Pipes of Christmas to be Featured in BBC ALBA documentary, “Guth Ag Aithris” (A Lone Voice)

Segments of the 2016 edition of the Pipes of Christmas will be featured in a new documentary on BBC Alba, starring acclaimed Gaelic singer, Christine Primrose. The segments were recorded at Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City.

“Guth Ag Aithris – Christine Primrose” will be broadcast at 9pm on Monday 25th December on BBC ALBA, and repeated at 11pm on Tuesday 26th.

One of the greatest Gaelic singers who has ever recorded, Christine Primrose remains prolific, with much she still wishes to achieve. This exclusive documentary from BBC ALBA, produced by Glasgow based independent company Sorbier Productions, follows her from her native Isle of Lewis to New York and back – and sees her reunited with some of those who have shaped her life and career. Hers is a bittersweet story of loss, survival – and enduring success.

Born Christine Macleod in the village of Carloway on the east coast of Lewis, she has been singing traditional Gaelic song since early childhood. Her first album Àite mo Ghaoil was released in 1982, at a time when Gaelic music attracted little interest. Christine’s riveting collection broke new ground, and introduced the form to a wider audience. She has since recorded several albums and has toured extensively in the US, Australia and Europe, regularly collaborating with renowned musicians such as Alisdair Fraser and Blair Douglas. Long settled on Skye, Christine is a popular teacher of the seann nòs (‘old style’) at the island’s college, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig.

Following a lengthy break from recording, in the summer of 2017 Christine released a new album of unaccompanied Gaelic songs, under the title Gràdh is Gonadh – Guth Ag Aithris (Love and Loss – A Lone Voice). To wide critical acclaim, the collection has underlined her status as one of the few remaining practitioners of the pure, Gaelic tradition. In October, she was inducted into the Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame.

The film travels with her to New York, where her son Iain now lives with his young family. As well as spending fun time with her grandchildren, Christine joins in the singing of Oidhche Shàmhach (Silent Night) at the 18th Annual Pipes of Christmas – and with session musicians at Brooklyn’s popular Iona Bar.

This is a unique biography, showcasing the gifts of a singer too often overlooked in the past.