About Alyth McCormack
I was brought up on the beautiful and windy Isle that is the Island of Lewis in the Hebrides off the North West Coast of Scotland. I was introduced to performing through the traditon of Gaelic song (with some ballet and school shows in there too) and am grateful for the introduction to the world of the arts and performing this gave me. I am a singer and actress; a singer first but I do love acting too. The truth is I love words. I have been lucky enough to travel, to meet and work with people internationally and at home. I have fulfilled many ambitions along the way and more have grown out of the experiences I’ve had. I consider myself lucky to do what I do for a living. It’s not all luck of course, there is hard work and time put in too, but still I’m lucky.
Here are a few things that have been written about me along the way…
“A voice described as having ‘spun glass fragility belying a sinewy strength’, accompaniments ‘transcendentally timeless and effortlessly contemporary’ combined with the uncomplicated conviction with which she communicates with her audiences have ensured that Alyth is one of the most exciting singers on the scene. Her vocal talent, understanding approach and performance skill give her the ability to cross over diverse singing styles making her comfortable performing with a variety of artists.
Born and raised on the Island of Lewis off the Northwest coast of Scotland, Alyth grew up immersed in the culture of these islands. Noted as a gifted performer from a young age, she would expand on her traditional background by studying classical singing and drama at the RSAMD in Glasgow. There she enjoyed the freedom to experiment and develop her vocal technique. This combination makes her a unique performer who works with a broad variety of musicians both from the thriving Scottish music scene, abroad and her new home town of Dublin.
Whether folk, jazz, classical or indi, Alyth is an artist who knows no boundaries – there is a freedom in what she does.
After her time at the Academy, Alyth returned to her roots to tour with bands and throughout Europe, North America, Brazil and the UK.
Her growing reputation at this time saw her much demand from all sorts of recording artists, as she appears on 23 albums. Her first solo release, An Iomall (The Edge), followed in 2000 on Vertical records. The album arrived to international acclaim:
‘Traditional Gaelic songs with modern arrangements; some are spare some feature tasteful arrangements that recall post era Bjork. No matter what the format her voice is spine tingling‘.
New York – Time Out.
‘Alyth’s vocal is a wonder, retaining its quavering beauty through a wide variety of moods and amplitudes… powerfully emotional despite its whispered fragility.’
Jim Foley – Rootsworld.com
Alyth has sung at some of the best known concert venues in the North America and Europe including the Walt Disney Hall Los Angeles, The Kimmel Center Philadelphia, The Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Kennedy Centre Concert Hall, Washington DC, Roy Thompson Hall, Toronto, The National Concert Hall in Dublin, The Waterfront Hall in Belfast, The National Concert Hall in Glasgow, The Liverpool Philharmonic and The Festival Hall in London. She has become a popular festival favourite. At home she has given memorable performances at Celtic Connections, The Edinburgh International Festival, The Lammertree Festival and the Hebridean Celtic Festival and abroad at Celtic Colours, Cape Breton and Le Festival Interceltique de Lorient in France. She also performed with her band as part of ‘Distilled-Scotland Live in New York and Tartan Day.
A performance at the BEO Festival in Dublin would bring Alyth to the attention of legendary band Moving Hearts. Alyth and her band supported them on their UK tour in early 2008 – this in turn led to Alyth being asked to accompany The Chieftains on their 20 date Spring tour of America in 2008 finishing in the Carnegie Hall on St Particks Day. Since then she has also been touring Europe and America with The Chieftains and recently returned from their America Spring tour 2011. Paddy also asked her to sing with them during the recent Gala performance at the Convention Centre in Dublin for The Queen during her historic visit to Dublin.
Her voice has also appeared on various film sound tracks most notably ‘Festival’ by Annie Griffin – winner of the British Comedy Award for Best Comedy Film 2005.
She is an artist who thrives on discovery and diversity and has shared the stage with folk greats such as Martin Carthy and Norma Waterston, jazz singers Jacqui Dankworth, Sara Colman and Leanne Carol, the legendary Ry Cooder, Brazilian ensembles and Bulgarian voice choirs – and Scotland’s own Eddi Reader. She also enjoys working in theatre and this has seen her play the lead roles in Musicals such as ‘On Eagle’s Wing’ and ‘Whisky Kisses’ in addition to roles in the award winning ‘Captian’s Collection’ and ‘Arthur – The Story of King’ and the highly acclaimed ‘St Kilda Opera’ which opened the Edinburgh International Festival August 2009. Her performance is inspired by the beautiful and harsh, natural landscape of her childhood, its vibrant oral and musical tradition and the passion of the songs she learnt as she grew up. It’s this passion which drives her interpretation and performance as an adult”
‘A dozen tracks over 52 minutes are enough to convince me that Alyth is someone worth going out of my way to listen to’ – The Irish edition – Philadelphia