Mairi Campbell

Mairi Campbell

 Edinburgh, Scotland, GBR
SoloFolkCeltic

Mairi draws on an ancient voice, a powerful and unique sound where elemental and ancient meets folk and traditional music.
'Campbell's voice can stop the clock, and there is a pervading sense of renewal and even transcendence in this material' – The Scotsman

Biography

'Campbell's voice can stop the clock, and there is a pervading sense of renewal and even transcendence in this material'  The Scotsman.

Award winning musician, Mairi Campbell is one of Scotlands' most respected musicians.  Described by Simon Thoumire as the 'musicians' musician',  Mairi works both as a performer and facilitator, supporting the tap root and shoots of Scotlands current vibrant traditional music scene.  Her skill and profound musicality combined with her insatiable curiosity around sound and personal process means her own work is constantly shifting and stays alive to influences from Bothy ballads to free improvisation.

The songs are co-written with David Francis, her long term collaborator and husband, with whom she had the duo, 'The Cast'. In 2008, their version of 'Auld Lang Syne' was placed in the pivotal scene of the blockbuster movie 'Sex and the City'.

 

  • Scots Singer of the Year - Scots Trad Music Awards
  • Tutor of the year - Scots Trad Music Awards
  • Composition of the year ( Liveireland)
  • Neil Gow award for composition
  • Female Musician of the Year - ( liveireland)
 In 1976, aged 11, Mairi created a string quartet that played Elgar's Serenade for Strings.  The string quartet were her sisters, aged 8,11,15 and 16. Her mother was the Scottish artist Marjorie Campbell.  Mairi went on to study at the Guildhall school of music in 1984.
Since 2003 Mairi has been musical director of a sixty member folk song choir based in Edinburgh called Sangstream


 




Lyrics

Smile or Cry

Written By: Dave Francis and Mairi Campbell

The leaves in the deep green wood
are now brown and gold,
and the warm September breeze blows Harsh and keen and cold

The mist hangs on the shore in the morning light
And I never thought I'd miss you more
than I missed you last night.

ch.
But the pull of the flowing tide,
Could bring me back or sweep me away
And the sun has been known to shine on the coldest winter's day.
And the howl of the winter wind
Could be heard as a tender sigh,
I guess it's all in the mind,
whether we choose to smile or cry.

A swan flies over the trees
on it's wide blue road
Sunlight on it's beating wings
As it's quiet path unfolds

But the pull of the the flowing tide could bring me back or sweep me away. And the sun has been known to shine on the coldest winter's day. And the howl of the winter wind
could be heard as a tender sigh,
I guess it's all in the mind,
whether we choose to smile or cry.
I guess it's all in the mind,
whether we choose to smile or cry.

Home ( is not what I've left behind)

Written By: David Francis,Mairi Campbell, Mairi Campbell

Home is being with you again
Morning, waiting to embark holding hard against the dark. In the company of ghosts from pillar I have gone to post I’ve travelled here to China’s coast without the one I love the most
From the window of the train Manitoba’s endless plains. Corn is waving in the breeze Scotland’s nearer by degrees the children hanging round my knees know nothing of my silent pleas.
Home is not what I’ve left behind Home is not what lies ahead Home is the peace I’ll find When I’m with you again.
Home is not what I’ve left behind Home is not what lies ahead Home is being with you again Home is being with you again
The end of yet another day the mid-Atlantic’s cold and grey A few more days and then we’ll be on that train to Waverley there’s faces there I long to see but not the one that waits for me.
Home is not what I’ve left behind Home is not what lies ahead Home is the peace I’ll find When I’m with you again.
Home is not what I’ve left behind Home is not what lies ahead Home is being with you again Home is being with you again
I know you’re waiting for me. I know you’re waiting for me. chorus

She glows like the sun

Written By: david francis,mairi campbell

Imagine you’re in a movie
you’ve got the starring role
you don’t know how the story goes
it’s out of your control.
One moment chased by aliens
the next you’re bound in chains
and then you hear a loving voice
and dark night turns to day

She’s more than a candle in some dim corner
more than a welcoming light by the door
more than a searchlight, more than a beacon
more than a guiding star, much more

She glows
she glows
she glows like the sun

Another scene in the movie
a long and winding stair
with a step for every day of the year
and a view beyond compare.
I guess I’d gone about half way
when I stopped to catch my breath –
last thing I remember was
stepping off the path.

I’d wandered off that beaten path
got lost in some dark wood
couldn’t see in front of me
or the ground on which I stood.
I raised my hands above my head
trying to feel my way
and then I heard her loving voice
and dark night turned to day.

She’s more than a candle in some dim corner
more than a welcoming light by the door
more than a searchlight, more than a beacon
more than a guiding star, much more

She glows
she glows
she glows like the sun

And by her light I can see the way ahead
And by her light I can be the way ahead

She’s more than a candle in some dim corner
more than a welcoming light by the door
more than a searchlight, more than a beacon
more than a guiding star, much more

She glows
she glows
she glows like the sun

Portobello Sands

Written By: David Francis,Mairi Campbell

PORTOBELLO SANDS
With shining eyes you’d run across the sands at Portobello And the light played on the summer waves on Portobello sands
You’d work for hours building forts from sand at Portobello. And you’d climb the wall and play ‘Dead Man Falls’ on Portobello sands
Your letter says you’re heading for the burning sands of Basra and you’ll join your new battalion there on Basra’s burning sands
From Portobello the land stretches out Like my arms to the open sea The Bass, the Law, the Lomond Hills all keep watch for me.
Every day I walk along the sands at Portobello And the evening news shows soldiers crossing Basra’s burning sands.
With shining eyes you’d run across the sands at Portobello the light played on the summer waves on Portobello sands.

Discography

2015  Mairi Campbell Soundings

2014 Campbell and Gray  - David Gray and Mairi collaborate on electro-acoustic sound paintings

2013 Revival and the Red Earth  ( website sales)

2011 Mairi Campbell - solo album ( itunes/ website)

2007 - GREENGOLD (Greentrax Recordings, and on iTunes and Amazon)
1996 - COLOURS OF LICHEN ( iTunes, Amazon, Greentrax)
1994 - THE WINNOWING ( iTunes, Greentrax, Amazon)

Set List

Performances:

Revival and the Red Earth:  two stories written and performed by David Francis and Mairi Campbell.    These two fifty minute shows are stories and songs that mark Mairi's forebears and explore Scottish social history through her own family.   Created in 2012 with sell out performances at the Edinburgh Fringe, Mairi and Dave dig where they stand to create these unique and special shows.  Two chairs required only. 
Directed by Kath Burlinson ( Authentic Artist founder).

Solo shows:  Songs, stories and soundings.  Three mics and one DI

Workshops:  I am an experienced workshop leader and can provide tuition or workshops in fiddle, stepdancing, singing, groupwork, guitar, ceilidh dancing and teaching folk to play for dancing.