Lewis MacKinnon, |
A Seo (Here)
Lodaidh MacKhionghain (Law-dee Machk-inn-ah-inn) is the Gaelic name of the Nova Scotia-based singer who dedicated his debut album A Seo (or Here) to his granduncle Dughall Dughallach, a Gaelic-speaking mine worker. Lewis learned from him the Gaelic language and desires to promote his ancestor's tradition stressing the importance of other minority languages as well.
Together with a couple of highly talented musicians and singers he recorded six traditional Gaelic songs, four original Gaelic songs and his self-crafted song "Alasdair MacColla Ur."
The latter is a hypnotic and rhythmic ode to the Scottish hero of the English civil war in the 17th century. Troy MacGillivray's fiddle and the voices of Patricia Murray and Brian England accompany MacKinnon's wonderful singing. Bouzouki, guitar, bass, drums and the Scottish small pipes complete the lineup.
MacKinnon has an expressive and beautiful voice and a great feeling for rhythm and harmony. He sings popular traditionals like "Ailein Duinn" and "An Gile Donn" in a terrific arrangement with several accompanying voices and breathtaking musical setting. I know some of the songs from Karen Matheson's (Capercaillie) singing and as an absolute fan of hers I have to admit that here's a singer who is absolutely a match for her divine voice.
A fantastic version of Gaelic poet Alasdair Mac Mhaighstir's "Oran Dhan Phrionnsa" is followed by the only Irish song on the CD, "Domhnall og us Morag" -- the words have been translated into Gaelic, though. Some of you might know Altan's version of this wedding song. A brilliant version of a waulking song by Runrig's C. and R. MacDonald, "An Toll Dubh," sticks out with hauntingly beautiful singing for several voices. My favourite track is the traditional maritime song "Ged a Sheol mi air M aineol," on which Patricia Murray again adds her great singing.
The album is a real revelation for me. I've never heard such beautiful male singing before and the musical arrangements are perfect.
3 July 2010
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