Showing posts with label photos. Show all posts
Showing posts with label photos. Show all posts

Saturday 3 February 2024

Ciaran Ryan Celtic Connections 2024



   

Ciaran Ryan played at the Old Fruitmarket, as part of Celtic Connections 2024, when he supported Kinnaris. 

Ryan is a dynamic, high energy player. He is a Scottish tenor banjo player, one of the UKs top players and a founding member of folk band Dallahan, His second solo album, Occupational Hazards, was released 2024. 

 







Wednesday 31 January 2024

Kinnaris Quintet PHOTOS at Celtic Connections 2024

Electrifying, genre-bending and joyous!

 

Kinnaris consists of five accomplished musicians - Jenn Butterworth on guitar, Aileen Reid on fiddle, Fiona MacAskill on fiddle, Laura-Beth on mandolin, and Laura Wilkie on fiddle. 

 

The all female band sparkled on the Old Fruimarket stage! And the packed audience, with many well dressed female fans, were ready to party. This is as far from the decades old folk image of arran sweaters as we might choose to get! 

 

Their set was begun with a toe-tapping tune This Too – after which the band were joined on stage by the ever-popular Celtic Connections singers Julie Fowlis and Karine Polwart with a rousing Emeli Sande song, Read All About It and a poignant Gaelic song Puirt sung by the enchanting vocals of Julie Fowlis, while backed perfectly by the dynamic band. 

 


Aileen Reid


Karine Polwart, a festival stalwart and activist for inclusivity, had us all singing along to her emotive song, Come Away In. and them moved by a stirring song Lost Words Blessing.

 

This wonderfully escapist concert was brought to a fitting climax with the Kinnaris tunes Wonderful and Saltsprings. Kinnaris play with verve, with both a lightness of touch and also high energy. They mix many influences to great challenging effects, from traditional Scottish, Irish, Bluegrass, Classical, Scandinavian and Appalachian music; with which they create technically exciting arrangements, while their performances are filled with a contagious positive verve. 

 

An upbeat evening to remember! 




Karine Polwart

Laura-Beth Slater



II  Kinnaris were very well supported by the dynamic, high energy playing of Ciaran Ryan, Scottish tenor banjo player, one of the UKs top players and a founding member of folk band Dallahan, His second solo album, Occupational Hazards, was released 2024. 

 The evening concert was opened by Norwegian band Gangar, with their fresh take on Nordic roots music and a modern rock take on traditional tunes.




Sunday 14 January 2024

Celtic Connections 2024!

 

 

Folk music. What is folk music?

This festival is definitively NOT about only about folk music. Some might argue it should be more narrowly about Trad – while others want to hear experimental cross overs and colorations. 

Celtic Connections is definitely full of unexpected collaboration. One of its strengths is it diversity – crossing boundaries while drawing on Celtic heritage and traditions, 

 

There is always a wide variety of MUSIC at Celtic Connections – with its breadth of genres and cultures. The festival is known as Europe’s premier folk, roots and world music festival, and the home of  spectacular musical collaborations. Celtic Connections has continued to expand into a multitude of genres over its 30-year history. In 2024 the festival will stage an ambitious  genre-defying programme of acoustic, traditional, indie, Americana, Jazz, blues, orchestral, experimental and more. 

 

Americana – Bruce Hornsby, Bela Fleck, Molly Fleck. 

Pipes – Finlay MacDonald, Skerryvore (folk rock), Ross Ainslie and Ali Hutton. 

Gaelic – Julie Fowlis, Joy Dunlop, Breabach, Daimh

New composition, orchestral

Fusion, and rock bands, 

Trad music, jazz and blues

Ceilidh and dance, 

 

Some highlights - 

Concert for revolutionary John MacLean - Red Clydeside . 

Irish group, the Bothy Band -

Dougie MacLean anniversary concert. 

 

The festival includes a Showcase, education, open mic, late night sessions, new talent, multi-cultural. Plus the Scottish National Whisky festival


Celtic Connections of one of the world’s largest winter music and folk festivals, I always remember being in the Press office with a London reporter. I said you must have folk festivals like this in London – he replied, ’Oh nothing at all on this scale!”

“Celtic Connections stands as a testament to Glasgow’s status as the UK’s top cultural and creative city, honoured by the European commission. The festival embodies a global tapestry of music, welcoming diverse traditions from across the world. “

 

I’ve been covering Celtic Connections concerts from 2008-2024 (over 16 years) with both reviews and photos. I have so many highlights to recall – impressive opening concerts, old Fruitmarket buzz, the ABC venue (sadly no longer there due to the art school fire), the late sessions, Danny Kyle stage – and so much more.

TICKETS   at www.celticconnections.comCeltic Connections 2024

 





Monday 31 July 2023

Black & White Photos at Edinburgh book festival



Mark Baeumont

Tarqi Ali

Some portraits from the Edinburgh international book festival, because of their contrast go well into black and white, which is my favourite art form. 

 

We’ve had many famous faces and well known authors from across Scotland, the UK and the world, over the past twelve years. 

 

While some images only work in colour. 

Alan Cummings

Isabel Greenburg
Karl Ove Knausgaard
Katherine Quarmby


Neil Gaiman

I love the old-fashioned, graphic simplicity and impact of the black and white image. Or the way they capture textures, shadows and expression. 

Paul Muldoon

Ahdaf Souief-Andrew

Gao Xingjian

ian bell


Rowan Hisayo

Friday 30 June 2023

Memories as Edinburgh book festival celebrates 40 Years

 

This year Edinburgh International book festival, one of the first book festivals, will celebrate 40 years. I have been attending the book festival and taken photos there as well as attending talks since 2008. My most impressive talks include – the pianist Alfred Brendel, George RR Martin, Tom Devine, Fintan OToole, 

Times Change and things move on….remember the Small Notes!

While memories inform who we are and will become. The EIBF has a new director Jenny Niven for 2024.

We had the traumas and seclusions of Covid that perhaps we’ve not recovered from really

(2020- 2022). It must have been a deadening impact on our children. Festivals were closed, the main streets empty, people were fearful of hugs and contacts – we were unprepared for anything like it. We held zoom meetings .some things continue. People moved for family now too, after the pain of separations.

 

The EIBF (and other major festivals) went online and continue with in person and online. 

 – EIBF began in 1983. I was last at Charlottes Square EIBF 2019. I used to enter its secluded and buoyant open square with many anticipation – of the famous faces, the informed conversation, the chance meetings and the vibrant buzz. The power of words, imagination, academic might, creativity, poetry and art.

 

Russian oligarchs have bought section of Charlotte Sq (why can Scotland not protect our land and resources?) and so the festival was forced after 36 years to relocate to new premises in 2021 and in 2024 will set up at the Futures Institute Edinburgh University. In 2021, EIBF set up at the Edinburgh art college for 3 years. Its not been quite the same with less space in the square for press, photo calls, books shops and people gathering. Sometimes it is simply time to move on. 

 

Last year 2022, I enjoyed several excellent talks, the inspiration continues – Fintan OToole, Oliver Bullough’s Butler to the World an the inspirational Outlander author Diana Gabaldon. 


**I have many great EIBF memories! – from the past fourteen years. Meeting Brian Cox (the actor) Alex Salmond, Alan Cummings, Nile Rodgers, George RR  Martin, Tom Devine, Alfred Brendel, Seamus Heaney, Fintan O’Toole, Li Yea, Freedom Coming of Age at the End of History. So many images!

 

The photo shoots were set up behind the press yurt, where we could see Bute house and the shadows and sunshine fall through the tall trees and over the Georgian facades. Or the late sun around five creating its own warm buzz. Having the front page of the Scotsman’s for Chelsea Clinton. Photos involve patience and waiting as well as inspiration. We learned them all at EIBF. Also the chat and meeting other interesting photographers – from Italy, Wales, Hebrides, Spain, England.


Diana Gabaldon
Martin Amos

**I have three powerful EIBF memories. 

I remember waiting one balmy afternoon, when I noted a small gathering of women and a robust man attempting to open the side gate. I realised quickly it was Game of Throne author George RR Martin. I walked quickly round to the press tent to inform them he was there (perhaps early) so he could be escorted in. I was also fortunate to get one of the two last tickets to his show! Martin talked of how much Scotland’s stories influenced his books – he spoke of standing on Hadrian’s wall thinking of the Roman soldiers there, so far from home.

 

Another vivid memory is my being mistaken as the wife of Seamus Heaney as I entered the main book signing tent! I was hugged and greeted and embarrassment followed. The great Irish poet was ahead inside the tent. 

 

My third great memory, is Nile Rodgers who gave us an impromptu concert one evening at the Spiegel tent, with chat about his life interspersed with his well loved guitar riffs and songs, and with everyone singing along. What a joy! 


Seamus Heaney
George RR Martin
Nile Rodgers


Another top talk was the great pianist Alfred Brendel (always remember the small notes!) Plus the wonderful informed talks by top Scots historian Tom Devine.who has done so much to restore Scottish stories  - the Darien Project, Scottish enlightenment, Lowland Clearances.

There is a strong international flavour at EIBF with great writers and thinkers from across the world attending. 

As well as many great Scots from the world of literature, film, politics, science, sport, art, novels, poetry, music, theatre and more besides. Many thanks to the press team for all their assistance.

 

Alfred Brendal - Remember the Small Notes! 

Quotes from his A Pianists A to Z  “Be aware of the middle voices. Chords can be illuminated from within. Character - For me it has always been the dualism of form and psychology, structure and character, intellect and feeling, that determine music making. “

Alan Cumming