Breabach piper and flautist, James Duncan Mackenzie, from the Isle of Lewis, launches his second solo album, Sròmos, a collection of newly composed melodies.
The album is named after an abandoned settlement on the banks of Loch Seaforth on Lewis, which was one of many townships cleared in the 19th century to prioritise land for sheep farming and deer forest. Sròmos consists entirely of self-penned melodies, led by wooden flutes and Highland pipes, with accompaniment from an array of acoustic and electric instruments.
James, who is a member of award-winning folk group, Breabach, is a leading exponent of the highland bagpipe and wooden flute in Scotland and as a tune writer, although his compositions are firmly rooted within the traditional idiom, they are equally at home with modern backing.
Mackenzie invited some of Scotland’s finest traditional and jazz musicians to join him on this album and you can expect James’ typical melodic flair and instrumental prowess coupled with grooves, electric instrumentation and multi-layered textures.
Mackenzie and his band will give their debut performance of Sròmos at Celtic Connections Festival on the 26th January at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. Also on the bill is the Finlay Macdonald Band and Estonia’s Torupilli Jussi Trio.
Mackenzie said: “I’m delighted to be releasing my second solo album, Sròmos, five years after my debut album. I’ve been writing tunes for this album over the last couple of years and have gained inspiration from the landscape and history of Sròmos; a place that was once a thriving community of people who worked and lived off the land.
“I worked closely alongside co-producer John Lowrie (Adam Holmes and the Embers/Blue Rose Code) and together we’ve drawn on a wide range of influences and created a sound that I’m extremely proud of. It was a pleasure to be joined in the studio by some great friends and fantastic musicians who were invaluable in helping me bring my tunes to life.”
Tickets for the Celtic Connections concert are available from the Box Office and https://www.celticconnections.com.
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Artist’s website: http://www.jamesduncanmackenzie.com/