Album of the Week – Ruth Keggin and Rachel Hair ‘Lossan’

Written by on June 25, 2022

Two shining lights on the thriving Celtic music scene, Manx Gaelic singer, Ruth Keggin and Scottish harpist, Rachel Hair, have collaborated to create this thoughtful, sensitive album.

Lossan – a Manx Gaelic word with meanings including light, glimmer, sheen and flame – is the first ever duo harp and Manx Gaelic vocal album to be released.

It celebrates the vibrancy and growth of the Manx Gaelic language and culture on the Isle of Man and the connections between the island and Scotland, whose native tongues sit within the same family of Celtic languages.

Ruth and Rachel have carefully arranged traditional Manx material alongside some newly-written songs by composers on the Isle of Man, reawakening traditional Manx lullabies, much-loved ballads and traditional jigs.

The pair met ten years ago during a traditional music session on the Isle of Man and have worked alongside each other on several musical projects, celebrating the coming together of Celtic nations, both on the island and beyond, ever since.

Their mutual love and respect for each other’s roots and traditions led them to first perform together as a duo in 2017. The pandemic allowed them the time to collaborate on a recording and, despite the challenges of a 14-month Isle of Man border closure, the album has made its way into the light.

Recorded on the stage of the Erin Arts Centre in Ruth’s hometown of Port Erin on the Isle of Man, the duo will return to the special venue to launch the album as part of the Mananan International Festival on Monday (27th June.)

Ruth said: “It’s been wonderful to create a duo album as there’s something truly special about the fluid musical interplay between harp and vocals, and the captivatingly-resonant space that is created between the two instruments.”

Rachel added: “For years now I have been inspired by the culture of the Isle of Man and its music, song and language. It has been an utter joy to arrange and perform songs both old and new from the island.”

Album of the Week, Saturday, midday with Ruth Keggin and Rachel Hair in conversation with (Auntie) Liz Clark.

LOSSAN will be available to buy on CD, stream and download on all major digital platforms on Friday 8th July 2022.

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