On Thursday, Oct. 20, at 7:30 p.m., singer Julie Fowlis will transport an audience at ETSU’s D.P. Culp Center Auditorium to her homeland with her “Music of the Scottish Isles” concert performance.
“Julie Fowlis is well known in Scottish music circles, and has been influential in Gaelic language restoration,” said Anita DeAngelis, Mary B. Martin School of the Arts director. “Most of her songs are in Gaelic, and the quality of her voice is just amazing.
Fowlis, on vocals and whistles, and her band, which includes her husband, Éamon Doorley on the Irish Bouzouki and vocals; Duncan Chisholm on fiddles and vocals; and Tony Byrne on guitar and vocals, will perform a program of Scottish Gaelic songs and instrumental tunes, some of which, Fowlis says, are as many as 700 hundred years old and have been passed down orally for centuries.
The concert also will include her interpretation of the classic Lennon/McCartney song “Blackbird,” which is the first Scottish Gaelic song by a solo artist to be playlisted by the BBC in London. Additionally, she will perform “Tha Mo Ghaol air Àird a’ Chuain” (“My Love is on The High Seas”), a traditional Gaelic song that was selected by Disney Pixar as the theme song of the Oscar-, BAFTA- and Golden Globe-winning movie, “Brave” in 2012.
Fowlis said she simply feels “fortunate to come from a place where telling tales, sharing stories and singing songs are not only a national pastime, but rather signposts showing us where, and who, we have come from.”
Fowlis’ mission is to pass on stories and melodies that the listener may never hear elsewhere and share the moment with her audience.
“It is just about the singer connecting with the audience and hopefully creating something,” she says from her home in Scotland. “A concert is just a moment in time, just a passing moment that we all share together in a room, and … then that moment is gone. I do think of every concert as these moments in time that we all share together that will never happen in the same way ever again.”
“I promise that our show is very inclusive and will draw you in and you will come along with us on this journey, and you will experience some of the sounds and the feel of Scotland.”
The East Tennessee Celtic Festival & Games will follow the Thursday concert by Fowlis, on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 21 and 22, at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area in Elizabethton, with contemporary and traditional Celtic music and contests of skill and strength.
Tickets for Fowlis’ “Music of the Scottish Isles” are $5 for students of all ages with ID, $20 for seniors 60-plus, and $25 for general admission. Group rates are also available.