Oban singer Kim is fi­nal­ist in BBC's mu­sic awards

The Oban Times - - Leisure -

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.

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