlis is an internationally touring and award winning Gaelic singer, it’s true, but when she answered the telephone at home in Scotland she wasn’t thinking the call would be from Disney/Pixar Studios in California. As it happened, each time the production team came to Scotland to do research, they bought loads of music recordings and took them back to California to listen. Fowlis’ music, they told her, just kept coming to the top of the stack.

It is Fowlis you hear singing in this trailer for Brave

If you’ve been walking here along the Music Road awhile, you may recall first meeting Fowlis some years back at the time of her first solo album, Mar A Tha Mo Chridhe, and even before that, from her time with the band Dochas. If you’re new to her music and Brave has got you intrigued, you might like to explore

what she has to say about her recent album Uam

how she sounds on a live album: Julie Fowlis Live at Perthsire Amber

and read about her most recent project, Heisgeir, which has to do with film in a different way than the film Brave.

If the movie Brave has you intrigued with the music and landscape of Scotland, there’s quite a bit about all that in our archive here at Music Road, and there’s more to come as well.

you may also wish to see

more suggestions for listening to the music of Scotland
the soundtrack album for Brave, on which Fowlis has two songs Brave
The Art of Brave a book about the animation of the film

photograph of Julie Fowlis at Celtic Connections, above, was made with permission and is copyrighted. thank you for respecting this.

-->If you'd like to support my creative work,
here is a way to do that, through PayPal. Note that you do not have to have a PayPal account to do this.Thank you.

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posted by Kerry Dexter at


Anonymous Brette said...

My college age daughter has been waiting for this movie to open. She has a thing for Disney princess types. I have a thing for Scotland, so we will probably see it together. And now that I feel connected to one of the musicians, I am excited about it! The music in the trailer is just lovely.

2:05 PM  
Anonymous Alisa Bowman said...

I really want to see this movie, and it's now going to be a special treat since I understand some about the music behind it.

4:18 PM  
Anonymous Alexandra said...

I think my granddaughter will love this movie and her dad will be intrigued by the story of the music, so thanks. As for me, I like the fact that the main character has red hair.

9:11 PM  
Anonymous Living Large said...

Looks like a good movie. I love music, so I appreciate the background behind the music for this film.

12:13 PM  
Anonymous Heatherl said...

Fascinating backstory about the music. And Julie has a very beautiful voice.

10:39 PM  
Blogger MyKidsEatSquid said...

We saw Brave last night. I thought the music and the landscape really stole the show. Thanks for explaining the back story.

11:53 AM  
Anonymous Melanie @ Frugal Kiwi said...

Beautiful song. I hadn't seen that trailer before.

3:37 PM  
Blogger jcreaturetravel said...

I just saw Brave tonight. Loved the visuals of the Highlands, Merida (her hair is amazing) and her cute-as-can-be brothers, and the music. In fact, I enjoyed it so much, I'd see it again!

1:43 AM  
Anonymous Jane Boursaw said...

Brave is such a lovely film, and Julie Fowlis' music is one reason why. Loved it.

3:56 PM  
Anonymous Roxanne @ Champion of My Heart said...

That's very cool. I probably won't see the movie until it hits Netflix, but it sounds like a great opportunity.

8:29 PM  
Anonymous wandering educators said...

wonderful! and very cool, that they used Julie's voice and music - she's such an extraordinary musician.

9:39 AM  

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