Deirdre Graham, best known for her contemporary take on traditional Gaelic songs, is expanding on her passion of the melding of old and new with a compelling new podcast series, Gaelic Song Stories.
The six-part series will delve into the rich history of Gaelic song and feature interviews with a range of Gàidheals, who will enlighten listeners with their extensive cultural knowledge.
Deirdre is a Glasgow-based Gaelic singer whose musical stylings are heavily influenced by her upbringing on the Isle of Skye. The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland alum released her debut album URRANTA in December 2020, which was praised by critics for its contemporary take on traditional songs.
Here’s a trailer:
The songstress was inspired to create a podcast in order to expand on her own understanding of the historical context of Gaelic songs and to take listeners on that journey with her. She hopes Gaelic Song Stories will “add a voice to all of the positive conversations in support of Gaelic and its music.”
Deirdre added: “The stories discussed on the podcast offer an insight into the lives of the Gàidheals – their way of life, culture and traditions that continue to impact us to this day. As the world continually moves at a fast pace and to a globalised culture, it’s nice to celebrate culture away from the digital world.
“People are compelled by stories. Often there’s not a chance to tell the story at gigs. Many audience members don’t speak Gaelic and these stories can give them a further appreciation of the music they enjoy listening to. I think people are increasingly seeking to reconnect with Gaelic at the moment.”
The first episode will featured Senior Lecturer on Material Culture and Gàidhealtachd History at The University of the Highlands and Islands, Dòmhnall Uilleam Stewart, and explored the development of Gaelic oral literature during the 17th and 18th centuries.
Other episodes will explore a range of topics that influenced Gaelic song, including female empowerment, witches and ghosts, emigration, community, land reform and the Highland Potato Famine. Guests will include notable Gaelic singers Margaret Bennett, Kirsteen Graham, Rachel Newton and Gillebride MacMillan, as well as antiquarian bookseller Gilleasbuig Ferguson.
The solo project, which is being supported by Creative Scotland, is available on all major podcast platforms. A second series is also already in the works.
For more information, visit deirdregraham.com/gaelicsongstories.