Talitha's blog


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I am delighted with my new post as lecturer in Transcription & Analysis at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama in Glasgow. It can be a challenging subject at best (and a tedious chore at worst) but it is one which enables musicians to open doors and explore so many musical worlds.

La Fête des Chants de Marins

View of the St Lawrence River from St-Jean-Port-Jolie, Québec

Merci to everyone who made performing at La Fête des Chants de Marins such a wonderful experience! It was great to sing maritime music in the beaming sunshine and fresh salt air. A special thanks to members of Serre l'Ecoute who provided harmonies on sea shanties during most of my sets--it was a real treat to be reunited with them again and I look forward to more opportunities for repeat performances in 2009.

The Indian Summer Story

Indian Summer musicians: Rhiannon Giddens, Nico Mirande, Talitha MacKenzie, Chris Birkett, Michael Laffan leaning on a dolmen in St Cibard, France

It began as a short set of songs with a Native-American theme that I added to my live performances of Celtic traditional music in 2001. Overwhelmingly enthusiastic audience response convinced me that not having these songs recorded would be a missed opportunity. Recording vocals for the blockbuster Troy in 2004 provided the financing that I needed to create this long-awaited album.

Honeymoon Couple

Michael & Rhiannon Giddens Laffan, photo courtesy of Abigail Seymour Photography

When composing the title track for my album Indian Summer, I wanted the song to be underpinned by Ragtime honky-tonk piano but I also wanted to feature Old Timey clawhammer banjo. After deluging my keyboard player, Michael Laffan, with Randy Newman CDs and Scott Joplin scores, we came up with a workable piano part but, being a laid-back kind of guy, his performance tempo was a little on the leisurely side.

MAY DAY, MAY DAY! Calling All CD Angels!

Cherry Blossoms

We are currently raising funds for the INDIAN SUMMER Promotional Tour

If you were thinking of buying a CD from SONAS Multimedia, now is the time:

Keep artists alive and support them in their work
Money is energy to be used in positive ways

And if there is a venue near you that you would like us to play, please let us know! Send a message to info@sonasmultimedia.com

Thank you!

USA Songwriting Competition Finalist

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Talitha MacKenzie's trans-Atlantic song "Land of the Setting Sun" has won 5th place in the World Music Category of the 12th Annual USA Songwriting Competition out of 33,700 entries overall. This is the "World's Leading International Songwriting Competition, promoting the art and excellence of songwriting". For more information, please see www.songwriting.net.

Edinburgh Evening News--Ten Questions

Edinburgh Evening News Masthead

Sharon Armstrong talks to TALITHA MACKENZIE, a globally renowned singer of Gaelic songs, Composer and Ethnomusicologist

1. What is your earliest memory of Edinburgh and why did you move there?

Indian Summer

Indian Summer cover art: winding road through Pennsylvania hills

Talitha MacKenzie’s long-awaited new album is a celebration of the connection between Celtic and American cultures through the eyes of an artist whose family history is reflected in both.

Appearing on Indian Summer are new talent Rhiannon Giddens (Carolina Chocolate Drops) on vocals, fiddle & banjo and her husband Michael Laffan on piano and vocals.

Download Singles from Indian Summer Now Available

Tracks available for download from SONAS Multimedia for only 79 pence each: Country-flavoured title track "Indian Summer"
Upbeat Old Timey song "Wheeling Island Girls"
"Amazing Grace" in English and Cherokee ("Unelanvhi Uwetsi")
Genealogical pop song "Family Tree"
Country Ballad "Wind Chases the Sun".

Free Leonard Peltier

The song "Wind Chases the Sun", from the album Indian Summer, is based on Leonard Peltier's book Prison Writings: My Life is My Sundance.

To buy the download single, please go to http://www.sonasmultimedia.com
For more information on the campaign to Free Peltier, see http://www.leonardpeltier.net
For more information on the artist Martin Ball, see http://www.martinball.net

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