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Tain, United Kingdom | Established. Jan 01, 2020 | SELF

Tain, United Kingdom | SELF
Established on Jan, 2020
Band Electronic Celtic




"Scotlands' Youngest Leader on Outlander, techno, tradition and partying with the Stars"

From playing bagpipes on stage with one of Motown's biggest stars to working on an a new album that fuses the traditional sound of the Highlands with the futuristic feel of techno music, Iain MacGillivray is a very modern clan leader.
At 32, MacGillivray, from Calrossie near Tain, is Scotland's youngest clan figurehead and is working to take the ancient ways of clanship both home and overseas as well as, crucially, to a new generation.

MacGillivray thinks big and passionately about his role and admits that everything he now does, he does for the clan.
"I was elected in 2016 on the anniversary of Culloden. From that day in 1746, all the icons of Highland identity, the kilt, Gaelic, bagpipes and clans, they were all suppressed by the British Government.

"Today,I represent all of these things.

"It is about turning the tables, I am trying to turn it back 270 years.
The fluent Gaelic speaker, who was voted in as Commander of Clan MacGillivray in 2016 on a landslide vote, usually lives on the family farm but has recently been in London on-and-off working on his new music with producer Jason O'Bryan, who includes Moby, Sly and Robbie and Limp Bizkit among his past credits.

"I am not just trying to put a beat to a tune or a tune to a beat, but make a whole new sound. Put the sound of Scotland into a modern era and make it radio friendly," he said.

MacGillivray, a piper like his father and grandfather before him, first picked up a chanter when he was nine-years-old with his skill developing at Lews Castle College, Benbecula; Sabhal Mor Ostaig in Skye and at the College of St Scholastic in Duluth in Minniesota where he studied business, Spanish and international relations.

He ended up playing pipes for Martha Reeves and the Vandellas on stage at the SEE Hydro in Glasgow after first being introduced to the soul legend after a gig at the Inverness Ironworks in 2016.
He said: "I ended up partying with her and her sister after the concert. It was a great night. I was playing a funeral at Bonar Bridge the next morning and then a wedding the next night. I said to Martha 'do you want to come to a Scottish wedding with me?'...and she did.

"She came to my mum's house for tea before hand so I could get ready. She had all these amazing stories about Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin and Michael Jackson and it was incredible. Martha Reeves sitting eating my mum's chicken dinner, talking about all these legends."

The clan commander said there were not many MacGillivrays left in Scotland with most clan members now scattered around the world.

The clan followed the MacDonalds, Lord of the Isles in the 14th Century and were rewarded with land in Mull and Morvern. After he lordship collapsed in 1493 they escaped into Lochaber and eventually settled in Strathnairn near Inverness.
MacGillivray said: "Of course the clan system was about representing one area, one people and one set of values, but today it is completely international. It's about different cultures and different values coming together . Clan identity is being preserved in South Africa, Canada, Australia. That is where the spirit is.

"I think there will be a revival in clan interest in Scotland. It will be exciting to see what happens with that. There is a revival definitely going on...things like Outlander and Outlaw King have generated a lot of interest."

MacGillivray can apply to become clan chief in 2021. His appointment gave the clan its first leader in 76 years and led to to travel around the world. A meeting with Outlander writer Diana Gabaldon also took place.

He went on to play the pipes in an episode of the time travelling fantasy - and took part in Clan Lands, a podcast led by Outlander actors Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish.

The first big challenge for MacGillivray as leader will be the Clan Gathering in June next year, which up to 700 people are expected to attend.

"The last time there was a gathering in 2015, 89 people attended and they were mostly from Scotland and England.

"Now we are expecting between 500 to 700. It is going to be huge and have had to hire out the Empire Theatre at Eden Court to fit everyone in. My view is we are going to make it happen and bring over as many people as possible, and make them feel welcome as possible.

"This is going to be biggest gathering of the clan since before Culloden.

"We have people coming from all over the world, from Australia, from Thailand, from Oman, from Japan, from New Zealand...I've been joking that we need to get someone to come along dressed as a penguin, so we can have Antarctica represented too." - The Scotsman Newspaper

"History is 'Plaid' by Ross Piper"

AN Easter Ross clan commander’s unlikely friendship with a Motown legend may just have made musical history at the weekend.

When Iain MacGillivray (31) took to the stage of the SSE Hydro in Glasgow alongside chart-topper Martha Reeves (77) on Saturday, it was the culmination of a rollercoaster ride that started when he invited the legend to gatecrash a wedding party in Easter Ross two years ago.

Saturday’s performance is understood to be the first time a Motown star has performed on stage live with a bagpiper – and it very nearly didn’t happen.

The North Star revealed back in 2016 how Mr MacGillivray, of Calrossie Farm near Tain, had met Martha and the Vandellas after their show in Inverness and made the wedding party invitation.

Like Martha Reeves, famous for hits like Dancing in the Streets, Nowhere to Run and Jimmy Mack, Iain’s mum Janemarie comes from Michigan. Martha took Iain up on the offer back in December 2016 and relished the wedding dance, even taking part in a strip the willow and dancing with a local farmer.

Now referring to the MacGillivrays as “my Scottish family”, she’s kept in touch and event showed them around the Motown Museum in Detroit. The offer to talented piper Iain to join her on stage was one not to be missed – though shortage of rehearsal time almost saw the plans nixed.

Iain said: “I had to liaise with about 20 different people but I was determined it was going to happen after making the trip. Martha stepped in and said: ‘we’re doing this’. She’s the boss and that was that.”

In addition to a spine-tingling version of Amazing Grace, Iain also learned the riff of the band’s classic Forget Me Not, resplendent in full Highland dress and clan tartan.

He said: “I believe it’s the first time a Motown act has performed with a bagpiper. It couldn’t have gone better I feel we played an absolute blinder! My mum is from Michigan, my dad is a piper – it felt like everything that’s in me came out in a three-minute performance on stage. It was amazing. It’s just great when you can understand each others’ musicianship.”

Adding to the excitement and challenge, he had borrowed an unfamiliar set of pipes from Burgess Bagpipes to play in the required key.

AN Easter Ross clan commander's unlikely friendship with a Motown legend may have made musical history at the weekend. - The Ross- Shire Journal

"Oran Mor Gaelic musical showcase is big in name and nature"

THIS month, nearly 1000 young musicians will come together to showcase their talents and demonstrate their passion and enthusiasm for Gaelic music alongside the top names in traditional music at the biggest event in Fèisean nan Gaidheal’s 30-year history.

With support from the Year of Young People, the Blas Festival, organised by Fèisean nan Gàidheal in partnership with the Highland Council, is providing a platform to showcase outstanding young musical talent in a large-scale showcase, Òran Mòr. Meaning Great (or Big) Song, this musical extravaganza will take place at the Northern Meeting Park in Inverness on Saturday, September 15. It will feature young musicians from Fèisean and various youth initiatives from across Scotland including the Highland Council youth music groups and the National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music.

One of the highlights of this event will be a brand new Gaelic song written by up-and-coming young Gaelic songwriter and Glasgow-based Gaelic student, Robbie MacLeòid. His song, Bèo an Dòchas (Living in Hope), was written specifically for Òran Mòr and will be sung by all the young people, under the musical direction of Donald Shaw, and led by young Gaelic singer, Annia MacGillivray from Tain.

The talented youngsters will share the stage with the bands they have chosen including traditional music supergroups Skipinnish, Trail West and Breabach as well as BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award winners, Gaelic singer Mischa MacPherson and piper, Brìghde Chaimbeul.

For the full programme and details of how to purchase tickets, visit www.blas-festival.com - The National

"Thousand young musicians will take to stage to mark Year of Young People"

A thousand young people will take to the stage to sing an inspirational Gaelic song during a celebration of young musicians at a unique event in Inverness.

Òran Mòr, of the biggest events in the 30-year history of the Blas Festival organised by music tuition charity, Fèisean nan Gàidheal, will see young musicians perform Bèo an Dòchas or Living in Hope.

This celebration of young people is the centrepiece of the line-up of nine-days of events at this year’s multi-venue Blas Festival.

The annual festival is the song composed by up-and-coming young Gaelic songwriter Robbie MacLeòid. His song, Bèo an Dòchas, was written specifically for the event.

Musical direction for the event is by Donald Shaw of Gaelic super group Capercaille. Singers are being led on the day by young Gaelic singer, Annia MacGillivray from Tain.

This year Blas asked young people to perform, design and deliver some of the main festival events, including founding a youth steering group which has worked with the festival board to provide ideas and act as ambassadors for the festival.

Alix Aburn, a Blas Festival youth ambassador, said: “Robbie’s song has really struck a chord with me and I think when other people hear it they will be able to relate to it too, especially the chorus ‘Fhad’s tha mi òg, bidh mi òg, Bidh mi beò, beò an dòchas’ which means ‘While I’m young, I’ll be young, I’II be alive, living in hope.’ I’m really looking forward to Òran Mòr – it’s not every day that you get to sing with over 1,000 other musicians!”

The event, Òran Mòr, meaning great or big song, will take place at the Northern Meeting Park, Inverness this Saturday September 15.

The line-up features young musicians from the 47 Fèisean music tuition groups and various other youth music initiatives from across Scotland, including the Highland Council Youth Music Groups and the National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music.

Headliners Skipinnish, Trail West and Breabach will perform alongside BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award winners, Gaelic singer Mischa Macpherson and piper Brìghde Chaimbeul.

Highlighting the place of young people in the Gaelic movement in Scotland, MSP Maree Todd, minister for children and young people, said: “Young people have been at the heart of the Blas Festival for more than 14 years.

“It is fantastic to have the new Òran Mòr flagship event this year, which will give them an even bigger platform to showcase their talents, as we celebrate Scotland’s Year of Young People.

“The Blas Festival is a truly unique event for all ages to connect and enjoy Gaelic and our Scottish traditions and heritage. Not only will there be young people performing, but they’ve been at the centre of planning and delivery for this year’s festival.

“I look forward to attending to seeing it all come to life.” - The Press and Journal


More tracks to be released including......

First Album:

'Mouth Music'
'Celtic Cross'
'The Pipes are Calling' 
'Storm Gaelic'
'The Bagpipe Song' 
(Saltire in the Sky OR Spirit of Scotland)

Second Album:

'Welcome to the Game' 
'Whisky & Shortbread' 
('Spirit of Scotland' OR Saltire in the Sky')
'Highland Charge' 
'Iain "Ruadh Mor" MacGhillebhrath (The Big Red MacGillivray) 
'Oh Mo Dhuthaich' 
'Play that Bagpipe'   
'Touch Not This Cat'                                                                                                                 




I.D.MacG’ is the artist name and initials of Scottish musician and bagpiper,                   Iain Donald MacGillivray.

I.D.MacG moulds the ancient sounds of Scottish/ Celtic music with the mainstream flourish of Electro Dance Music, to deliver an exciting, soulful and vibrant flurry of energy never heard before.

This debut release, ‘Mouth Music’, is performed by Gaelic singer extraordinaire,           Annia MacGillivray.

The song is unique in having no association with a language, making it internationally comprehensible. It reflects the unique style of Scottish Gaelic mouth music or ‘piurt a- beul’ and is emblematic of this tradition. Everyone in the world can sing along to this one! Slainte!!

Other tracks will feature Annia MacGillivray singing through the mediums of both, the Scots Gaelic and English language, as well as playing Scottish Fiddle and showcasing her exquisite and exhilarating dance techniques.   Gregory MacGillivray, the exceptionally versatile and gifted musician, performs on Scottish Whistle, Bagpipes and Small Pipes and features extensively throughout each of the tracks.  Iain Donald MacGillivray performs on Scottish Bagpipes, Small Pipes, Scottish Fiddle & Whistle, along with providing some singing, Scottish Rap & Hip Hop, and dancing.                                                                                                                Behind this all, lies a wonder of electro dance melodies, groove techno beats and mystic ambiance entirely produced and created by Iain Donald MacGillivray, to establish an authentic new packaged sound of Scotland to a global audience. 

I.D.MacG comprises the old with the new; ancient meets modern; traditional parallels contemporary; acoustic blends amplified, to form a timeless stream of captivating musical experience and gravitating visual ambiance.                            This unique signature sound is the formulation of traditional and contemporary Scotland in an authentic and packaged mainstream experience. Scotland welcomes a global audience!

I.D.MacG’ is a stellar act, and the ultimate big stage performance package. Full of intrigue, total awe and an epic fusion of music. You love Celtic music, adore Electro Dance, revel in Rap & Hip Hop - then you will absolutely love this music! Stay tuned and tune in!! Slainte!!! 

Band Members