Catriona McKay was brought up in Dundee where she was involved in traditional music firstly through her father who was a member of Scottish folk bands“The Livingstones” and the “Taysiders”. Catriona was introduced to classical and contemporary music by her mother, a ballet and dance teacher. Catriona became harp champion at the O'Carolan International Harp Festival (Keadue, Co. Roscommon) when leaving school.
A desire to master harp techniques to an advanced level took her on to study pedal harp, Celtic harp and electro acoustic composition at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama where she gained a first class honours BA and several solo and chamber music prizes. She was also the winner of the Jakez Francois International Celtic Harp Competition 2004.
Catriona McKay plays harp and piano in the Shetland-based band “Fiddlers' Bid” with whom she tours worldwide. They received nominations for “Best Contemporary Live Music Presentation” Australian Entertainment Industry Association's Helpmann Awards (2002) and “Best Live Act” at the Scottish Folk Awards(2003). She is also a member of the Chris Stout Quintet who released their first album ‘The First O the Darkenin' in April 2004.
Catriona McKay was voted "Instrumentalist of the Year" in the 2007 Scots Trad Music Awards.
Catriona McKay & Chris Stout
Having gigged, explored and sculpted their musical identities together for 15 years now, Catriona McKay (Scottish Harp) and Chris Stout (Shetland Fiddle) continue to evolve and create a sound and style 'operating at a rarefied level of expertise' (The Herald). They recorded their first duo cd 'Laebrack' in 2005 and have been part of many other projects together over the years as trustworthy collaborators. The crafting of their voice as a duo which blends intensity with grace has drawn them to explore new music and new ideas for this partnership of traditional instruments.
Catriona McKay & Olov Johansson
We met for the first time in Stockholm 2002 to share a concert with our bands, Vasen from Sweden and Shetland-based Fiddler Bid. Backstage before the concert Catriona asked Olov, "Do you know this one?" and played Eric Sahlstrom's Spelmansgladje, the most played Nyckelharpa tune ever!
We both really enjoyed the sound and the music we made together and that created a desire to further develop this collaboration. We didn't get a chance to do so until a few years ago at the Celtic Connections '07 concert, Fiddlers' Bid International. Since then we have met regularly and after a very fun tour in Sweden 2008 we decided to make this recording.
Come and join us on our exploration of traditional and new music from Scotland and Sweden, meet our way of making music and experience the sound of Scottish Harp and Swedish Nyckelharpa.Welcome to Foogy!
Catriona McKay (harp) and Alistair MacDonald (laptop/live electronics) play in imaginary worlds where the familiar dissolves into the unfamiliar. This is a very deliberate meeting of traditions. Catriona plays a customised clarsach with sounds processed by Alistair MacDonald's laptop, along with soundscapes drawn from the environment. As a duo they make music that seems at once dislocated and greatly concerned with roots and connections; a rendering of traditional musical language refracted through contemporary performance technique, and then again through the transformations of live electronics to explore new, unimagined colours.
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