My love of Ballads

For as long as I can remember, I've been enchanted by ballads.  I grew up listening to the stories and songs of my Glaswegian grandmother who would perform "The Inverary Inn" and "Bonnie Wee Jeanie Mccall" at all of our family gatherings.  I've since learned that many of my relatives and ancestors had their own songs, ballads they would sing at parties for fun and entertainment.  Something I love about my Nana's stories, and subsequently Scottish ballads, is that many of them depict the every-day struggles and triumphs of "ordinary" people.

While living in Scotland, I began adapting traditional ballads to reflect my own curiosities and deeper questions.  As a result of this work, I've decided to make the process of ballad re-interpretation central to a new theatre piece I am creating, which explores the lives of 3 characters from different generations of a Scottish-Canadian family through a decolonial lens.  In the near future, I'll be travelling back to Scotland to work with mentors in the art of ballad writing and singing.  These mentors are Alasdair Roberts and Rory Comerford

Below is an excerpt from an original musical called "Hell of A Girl" (rEvolver festival 2015) in which my original ballad re-interpretation "The Protectress of Purple and Gold" is featured.  The piece was inspired by my desire to investigate a female character's point of view in a rather misogynistic song, "The Bonnie Wee Lassie at' Never Says No". 

More about Alasdair Roberts

Alasdair Roberts is arguably one of the most masterful creators and performers of Scottish traditional songs in the world.  He has dedicated his musical career to bringing old songs to life, and also to creating many original compositions using traditional approaches to lyricism and music.



More about Rory Comerford

Rory Comerford is an up-and-coming composer and musician based in Glasgow.  He learned the art of ballad singing and performance in his hometown of Stonehaven, an area of Scotland known for it's music and storytelling.  Rory is extremely versatile, taking his foundation in trad-music and applying it to classical, electronic, and noise music.