Shaun Davey, Mary Jane Lamond and Kathleen MacInnes

Shaun Davey has once again fused Irish tradition and other styles and brought it to the wonderful Balkan border with Voices from the Merry Cemetery. I listened to the preview and it is indeed intriguing as it fuses these two cultures-the Irish and Romanian. It is no surprise that he is chosen as Composer of the Decade in Live Ireland’s Decades Awards 2000-2010. A Truly influential and hard-working Irish musician who continues to brave new grounds.

Listen to the preview of the new album here: http://www.shaundavey.com/albums.htm#voices

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I came across this wonderful interview with Mary Jane Lamond by John Gillis. This woman has been one of the striking forces in awakening the interest for the Celtic revival in Nova Scotia. Check this out:

Interview – The Inverness Oran

Mary Jane Lamond wins Portia White Prize
by John Gillis

It was a big night for Cape Breton at the fifth Creative Nova Scotia Awards Gala on October 29th at Halifax’s Pier 21.

Gaelic singer Mary Jane Lamond received the prestigious Portia White prize in recognition of her efforts to preserve Gaelic culture through song.

Lamond told The Oran this week following the win that it still seems “a little unbelievable.”

Lamond had been nominated for the Portia White Prize twice before.

“One never sets out to win awards, and I certainly would have never imagined this when I was a student at St. F.X. (in the Celtic Studies program) and learning Gaelic songs. I think it’s just great for the community,” she said.

Lamond says she credits much of her success to the support from the Gaelic-speaking community and tradition-bearers who have always been an inspiration to her.

As this year’s winner, Ms. Lamond is able to name a protégé to receive a $7,000 prize. She named arts organization Comunn Féis an Eilein of Christmas Island as her protégé. The organization helps to preserve the Gaelic language through a series of summer music performances that draw visitors to the community.

“They’ve certainly always been there for me from the beginning – back to when I was a student and I attended what was probably their second annual Féis event,” said Lamond.

Despite the fact Cape Breton has lost a tremendous number of Gaelic speakers over the last two decades, Lamond says she is encouraged by the resurgence of interest from a younger generation in speaking the language.

Lamond was one of several musicians who participated in a recent Celtic Colours workshop which involved creating new Gaelic songs and performing them in concert.

Lamond says she has been cutting back on her touring in recent years, but she would like to do another CD with some friends and musical collaborators – hopefully within the next year or so.

Despite her most recent success Lamond remains conscious of the continued need here in Cape Breton to develop more Gaelic speakers.

It was in Nova Scotia, visiting her grandparents throughout her youth, that Mary Jane Lamond fell in love with Scottish Gaelic traditions and song.

In another strange twist of fate, Lamond’s aunt, Margaret MacDonald, was one of Nova Scotia singer Portia White’s first accompanists.

“The world has fallen in love with Mary Jane Lamond’s unique singing voice and embraced Gaelic song in the process,” said Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage Percy Paris. “She deserves recognition for her talent and the passion she brings to her art.”

The other two finalists for the Portia White Prize were Neil Forest, a professor and ceramic artist, and John Little, a blacksmith and sculptor.

An independent jury of artists reviewed nominations for the Portia White Prize which promotes excellence, innovation and expression in the arts. The annual gala is hosted by the Nova Scotia Arts and Culture Partnership Council.

Five people received Established Artist Recognition awards worth $5,000:

– cellist Norman Adams of Halifax has contributed to performing arts as a member of Symphony Nova Scotia, creator of chamber ensemble Suddenly Listen and his work with Gwen Noah Dance;

– artist, poet, educator and advocate Rose Adams of Halifax was chosen because of her relentless pursuit of excellence, including her contributions as artist in residence at the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Center’s memory disability clinic;

– Emmy Alcorn of Guysborough is the artistic director of Mulgrave Road Theatre and has encouraged appreciation for arts and culture through her work in theatre and the development of the Chedabucto Place Performance Center;

– artist Cathy Busby of Halifax is renowned for her representational pieces which are featured in collections across Canada and around the world;

– painter and educator Drew Klassen of Halifax has taught drawing at Dalhousie University’s school of architecture and painting at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, and his work is prized for its depiction of landscapes.

The Nova Scotia Arts and Culture Partnership Council, in consultation with the arts and culture sector, provides advice and recommendations to guide the Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage regarding ongoing investment in Nova Scotia’s artists, cultural industries and cultural activities.

Source: http://www.oran.ca/entertainment.asp?id=544

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Since the release of Og-mhadainn Shamhraidh (Summer Dawn) in 2006, Scotland’s Kathleen MacInnes have haunted hearts and set them on fire with her singing style and charm. We have to give her credit for choosing the best musicians in the industry to collaborate with. We hope 2011 brings us fresh news from her. Can hardly wait for a new album!

http://www.myspace.com/kathleenmacinnesgaelicson

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Cash Music, Open Source Alternative Network for Musicians.

Like Linux which is a great alternative to Mac and Windows, Cash Music is an open source network site fro musicans. Read more….

http://cashmusic.org/

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