There’s a first chance to experience a double-header Islands tour from Sian and Hecla, two young, all-female emerging groups on the traditional music scene.
This is Sian's first gig in the islands and a return home for Hecla which was formed at the Lews Castle College music course at Colaisde Bheinn a Fhaoghla in Lionacleit. (Hecla are pictured above at a recent performance in the Czech Republic.)
Tickets will be on sale from Monday October 8th online and will also be sold at An Crùbh for the Skye gig from the beginning of the week.
Organisers say the tour sees a dynamic new collaboration between two bands who are quickly establishing themselves in the traditional music world. Audiences in Barra, South Uist, North Uist, Lewis and Skye can look forward to a programme of music brimming with repertoire from the Gaelic song, piping and fiddle traditions, thanks to support from Fèisean nan Gàidheal’s ‘Tasgadh’ fund.
Three of Scotland’s finest Gaelic singers – Eilidh Cormack, Ellen MacDonald and Ceitlin L R Smith – joined forces in 2016 to create Sian, a project originally developed for the Blas Festival.
With a powerful collective sound, representing their individual experience, the band performed at the SSE Hydro and Glasgow Royal Concert Hall among many other venues across Scotland, and mostly recently featured on Skye-band’s Niteworks’ single ‘Air Fàir anLà’, released in July 2018.
Instrumental trio Hecla will perform alongside Sian, bringing fresh and thrilling arrangements of traditional tunes on pipes, fiddle, flute and guitar.
Hecla is a traditional music trio which was formed at the Benbecula campus of Lews Castle College UHI.
During their time studying on the BA (Hons) Applied Music course, the band launched their debut EP which was recorded by Iain MacFarlane at the Old Laundry Studio in Glenfinnan. Since the EP's release, Hecla has had some brilliant opportunities to perform at festivals such as Cambridge, HebCelt and Celtic Connections.
The band has visited France, Romania, The Netherlands, Denmark and the Czech Republic, as well as supporting acts such as Aly Bain & Phil Cunningham, Ìmar and Manran.
For the Islands Tour, the band will focus on instrumental arrangements to contrast with the incredible Gaelic singing of Sian. Hecla will create a range of different music textures with Ilona Kennedy on fiddle, Ailis Sutherland on the pipes and flute, with Caitlin McNeill on guitar. The band takes its name from the enigmatic hill in South Uist.
And for Sian member Eilidh Cormack the event in Sleat is a home gig.
The Hecla and Sian Islands Tour takes in:
Tuesday 20/11: Barra - Northbay Hall
Wednesday 21/11: South Uist - St Peter’s Hall, Daliburgh
Thursday 22/11: North Uist - Claddach Kirkibost Centre
Friday 23/11: Lewis - Woodlands Centre, Stornoway
Saturday 24/11: Skye - An Crùbh, Sleat
Tickets £11 are on sale from Monday, October 8th and can be purchased at https://www.sian-music.com/gigs/, locally in shops and venues, and on the door on the evening.
(The text relating to Hecla has been updated since the post was first published.)