‘Homelands’ came about through my love of my home in Lewis, Scotland and my love of my new home in Ireland. I moved to Ireland seven years ago. I see myself as an Islander as I come from the Hebrides, and I always will, but I also now love where I live in Ireland. It’s a common thread. We are all travelers, emigrants, immigrants. The album touches on the themes of love and loss, home and emigration.
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People Like Me
People like me is Ályth’s second solo CD. Released on her own label ANE Records and licensed in the UK to Navigator Records and in the USA to Compass Records. It is a collection of songs traditional and contemporary in Scots Gaelic and English about love and conscience. The collection was inspired by her upbringing in on the Island of Lewis in the mid 70’s and 80’s a busy time on the Island both politically and work wise.
Rock ‘n’ Reel Review Alyth ***** ‘People like me’ (Navigator Records) “McCormack’s voice combines the purity of Joan Baez and the power of Martha Sebestyen, on arrangements that are at times lush but never pompous, enveloping the senses with warmth and splendour….. (and) In spite of the diverse nature of the song sources, there’s a cohesive and unified tone to this record. The music is exquisitively produced and sung with heart. By tastefully and effortlessly transcending genres, this fresh recording should win the hearts of listeners across the globe. Gerry Quinn. Irish Examiner Review 09 **** Alyth People like me (Navigator Records) **** MAVERICK MAGAZINE Alyth – People like me A partly Gaelic / Celtic folk, acoustic subtle and charming album, modern and trad songs combine to great effect.
An Iomall – The Edge
Alyth’s solo CD.
What the critics say: The Irish Edition – Philadelphia 2002
“…Alyth is from the Isle of Lewis and sings in Gaelic. She has a soft, almost gentle voice: a sad lilt that tugs at something deep inside, a loneliness that creeps up on you during each song. ….
But again, it’s the arrangements which take the songs to another level. At times disturbing, at times amusing, but always moving. I am reminded of some of the work by the Kronos Quartet or the Beatles at their most adventurous…creating a compulsive recording that I play over and over. There is a handful of performers…who, while deeply involved in tradition, make relevant connections with alternative styles. Alyth is one of this handful”. What Alyth say’s: Having been brought up in Lewis I was immersed in a very strong musical culture. Because of this I was inspired to go on and study music; to be creative. These songs are not romantic and neither is living in the islands. The weather is bad, life can be tough. people wrote about what they experienced and I sing it the way I experienced it. I’m a story teller. This is part of my story.
Sugarcane – Chocolate Records
Mellow and musical – 3 voices 2 electro harps in a beautiful collection of traditional and contemporary Gaelic, Scots and English songs.
Alyth – vocals Mary Macmaster – vocals & electroharp Corrina Hewat – vocals & electroharp “an album that’s breathtaking, haunting, beautiful and innovative and full of a magic that simultaneously encapsulates and challenges the essence of Scottish music”. Smooth Operations
Red & Gold – Alyth McCormack & Triona Marshall
“From the heartland of Ireland to the shores of the Island of Lewis off the Scottish coast, Triona Marshall and Alyth McCormack have created a beautiful blend of harp music and song. This brilliant recording encompassing a varied range of the Celtic traditions shows just how closely related our music and songs are and where it’s development and growth can lead. Triona and Alyth came together having toured with The Chieftains over the last few years and have now created a magical duet for all to enjoy” – Paddy Moloney
The Island Tapes
An Emotional Journey of the senses originally created for the Celtic Connections Festival
“The Island Tapes” features contemporary and traditional music to five silent films recorded live on the Scottish Islands of St Kilda, Skye, Orkney, Shetland and Harris in the 1920’s and 30’s. Also featured is the new film “A New Way to a New World” which explores Scottish Emigration to North America. This is a 2 CD/DVD pack.
Robert Dawson Scott
The Island Tapes *****
Specially commissioned scores played live to accompany old silent movies has become, if not a commonplace, at least a regular event. Why not, thought guitarist David Allison, do the same with Celtic music, using the rich catalogue of films in the Scottish Screen archive?
Like all the best ideas, it sounds simple but is a lot less simple to execute.
Allison began on his own with one film about St Kilda at last year’sWest Endfestival. If you’re not familiar with Allison’s particular schtick, “on his own” may be misleading. He has developed techniques of electronically looping his own playing while he’s playing it, building up complex riffs over which he plays even more complicated tunes until he sounds like an entire band.
Now he has taken the film soundtrack idea and added some more layers to that in the form of two more top-class guitarists, the classically trained Allan Neave and Ian Melrose, the brilliant finger-picker.
Add to that the voice and comely presence of Alyth McCormack and three more films and you have a full 90-minute show, and, it transpires, one of the highest quality, brilliantly executed by top-class performers.
The Captain’s Collection – Greentrax
A beautiful collection of Gaelic songs and tunes in a more traditional style originally performed to accompany the play of the same name.
Featuring the musicians: Alyth – vocals Jonny Hardie – guitar & fiddle Brian Mcalpine – keyboards Rory Campbell – pipes, whistles& vocals Eilidh Martin – cello Aidan O’Rourke – fiddle ‘a delight…’ Living Tradition
November – Vertical Records
Something a bit more upbeat. Here is captured the fiery fiddle playing of Aidan O’ Rourke and Alyth’s soaring vocals in an intricately engineered and brilliantly realised heavyweight collision of rock, pop, funk and roots music. Sunhoney developed a growing fan-base since unleashing their original compositions on audiences around Scotland between them, the six talented members of Sunhoney manage to combine all forms of music from the ultra-traditional folk, to jazz, roots and groove to drum ‘n’ bass. An explosion of tunes and songs to get you moving.
Aidan O’Rourke – fiddle Alyth – vocals Kevin Mackenzie – Guitar Quee Macarthur – Bass Fergus Mackenzie – Drums Donald Hay – Percussion “Sunhoney produce a very polished product without rubbing away the spirit of their music…….. a truly impressive CD, one of the best recent attempts to blend traditional and mainstream musics: you should try it.” FolkWorld
Tha a laithean a’ dol seachad – The days flash past
A beautiful CD commissioned by An Lanntair – Stornoway’s Arts Centre to celebrate the opening of its new venue. It features some of Lewis’ (Alyth’s birthplace’s) finest singers and local songs in collaboration Paul Mounsey. Singers featured: Alyth, Anna Murray, Christine Primrose, Ishbel MacAskill, Mary Smith the MacKenzie sisters and local poet and writer Kevin MacNeil.
Paul Mounsey does it again, 23 Jan 2006 Reviewer: A music fan The fifth Paul Mounsey release doesn’t disappoint. If you have any of the “Nahoo” recordings in your collection you will love this! It doesnt suffer from being a commissioned recording and in fact if anything appears to benefit from the musical links appearing from time to time. You dont need to speak Gaelic to appreciate the beautiful female vocals on this recording (and in deed if you dont the label will forward you English translations)- but the highlight has to be the almost trance like track “Time” read by poet Kevin McNeil where you almost look over your shoulder to see if indeed it is catching up on you! Lets have more of this from the traditional music world. Amazon.co.uk
Persian Knights/Celtic Dawn – Cookin Vinyl
Savourna’s Stevenson’s latest project features Savourna’s distinctive harp sound combined with master Iranian percussionists, Djamchid and Bijan Chemirani, Alyth’s beautiful voice and Paul Spiers on Double Bass.
Savourna first met the Chemiranis when recording for Radio 3 All Night Live at Real World Studios at 5 o’clock in the morning. A spontaneous session with the Iranian percussionists sparked off a collaborative friendship inspiring the idea of blending Middle Eastern music and poetry with the Celtic tradition and Gaelic language. New songs use text from Kahlil Gibran’s ‘The Prophet’ which has an international and a universal appeal, and Savourna has chosen his words on Marriage, Children, Time and, with a Gaelic translation by the Scottish poet Aonghas MacNeacail, Gibran’s thoughts on Joy and Sorrow. “mesmerizing” The Scotsman
Open Secrets is a project combining spoken word, poetry, song and music. Alyth has been working for some years now with the Global Music Foundation and this project grew from there combining the work of poets: Richard Douglas Pennant, Pere Rovire, Meritxell Nus, the Frank Harrison Jazz Trio and Ályth. This beautiful album was recorded in Italy in January of 2011.
Artistic Director of Open Secrets, Josep Ramon Jove, writes this: ‘Art is a way of communicating truth and beauty. For those of us who are convinced that beauty can only come out of the truth, the effort involved in shaping an artwork is an intemse and deeply satisfying experience. Open Secrets was made in ths spirit, with an honesty embedded in each note and each word; with a pulse woven through each verse; with the timeless essence of jazz and the influence of our ancestors as evoked through Celtic Folk music….’