Album of the Week: ‘Little Hinges’ Qristina & Quinn Bachand

Album of the Week: ‘Little Hinges’ Qristina & Quinn Bachand

Feb 6, 2015

The Album of the Week programme on Saturdays at 12 noon and 12 midnight has selected tracks from next week’s Album of the Week and an interview with the musician or singer-songwriter or band member.

There has been no Album of the Week due to Celtic Connections coverage after the festive holiday season, so this is the first Album of the Week for 2015 and is the Album of the Week from Saturday 7 February 2015.

It is the new CD from award-winning brother-sister folk-roots duo from Canada’s west coast, Qristina & Quinn Bachand with ‘Little Hinges’.

Qristina Quinn BachandThe album was released at Celtic Connections 2015 in Glasgow last month. Ross Macfadyen spoke to the brother and sister about their music and new album, Little Hinges, which gets its name from the saying “big doors swing on little hinges.” Although writer W. Clement Stone was not referring to the power of art among a captive audience, the fact is undeniable: music moves.

With deep Asturian and Breton roots, Canadian-born Qristina & Quinn Bachand have quickly emerged at the top of the international Celtic music world, winning 2010 Top Traditional Group and 2011 Top Duo at the Irish Music Awards.Qristina Bachand

Since 2009 the duo have also received three Canadian Folk Music Award nominations; a 2012 Western Canadian Music Award nomination for World Recording of the Year and four 2013 Vancouver Island Music Award nominations.

This powerhouse duo has a musical bond that only siblings can share. With a musical connection reminiscent of other Canadian family groups such as Leahy, The Barra MacNeils and The Rankins, audiences everywhere are quickly falling in love with Qristina & Quinn Bachand.

Our goal with this recording was to open the doors of the beautiful but oftentimes rigid-minded traditional music we love to various sounds and inspirations we’ve accumulated over the past three years.

The album is split into two sections, with an interlude entitled “Little Hinges” connecting the two.

Following the first, more traditional half of the album, “Little Hinges” quite literally opens the door to the second section, in which we venture further from our traditional roots.


Further information on the duo’s website here. Pictured during the live Celtic Music Radio session in the Buchanan Suite of the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall during Celtic Connections on 17 January 2015.

Album of the Week, Saturday 7 February 2015 at 12 noon and 12 midnight and Catch Up anytime.

Celtic Music Radio smashes audience record

Celtic Music Radio smashes audience record

Feb 1, 2015

Celtic Music Radio 95FM, the charitable community radio station based in Glasgow, has broken its audience record for this year’s Celtic Connections.

More than 115,976 people tuned in either on 95FM across Glasgow or via its website as the station broadcast live for the 10th year running at Connections, which ended yesterday, Sunday 1 February.

Its 30-strong team of volunteers, with technical support from Glasgow Caledonian University Audio Technology students, broadcast live for 116 hours and this included live sets from 80 musicians and groups from Scotland, other parts of the UK and overseas.

“We wanted to be at the heart of Celtic Connections and these audience figures, our highest ever, show that we have,” said Celtic Music Radio chairperson, Alex Jenkins.

“On average we have 72,000 listeners a month in the Glasgow area and in 175 countries worldwide online – so the increase for January has been remarkable and hugely gratifying.

“This was our 10th year of supporting Celtic Connections and we are both pleased and humbled that so many people appreciated our programmes, which we offered eight hours a day during the festival.

“We would like to thank everyone who tuned in, the musicians who played live sessions and the Glasgow Caledonian University students for making them sound great. With our hardy band of volunteers of presenters as well, it has been a tremendous team effort.”

Celtic Music Radio 95FM is the only Ofcom-licenced radio station with a mission to support and promote Scottish music and culture – and it offers a festival of music, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Donald Shaw, Artistic Director of Celtic Connections, has already praised Celtic Music Radio for its ongoing and invaluable support all year round.

Qristina & Quinn Bachand perform at Celtic Music Radio

Qristina & Quinn Bachand perform at Celtic Music Radio

Review: Mike Vass – In The Wake of Neil Gunn

Review: Mike Vass – In The Wake of Neil Gunn

Jan 22, 2015

Mitchell Theatre, Glasgow, Wednesday 21st January 2015

In the Wake of Neil Gunn is a remarkable piece of work from Mike Vass, inspired by his voyage following Neil Gunn’s 1937 sailing trip around Scotland.

Mike read the book while convalescing and decided to follow Neil’s route on his own craft.

When picturing a boat trip, I guess the view is of calm seas, fluffy clouds and a bright blue sky. A serene and relaxing pastime, if you will.

Mike music certainly offers this mistaken vision.

Sphere Music conjures up a dream of calm sailing at a gentle speed, with the sounds of the sea and the boat. Sound effects such as the Shipping Forecast and echo sound of the radar are added to authenticate the view.

But then, the weather changes….

Fused Dark reminds us of the ferocious conditions, the swirling of the wind around the boat. Rain is present in the sound of the glockenspiel. The building wind is painted beautifully by the string quartet, as the radio warns of gale.

As diverse as the music is, so is the arrangement.

On stage tonight with Mike is the Cairn String Quartet, Euan Burton (on electric and double bass), Innes Watson (on guitar), Jennifer Port (on oboe and glockenspiel), Hamish Napier (on keys, whistles and flutes), and that old traditional favourite, the Apple Mac!

We were also treated to pictures of the journey and a film to go with Heave & Roll, produced by Edinburgh’s Salmon Films.

Blue Fields of Paradise invokes unorganised waves and rain. Not quite the perfect storm, but an image of a calm sea with the morning mist burning away to uncover inclement weather ahead.

A word should also be said for the oboe. Throughout the evening, it called us out to sea and hypnotised us in The Lock Keeper as it sent out a tuneful morse code signal to anyone listening.

The sea calls us. It is in our very soul, enshrined in our genes. The very way music is.

Mike has combined the power of the sea and the power of music in an entrancing way.

Thoroughly recommend the CD and, if opportunity allows, go see it live!

mike 1 Ross Macfadyen

Presenter, Celtic Music Radio

Donald Shaw praises Celtic Music Radio

Donald Shaw praises Celtic Music Radio

Jan 13, 2015

Celtic Music Radio is broadcasting live for the 10th year in a row at Celtic Connections, which got under from Thursday, 15 January 2015.

The Glasgow-based community radio station, which broadcasts to Glasgow on 95FM, will be on air live from the city’s Royal Concert Hall every day of the Celtic Connections Festival with the first show going out on Friday morning, 16 January, from 11.00am.

Celtic Music Radio, which has covered Celtic Connections since 2006, prides itself as a station with a mission to support new musical talent and to be a strong voice for contemporary and traditional Scottish music, arts and culture.

It has charitable status and is run by 30 music-loving volunteers. Currently it has 72,000 listeners a month in the Glasgow area and in 175 countries worldwide online.

“We’re pleased and proud that Celtic Music Radio will once again be at the heart of Celtic Connections with our own festival of music,” said Ross Macfadyen, award-winning broadcaster and a director of the station

“We’ll be broadcasting live for a total of 116 hours from the Buchanan Suite in the Concert Hall.

“During this time, we’ll have artists performing live and a rota of presenters raring to make sure our listeners far and wide are fully entertained for the duration of Celtic Connections.

“The Celtic Connections team are a pleasure to work with and they always make us feel a real part of all that’s going on.

“We’re looking forward to two great weeks of music at the biggest winter music festival of its kind.”

Donald Shaw, Artistic Director of Celtic Connections, said: “It is a real pleasure to have worked with Celtic Music Radio over the years and it is a partnership that we hope to continue for many years to come.

“It is fantastic that as the festival has grown so has the radio station and they now entertain 72,000 listeners a month.

donald shaw

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their ongoing and invaluable support not only during the Festival but all year round.”

Listeners in the Glasgow area will be able to catch all the action on 95FM while those everywhere else can here what’s going on via the station’s web link here on this site at the top of the front page.

Catch Up: Airdrie Songwriters Club on TFIF

Catch Up: Airdrie Songwriters Club on TFIF

Dec 19, 2014

On Thank Folk its Friday with Ross Macfadyen, live in studio 1 will be Paul McCluskey, John Boyle, James Beekman and Gerry Reilly from the Airdrie Songwriters Club in Lanarkshire with a live session.

Ross presents his legendary programme featuring a broad mix of music and the ‘Folk or Not’ vote when Ross selects a familiar song from the world of popular music and asks listeners if it is ‘Folk or Not’.

Thank Folk it’s Friday with Ross Macfadyen, Friday 19 December 8.00-10.00pm and Catch Up anytime.

Christine Sparks – Robin: The Robert Burns Collection, Vol. 1

Christine Sparks – Robin: The Robert Burns Collection, Vol. 1

Dec 12, 2014

The Celtic Music Radio Album of the Week commencing Saturday 13 December 2014 is from Renfrew singer Christine Sparks and her CD titled Robin: The Robert Burns Collection, Vol. 1.

“Christine Sparks has the quality of voice that Robert Burns’ words deserve – both are masters of exposing raw, natural emotion, creating timeless masterpieces.” says Watt Nicoll.

Ross Macfadyen talks to Christine about her album of Robert Burns songs and poems.

Christine Sparks ‘Robin: The Robert Burns Collection, Vol. 1’ features Christine on vocals, guitar, piano, whistle, Bhodhran and Melodica plus Stuart Farquharson on harmonicas, accordion; Signy Jakobsdottir (percussion); Chris Greive (trombones, Didgeridoo); John Sparks (guitars, Bouzouki) and Colin Cunningham (upright Bass).Christine Sparks robin cd

The original arrangements are by Christine Sparks with production by John Sparks and Danny Mitchell and the album was recorded at The Garage Glasgow and mixed at Carlton Studios, Glasgow and then re-mastered by Nick Lewis at Brighton Mastering.

Christine Sparks says: “I’m reading ‘The lost Glen’ by Neil Gunn at the moment and from within the pages of his book, the words call to me. As I start recording my new Burns album, so I search for the right words to describe the journey. Words that tell of the longing and connection I feel with these songs, and the need to be part of their being. Words that are the source of the feelings that become the sounds, that become the songs, that become the album.

If I force them they do not come – yet I open the pages of this book …. and here they are…‘When a woman has a golden voice and sings with great art, the song can yet be borne. But when the same woman croons to herself a tune out of the heart of her race, then she is moving forces beyond her art’s knowing or caring.’

‘Motherhood and childhood, of the one and the many, with all the passions that have gone to their making and the memories drawn off. With no more why of wherefore than exist love and life and death.’

Christine Sparks 261114Christine continues: “So, here is the reason I come back time and time again to the simplicity of the song.  I have been singing for many years now and yes, I love to develop my ‘art’ with all it’s twists and glamour and trickery. I practice turns and grace notes until they appear effortless. I feel the need to get it ‘just right’ and sometimes, when I do, it is indeed a thing of beauty.  I can sing like almost anyone if I put my mind to it.

From the beginning of this journey back to the old songs, John, my fiancée and co-producer has always known the importance of this simplicity. Just sing the songs, he says. And I do, and I will, and here they come…

Buy the album ‘Robin: The Robert Burns Collection, Vol. 1’  here.

Celtic Music Radio Album of the Week, Saturday 13 December 12 noon and 12 midnight and Monday December 15 December 7.00pm and Catch Up anytime.

Celtic Music Radio 95 FM, Floor 5 West Wing, Buchanan House, 58 Port Dundas Road, Glasgow G4 0HF
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Celtic Music Radio is a Charity registered in Scotland, number SC041172

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Glasgow Caledonian University PPL UK PRS for Music   Community Media Association Ofcom Scottish Traditional Music Awards nominee 2014