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Nuallan | Nuallan: The EP

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Folk: Scottish Traditional World: Celtic Moods: Type: Instrumental
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Nuallan: The EP

by Nuallan

Three young pipers from Cape Breton Island create a huge sound with piano, guitar, drums, dance and Gaelic song.
Genre: Folk: Scottish Traditional
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. First Figure
4:09 $0.99
2. Bog an Lochan
5:47 $0.99
3. Gabh Danns'
4:04 $0.99
4. The Grey Buck
5:58 $0.99
5. Thig a-Staigh 's Greas Ort!
5:09 $0.99
6. Cha Thrèiginn Fhìn Mo Chruinneag Dhonn
3:14 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Nuallan was brought together by Colaisde na Gàidhlig / The Gaelic College with the intent to establish a piping group celebrating the rich Gaelic-dance style of piping brought to Cape Breton and mainland Nova Scotia from the Highlands and islands of Scotland some 200 years ago. The group is comprised of three Cape Breton pipers: Keith MacDonald, Kevin Dugas and Kenneth MacKenzie.

Piping in Cape Breton was nourished and maintained through legendary pipers such as the Curries of Frenchvale, the Beatons of Mabou and the MacDonnells of Deepdale, among many others. Stepdance and the Gaelic language have played and continue to play a crucial role in defining the essence of our music; many of the dance tunes we play have Gaelic lyrics (Puirt à Beul). We included the Gaelic titles for this reason; they help to preserve old melodies and tighten the connections between music, song and dance. We feel that it’s important to strengthen those links between all aspects of Gaelic culture in order to nurture the rich tapestry that has been handed down to us from many caring hands – pipers and otherwise.

The Gaelic word Nuallan itself literally translates as the characteristic, vibrant droning sound of the Highland bagpipes. It can also describe the constant murmuring sound of the ocean, an important part of Cape Breton life.

Our Members:

Kenneth MacKenzie is a piper and fiddler from Mabou Coal Mines, Cape Breton Island. He grew up speaking Gaelic and surrounded by Gaelic culture and tradition bearers. He credits older brother Angus and John MacLean as the biggest influences on his piping, which is well-known for its irresistible drive and lively, traditional feel. In 2010, Kenneth was the recipient of the Celtic Colours Drive’ers Award and released the ECMA-nominated album Pìob is Fidheall (Pipes and Fiddle) with his brother Angus. Kenneth has also recorded with Natalie MacMaster, Brenda Stubbert, Dawn and Margie Beaton, Chrissy Crowley, Kinnon Beaton, Joanne MacIntyre and others. Kenneth tours with his brothers Angus and Calum and also as a member of the Beaton Sisters' Band and his music has taken him through Canada and the US, Ireland, Scotland and the UK, Australia and Central America. He currently resides in Mabou and works as an engineer when he's not enjoying his music.

Keith MacDonald is a piper from Inverness Cape Breton. He has been piping since a young age and grew up surrounded by the very rich musical traditions of Foot Cape, Inverness County. Keith received lessons at The Gaelic College over the years, which gave him a lot of guidance as a young player. Influential instructors such as Bruce MacPhee, Ryan MacDonald, John MacLean, Mark Stuart, Andy Rogers, John MacPhee, and Alasdair Gillies taught and shared a wealth of knowledge. Most notable was Robyn Whitty who taught Keith privately for several years. His band “All Fired Up” often features the pipes playing traditional Cape Breton tunes alongside the fiddle. Keith has been playing with the Dartmouth and District Pipe Band competing locally and internationally for several years. Keith has recently completed a stint as the Extension Coordinator for Colaisde na Gàidhlig / The Gaelic College and having moved home to Cape Breton, is looking forward to putting his education degree to use as a school teacher.

Kevin Dugas: Born just outside Inverness, Cape Breton, Kevin has been playing the great highland bagpipe for 20 years, starting at the age of 10. His early piping career was heavily influenced by many great tutors at the Gaelic College summer school. These individuals include John MacLean, Ed Neigh, Michael Grey, and the late Alasdair Gillies. Kevin's current piping tutor is Bruce Gandy from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. He competes at the professional level in individual piping solos and in band competitions with the 78th Highlanders Halifax Citadel pipe band (2014 North American Grade 1 Champions). With respect to family traditions, Kevin has been inspired since a young age by Scottish traditional musicians among his MacDonnell family roots and Acadian musicians among his Dugas roots in Digby County, Nova Scotia. Many renowned local musicians have also provided much inspiration over the years, including Inverness County musicians Kinnon Beaton, Andrea Beaton, Dougie MacDonald and Glenn Graham. Kevin enjoys attending square dances throughout Inverness County and playing for square sets whenever possible. He has previously recorded with the great Cape Breton piano player Mac Morin on his solo album. Kevin is currently the Director of School Operations at Colaisde na Gàidhlig / The Gaelic College, overseeing all educational programming and partnerships at Colaisde na Gàidhlig.



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