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Celtic Duo Ruth Keggin and Rachel Hair to perform in Candlelit Concert at Castle Rushen

– Posted on Thursday 14th December 2023

Two highly respected shining lights on the thriving Celtic music scene, Manx Gaelic singer Ruth Keggin and Scottish harpist Rachel Hair, will present the music and song from LOSSAN, the first ever first ever duo harp and Manx Gaelic vocal album to be released in a unique and unforgettable concert by candlelight performed in the Presence Chamber at Castle Rushen on Saturday evening.

Hosted by Manx National Heritage, the Isle of Man’s heritage charity, the concert will celebrate 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).

The duo will perform thoughtfully arranged traditional Manx material alongside some newly-written songs as they reawaken traditional Manx lullabies, much-loved ballads and traditional melodies.

Lynsey Clague, Communications Manager for Manx National Heritage said:

I feel very privileged to be able to volunteer my time to support our charity at this very special evening and look forward to welcoming ticketholders to enjoy this unique performance by two of the finest contemporary Celtic musicians in the British Isles.  In the words of Folk Radio, if anything makes you fall in love with the Manx culture and language, this will”.

Rachel and Ruth met 10 years ago during the small hours of 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, their album LOSSAN (a Manx Gaelic word, with meanings including ‘light’, ‘glimmer’, ‘sheen’ and ‘flame’) made its way into the light.

Ruth Keggin is a Manx Gaelic singer passionate about bringing Manx music and language to the wider world. From the coastal seaside village of Port Erin on the Southern tip of the Isle of Man, she was inspired to learn to speak and sing in her islands native tongue, having been brought up listening to Scottish Gàidhlig singers. Ruth has recorded several albums and performed numerous times on TV, radio and at major festivals worldwide.

Described as “A superb Highland Harper” by BBC Radio 2, Rachel Hair is a Scottish harpist from the Highland fishing village of Ullapool. With her music deeply rooted in her homelands traditions she has developed a deep connection with Manx culture as she visits the island monthly to teach Manx harp, and is now happily married to a Manx musician. Rachel has recorded numerous albums and regularly tours worldwide both as a soloist and with her duo guitarist Ron Jappy.

Lynsey continued:

“Manx National Heritage extends thanks to Ruth and Rachel for their support of this very special evening at Castle Rushen”.

Tickets to the Candlelit Concert have sold out, with all profits from the event to Manx National Heritage, Isle of Man registered charity no. 603.

ENDS

Image caption: Left to right: Scottish harpist Rachel Hair and Manx Gaelic singer Ruth Keggin, pictured at Niarbyl Bay. Image credit: Amore du Plessis

 

 

Media contact:

Lynsey Clague BA (Hons) MCIPR

Communications Manager – Manx National Heritage

T: 01624 648032

E: lynsey.clague@mnh.im

 

Manx National Heritage, Eiraght Ashoonagh Vannin

Manx Museum, Douglas, Isle of Man, IM1 3LY

Isle of Man Registered Charity No 603

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