Talitha's blog

CONCERT FOR BRÌDE: Early Celtic Music in Celebration of Candlemas

Ann Heymann with clàrsach, Barnaby Brown with pipes, Talitha MacKenzie

A concert of Clàrsach, Vocal, Triplepipe & Bagpipe Music from Scotland, Ireland & Wales, featuring Ann Heymann, Barnaby Brown & Talitha MacKenzie, will take place on Saturday 11 February at the Columcille Centre (2 Newbattle Terrace, Morningside, Edinburgh EH10 4RT, next to the Dominion Cinema). Doors Open 7.30 PM, Concert begins 8 PM.

There will also be a Clàrsach Workshop with Ann Heymann on Sunday 12 February 1-5 PM, at the same venue. Concert Tickets: £10/£8 ~ Workshop Tickets: £10/£8 (£5 for non-participants); Combined Weekend Ticket: £15/£12.

Trinity College Harp

Davy Patton's Trinity College Harp replica

I have recently commissioned Davy Patton to build me a Mediæval clàrsach (wire-strung harp) based on the famous Trinity College Harp, in Dublin. The decoration will honour and reflect my relationship with my husband, Ian MacKenzie. We are still in the process of developing the design but the building of the instrument should begin mid-April and be finished by Michaelmas. I hope to be touring with it in 2012.

Ian MacKenzie Memorial Calendar

Ian MacKenzie Memorial Calendar 2011 cover

The Ian MacKenzie Memorial Calendar is available now at SONAS Multimedia. Click here to order your copy for £4.99.

Thank you to all who helped organise the Ian MacKenzie Memorial Exhibition & Concert on 12 December and to all the musicians who performed. It was a magical day.

Spiorad Buy-back

Spiorad album cover, photos by Ian MacKenzie

Talitha has recently bought back the rights to her CD Spiorad from former label Shanachie. There are plans to rerelease the album on her own label, SONAS Multimedia, sometime in 2012.

Some of the artwork from the album will be displayed in a Memorial Exhibition of photographs by Ian MacKenzie, in Edinburgh on 12 December. For more information see the ZenBends website.

Talitha MacKenzie Returns to America

Talitha MacKenzie demonstrating Highland Folk Dance steps at Mystic Seaport Sea Music Festival 2009; photo by Kaari Sullivan

Talitha MacKenzie will be travelling to America this summer to teach Gaelic Song and Highland Folk Dance at the Swannanoa Gathering, NC, during Celtic Week from 11-17 July 2010.

Highland tradition marries song and movement in a vibrant and exhilarating way. This class will explore songs for spinning, weaving, waulking, milking, churning butter, rowing and more.

"Omnipresent", by Ian MacKenzie (1958-2009)

Red heart Christmas ornament, School of Scottish Studies Garden, Edinburgh, 2007


Soft shadows in the morning
gentle fragrance of each new page
Your presence invites itself in, gracefully,
on all the paths I walk

Like the sky's red evening blood
bright as the burning sun
your flame flickers, unquenched
at the end of my every day

Whiter than the virgin snow
all round the frozen pool
you are at every edge
of my world

Ian MacKenzie, 1981

Photo by Ian MacKenzie, December 2008

"Christmas", by Ian MacKenzie (1958-2009)

Ian MacKenzie, c 2008


I stole a moment
amid the hectic day,
sat alone by the
Christmas tree shrine,
kidnapped from the cold forest
and transplanted into our
incomplete Christmas
one December night

This, the first Christmas without you,
I tried not to feel. Instead,
I imagined that you had to go to work
and just could not make it;
but, for all the Christmas cheer
and cards with strengthening good will,
the favourite chair and place at the table
are forever empty still.

I catch my own sad reflections
from deep within the wine glass,

Communing with Ancestors in Scotland's Year of Homecoming

While many in Scotland are celebrating the Year of Homecoming, Talitha took a family trip to Iona. Just outside the historic St Oran's Chapel (pictured) is the burial place of a number of her ancestors, including Kenneth mac Alpin, Constantine I, Malcolm I, Kenneth II, Malcolm II and Duncan I (cousin of MacBeth). Photo by Todd Beveridge

Talitha and Les Bouthilliers at Mystic Seaport!

Talitha MacKenzie aloft the ship Charles W Morgan at Mystic Seaport, CT

Talitha will be performing at Mystic Seaport with Robert & Gabrielle Bouthillier from Québec. See them at the
Mystic Seaport Sea Music Festival, Mystic Connecticut, from 12-14 June 2009:

"Unelanvhi Uwetsi" video on Speak Cherokee Blogspot

Brian Wilkes, Cherokee teacher

Cherokee teacher Brian Wilkes has posted a YouTube video of Indian Summer track "Unelanvhi Uwetsi" on his Speak Cherokee website blog. Please check out his amazing website and keep our heritage alive by learning to speak this endangered language.


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