Spiritual Music From The Hebrides was recorded at a live event that drew together singers and musicians from the worlds of the Presbyterian church, classical and traditional music.
At its heart is the centuries-old tradition of Gaelic psalm singing which is pretty much unique to the Hebrides. Five of the tracks are identified as psalms and four are led by a precentor. The style is something like the tradition of the southern American churches and the role is analogous to the cantor of the Jewish faith. It’s a very powerful sound with nineteen singers involved and it can be quite difficult to get used to, not least because it’s all in Gaelic. The first one I even vaguely recognised was Jenna Cumming’s singing of psalm 73 to Connor Quigley’s tune ‘Wetherby’ and the other was the final track, ‘Faisg Air Mo Dhia’ which also marks the only English to be heard.
The intensity of the choral is leavened by solo and duo pieces with musical accompaniment and the album opens with Duncan Chisholm leading an instrumental version of his own song, ‘An Ribhinn Donn’. This album is not destined to be a huge seller but I think it will find its market.
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