This year’s HebCelt festival is to showcase a brand new Gaelic song from a Lewis songwriter.
Eilidh Mackenzie has written a love letter to her native Hebrides in a song commissioned by the festival to showcase the island’s musical heritage and young talent.
Working towards the Year of Young People 2018, she worked with 20 young musicians aged between 12 and 16 from Barra, North and South Uist and Lewis and Harris to create the song.
Eilidh said: “I suppose the theme is learning from what has gone before. The Outer Hebrides are portrayed as an old woman, a symbol of generations past with several direct references to specific songs from different islands tying in with a theme of pride in place and culture through a modern perspective.
“It was just lovely to be asked to do this. I was brought up in Gress in Lewis and the song is really just my love letter to the islands.”
HebCelt director Caroline Maclennan said: “Eilidh has done a remarkable job in capturing the musical traditions of the islands in a modern way.
“It’s been an exciting project bringing the young musicians together and we are really looking forward to putting them centre stage at the festival where their performance will be amongst our headline shows.”
Eilidh Mackenzie added: “It was such a pleasure to write something for the young folk involved and I am genuinely excited to hear how they arrange and perform it.”
The festival, which takes place between July 18-21, is to be headlined by Deacon Blue, The Fratellis, Eddi Reader, Skipinnish and Roddy Woomble.