This week’s Celtic Music Radio CD Album of the Week is from Corran Raa and the title is the same as the band’s.
Corran Raa is a sandbank or ‘pit’ west to Taransay. The band Corran Raa was formed on a normally uninhabited Hebridean island, Corran Raa have a passionate interest in their native music. Originating from the length of the country, from Shetland to London, their intertwined musical paths eventually converged on the island of Taransay in 2005.
The inspiration of those all night, midsummer, musical sessions led the band to take its name from a landmark of the island’s stunning coastline. Their self-titled debut album holds a feast of new compositions, and a taste of traditional song, conveyed with warmth and lyricism.
Janet grew up in Glasgow in a large musical family. She learned classical violin and percussion and played both instruments in a number of orchestras including the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland. Janet studied at Durham University.
Kath Bruce plays piano plus vocal:
Born and brought up in Edinburgh, Kath learnt oboe and piano before developing an interest in traditional music in her teens. She studied music at the University of Durham and later gained an MSc in Music Therapy from Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh. It was during this training that Kath discovered her voice and started singing. Kath currently lives in Edinburgh and works across Scotland as a music therapist and freelance musician.
Robbie Leask on guitar and fiddle:
Robbie is from Lerwick in Shetland, with his family roots in Whiteness and the island of Unst. Moving to Aberdeen to further his engineering career, he took fiddle lessons with West Coast fiddler Jean Ann Callender. Robbie believes learning the fiddle was key to opening up his own tune writing abilities.
Jenny Smith on fiddle:
Originally from London, Jenny grew up surrounded by traditional music and has been heavily influenced by the playing of her father, Denis who played alongside the late Pat Shuldham-Shaw in the Countryside Players – but found herself taking only classical lessons in piano, violin and viola. She discovered Scottish music in earnest while a medical student in Manchester and found inspiration in the summer courses at the Gaelic college on the Isle of Skye. Living near Edinburgh with her children Jenny works as a very busy part-time GP. Over the years, Jenny has brought many people together through the social aspects of music. She has written many tunes which are being played across Edinburgh and Scotland by musician friends. Jenny’s instinctive harmony playing has become a distinctive element of the Corran Raa sound.
More information on the band and how to purchase their debut CD here.
Album of the Week, Saturday at 12 noon and 12 midnight and Monday at 6.00pm.