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Julie Fowlis

From North Uist in Scotland's Outer Hebrides, Julie Fowlis is probably the most successful artist ever to work predominantly with Scots Gaelic material with some high-profile fans, including Björk, Ricky Gervais, and Phil Selway of Radiohead. While Runrig and Capercaillie had previously achieved breakthroughs of sorts with isolated outbreaks of Gaelic-language material, Fowlis threw caution to the wind and achieved surprising mainstream acceptance concentrating almost exclusively on the Gaelic tradition. Being raised in the Gaelic community of the Western Isles gave Fowlis a strong sense of identity and tradition, and she fully absorbed the area's strong singing, dancing, and piping traditions. Her grandmother was recognized as a fine singer, her mother's family were all Gaelic speakers, and Julie herself first started singing Gaelic traditional songs at primary school, later taking up oboe and pipes. She moved to the mainland to study music at Strathclyde University in Glasgow and from there went on to the Isle of Skye, where she studied Gaelic at the Sabhal Mòr Ostaig learning school.

There she met Skye clarsach (Scottish harp) player Eilidh MacLeod, a member of the band Dòchas, and in 2000 Fowlis replaced Rachel Walker in the band, making her debut with them on a TV show about Gaelic music. They toured extensively over the next couple of years, releasing two attractive, energetic, and well-received albums mixing Scots and Irish music, Dòchas and An Darna Umhail. Fowlis was initially known primarily as an instrumentalist, specializing on the whistle, fiddle, and oboe, but in 2004 she won the pan-Celtic sean-nós singing competition in Tralee, Ireland, and was also nominated as Best Gaelic Singer at the Scottish Traditional Music Awards. In 2005 she released her first solo album, Mar a Tha Mo Chridhe (As My Heart Is), partly funded by the Scottish Arts Council, exclusively featuring Gaelic material, mostly collected at home on Uist. Backed by musicians of the caliber of John McCusker, Eamonn Doorley, John Doyle, Kris Drever, and Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh, it made an immediate impact, winning her a Horizon nomination at the BBC Folk Awards. ~ Colin Irwin, Rovi
full bio

Comments

I believe Julie played the commonwealth games recently, right? wish I could've been there...
I love the newest album! pandora needs to add it for heavens sake
YIPYIPYIPPEE E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E ! ! ! ! ! :-D
PANDORA. Why u no have new Julie album?
Don't read this because it actually works. You will get kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the the best day of your life. However if you do not post this comment on at least 3 different songs you will die in 2 days. Now you've started reading this so don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in at least 143 minutes when if done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters this is scary cuz it actually works
Thank God for ya and Gaelic the Irish Celtic and the scots.

God bless
she is fantastic... h o o r a y !
best songs ever
Oh and btw Fowis's husband is Eamon Doorley (think I spelled it right), the bodhran player for Danu. Another great artist.
She sang both Touch the Sky and Into the Open Air in Brave. Also in the original trailer for the movie they used her song Tha Mo Ghaol Air Aird a Chuain, from her album, Mar a Tha Mo Chridhe.
cebrent5
She sang a song in the movie Brave, although I am not sure which one.
this music is good
I just love Julie Fowlis, and have seen her and her band live two times all the way out in Denver, Colorado! Fantastic singer she is. @Katherine and Stephanie: There are people learning Scots Gaelic all over the place, including a few of us here in Colorado. Small numbers of people do still speak it on the western islands and in parts of Glasgow and some Scottish Highland towns and cities. Also there is a small community of speakers in Nova Scotia, mainly on the Island of Cape Breton.
@Stephanie: You are incorrect. It is what they natively speak in Scotland (though English has mostly outplaced it) but it is not redundant. They also speak (a totally different) form of Gaelic in Ireland, Wales, and I believe Cornwall and Brittany as well. It's true that Scots Gaelic is pronounced GALL-LIC instead of the Irish GAEL-LIC but you can't really differentiat e that in writing.
Scots Gaelic is redundant as Gaelic is what they speak in Scotland.
anilacyd
She is magic!
Wow, I love this music, going to have to check her out more
I hope she will tour the states again soon. Her music is as beautiful as the Scottish landscape.
Brilliant music; superb voice and all around magical band!
Mhath an Mna!
Discovered this albumn in a restaurant on Skye. Since heard Julie live at Passim in Cambridge, MA. Wonderful voice! And great piper although the bagpipes are practically bigger than her. Will make your blood run plaid.
Glad to see that Pandora is adding more internationa l folk/world music genre. Julie Fowlis is an incredible singer and a great multi-talent e d musician too. Her band members are nothing less than music all-stars in their own right. Well worth hearing in person, if ever the chance.

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