We’re Rachel and Ruth, a Scottish harpist and Manx Gaelic Singer who are excited to be planning our debut duo album.
We’ve both enjoyed varied careers performing and teaching throughout the world, and started working together several years ago.
"A superb Highland Harper" BBC Radio 2
Rachel is based in Glasgow, Scotland, and for the last eight years has been making monthly visits to the Isle of Man to teach harp. As a result she has become a “honourable Manxie”, has discovered a real passion for the islands music, and is regularly seen contributing to the islands culture.
"Ruth Keggin has, to put it simply, a voice that one could never tire of hearing" fRoots
Ruth hails from the Isle of Man and is a Manx Gaelic speaker, singer and instrumentalist. Alongside her strong love for Manx language, music and culture, she has a strong connection to Scotland through family links, prior musical projects, and growing up listening to inspirational Gaelic singers!
A few years ago we started working on some duo material, and have had it on our to-do lists to get some studio time and record an album, but our diaries never quite matched up.
Then 2020 (and, now, 2021) struck! With a gap of gigs, tours and trips in our diaries, we’ve funnily enough managed to find time in our schedules to record!
We’re thankful to have received some funding from the Isle of Man Arts Council towards our budget, though with empty diaries comes emptier bank accounts, and we’ve still a fair way of the go to meet our budget to make the album happen. So that’s where this Crowdfunder comes in…
We’re delighted and grateful to be one of 20 creative projects who’ve been selected to launch a Crowdfunder in collaboration with Creative Scotland. We’re sure you’ve experienced a Crowdfunder before: in return for lending us your financial support we’ve offered some rewards in return (check these out on this page!).
The Crowdfunder / Creative Scotland has an added very generous aspect though - the chance to be awarded an additional £2500 of funding - wow!
#1 £1000 - Once we reach £1000 a further £1000 will be added to our total by Creative Scotland - FEER VIE! VERY GOOD!
#2 £3500 - if we reach this target, they’ll award us another £1500, taking our total to £5000!! - YINDYSSAGH! WONDERFUL!
Time is of the essence! The caveat with this funding is that it’s essentially a competition. Only the first £1000 match funding is guaranteed: once that is reached, it’s first come first served for the other targets until the Creative Scotland funding runs out. There’s not a lot of this and with 19 other projects, it’ll go fast!
We really want to be in with a chance of being awarded more funding, so please help us, as soon as you can AND INCREASE THE CHANCE OF YOUR PLEDGE DOUBLING IN VALUE thanks to this joint Creative Scotland & Crowdfunder funding initiative.
We're so excited about this album! The songs, predominantly in the Manx language, will be a blend of traditional, well-known repertoire, and contemporary compositions by Manx writers.
Tune sets will celebrate the connection between Scotland and the Isle of Man, and represent the mutual passion and respect that Rachel and Ruth have for each other’s nations and cultures.
Albums are costly: although it’s now reasonably cheap for most folk to access music, the costs of producing music are higher than ever.
It would mean SO much for us to have your financial support to help reach our budget to create our duo album. Together with our funds from the Isle of Man Arts Council, funds raised will help cover:
- Studio hire and engineer costs on Isle of Man
- Mixing and mastering costs in Scotland
- Photography & artwork in Scotland and Isle of Man
- Physical CD production in the EU
- Travel of Rachel to Isle of Man for recording, and Ruth to Scotland for mixing/mastering
We realise that there are a certain number of physical barriers right now which mean that we can’t work together in person at present. We’ve been working remotely on the material for the album - zoom calls, sending audio files back and forth, and it’s been going really well.
We hope to be able to record together in August, and have fall back dates if this is not possible, but we’ll keep you updated on our journey together!
SONG ON VIDEO: Mish as y Keayn by Annie Kissack, performed by Rachel and Ruth
PHOTO & VIDEO CREDITS : Mark Falconer, William John Davidson, Mark Wild, Samuel Hurt, Ali Shand, Ste Murray