Oban singer Kim is finalist in BBC's music awards
OBAN Gaelic singer and law student Kim Carnie has been named as a finalist in the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician 2017.
Kim, 23, was hooked on Scots song from the moment when, aged three, her grandfather, ‘a beautiful Scots singer’, taught her to sing Bonnie
Wee Jeanie McColl. Although not from a Gaelic-speaking household, when she began to learn Gaelic at school, love of the language grew.
She told the BBC: ‘I gradually moved from Scots song towards Gaelic song when I started Gaelic education. The Gaelic culture is grounded in oral tradition, and as such my Gaelic education was filled with storytelling, poetry and songs. And naturally, I loved the stories about fairies and songs about mermaids, and I grasped any opportunity in which someone would share with me what they knew.’
Kim started at St Columba’s Gaelic Medium Primary Unit in Oban, before moving to Glasgow Gaelic School, and the National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music in Plockton. With a strong ceilidh culture growing up in Oban, she was encouraged to sing at local celebrations and her talent was clear. ‘You’ll find me now as a 23-year- old, still singing about fairies and mermaids,’ she said.
Kim, who graduated with a law degree from Strathclyde University last summer, recently joined Hanna Tullikki’s ‘Air Falbh Leis na h-Eòin/Away with the Birds’ project and she has performed at both the Cambridge and Orkney Folk Festivals.
‘I love singing in harmony, in particular, with other female voices. And therefore, I was delight- ed when asked to join Hanna Tullikki’s project. The composition was written for a female vocal ensemble which ‘is made from weaving together fragments of traditional songs and poems that imitate or emulate birdsong.
‘Since I graduated, I have been enjoying the freedom to sing and research songs, new and old to me, as well as learning from Iseabail T NicDhòmhnaill, a woman with a wealth of knowledge, who is always only too happy to share.’
Kim joins five other finalists: Charlie Stewart from Perthshire on fiddle, Dougie McCance from Glasgow on bagpipes, Skye’s Ella Munro with Scots song, Grant McFarlane from Paisley on accordion, and Iona Fyfe from Huntly with more Scots songs.
Kim said: ‘The contestants are all great. The competition has been a great journey for us, and a challenge to condense our music, what we are as a musician, into 15 minutes. It is going to be a great show.’
For her set, Kim will be drawing on songs researched from the Tobar an Dualchais ‘kist o’ riches’ archive, and from the influence of musicians such as Freddie MacKenzie and the ‘great’ ‘Ishabel T MacDonald, who taught her ‘almost everything I know. I am very lucky to have learned so much from her.’
The finals of the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Award 2017 will be held at 5pm on Sunday February 5 in the City Halls, Glasgow, as part of Celtic Connections, and will be broadcast live on BBC Radio Scotland between 5pm and 8pm.
It will also be available on BBC iPlayer afterwards.
Kim Carnie competes in the finals of the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Award 2017 at 5pm on Sunday February 5, which will be broadcast live on Radio Scotland.