Gráinne Brady

The Road Across the Hills

Sunday 30th August


Fiddler and Islay Sessions regular Gráinne Brady closes the festival with a special performance from her two albums inspired by Irish writer Patrick MacGill’s novels Children of the Dead End and The Rat Pit, exploring themes of navvies and the down-trodden, poverty and exploitation. Both albums will form the basis of a musical collaboration between Gráinne and theatre director and filmmaker Robert Rae, who is in the process of adapting both novels for the stage. Gráinne is joined by Michael Biggins on piano.

My ways are cast with many men … the down and outers of the gaol, the tavern and the gambling dens … but under heaven’s gentian skies, what strains of sweetness fill the dells.’ – Patrick MacGill (1889–1963)

How to watch this event

This event starts at 7:30pm on Sunday 30th August. To watch the event just visit this page at the start time and you'll be able to watch the event for free.

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About the speaker

With an Irish childhood steeped in folk music, fiddle player Gráinne Brady evokes the musical lyricism of Leitrim, Clare, and her native Cavan. Gráinne’s broad repertoire of Irish tunes now incorporates new-found Scottish influences; as a composer living at the heart of Glasgow’s trad scene, she relishes Glasgow’s uniquely vibrant community. Her first album, The Road Across the Hills, was inspired by Patrick MacGill’s 1914 novel, Children of the Dead End, considered canonical in classic Irish and Scottish literature, telling an untold story of emigration, poverty and loss. The album is comprised entirely of her compositions and the music is enriched by spoken word with some of MacGill’s poetry. Gráinne’s second album, Newcomer, produced by award-winning musician and composer Mike Vass, was released in June 2020. Newcomer focuses on a literary heroine explored in MacGill’s novel The Rat Pit: Norah Ryan was a woman of strength, beauty and feistiness who was nevertheless vulnerable to poverty, sexual exploitation, and great emotional loss. Gráinne’s music has featured on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, BBC NI and BBC Radio Scotland, and BBC Alba’s Seirm television series. In 2019, Gráinne showcased The Road Across the Hills to great acclaim at Glasgow’s prestigious Celtic Connections.

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