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Ishbel MacAskill

Ishbel MacAskill

Ishbel came from the Point area of the Island of Lewis. She was brought up with the rich heritage of centuries old Gaelic music and song which still survives in Point and indeed all over the Island of Lewis. Her particular style of unaccompanied traditional singing, her numerous radio and television performances and countless world-wide live appearances established her position as probably one of the best internationally-known Gaelic singers.

Her singing took her to venues throughout the UK, Ireland, Europe, Asia, Canada, USA and Australia. Her recordings are always in demand at home and abroad and significantly, sell to people who have never before heard the Gaelic language. Whether her audience was Gaelic speaking or not her English introductions to these centuries old songs of love, war, sea and landscape, exile and life itself made each one a memorable experience.

Her profound respect for the tradition was gently balanced by a humorous irreverence in her witty observations on the reality of Highland life and culture.

Ishbel was deeply motivated by the rich beauty of her heritage of Gaelic music and poetry. She was especially moved by the intensely emotive quality of the poetry and, through her unique delivery, managed to convey to her audiences a feeling of involvement in the colourful history and culture of the Gael.

Isbhel died at her home in Inverness on 31 March 2011.

Ishbel MacAskill

Ishbel MacAskill

’S ann às an Rubha, Eilean Leòdhais, a bha Ishbel agus thogadh i ann an dualchas beairteach le ceòl agus òrain Ghàidhlig a tha a’ dol air ais linntean mòra. Bhiodh i a’ seinn anns an t-seann dòigh, gun taic sam bith bho cheòl, agus nochd i air rèidio, telebhisean agus air àrd-ùrlaran air feadh an t-saoghail, rud a tha a’ ciallachadh gur dòcha nach robh seinneadair Gàidhlig eile cho aithnichte rithe gu h-eadar-nàiseanta.

Sheinn i ann am Breatainn, Èireann, An Roinn Eòrpa, Asia, Canada, na Stàitean Aonaichte agus Astràilia. Tha na clàran aice air an reic an seo agus thall thairis, agus gu tric ’s e daoine nach cuala Gàidhlig a-riamh a tha gan ceannachd. Bha ro-ràdh Beurla mu choinneimh gach òran – òrain mu ghaol, cogadh, siubhal, maise na tìre agus beatha fhèin – rud a bha a’ cuideachadh dhaoine gus cuimhne a chumail orra. Ged a bha urram mòr aice dhan dualchas, chan eil sin a’ ciallachadh nach b' e tè eirmseach a bh’ innte agus nach robh rudan èibhinn aice ri ràdh mu chultar na Gàidhealtachd cuideachd.

Sheinn i aig fèisean air feadh an t-saoghail - aig Celtic Connections ann an Glaschu agus Fèis Celtic Colours ann an Ceap Breatainn iomadh turas. Bha an eachdraidh mhòr fhada aig ceòl agus bàrdachd na Gàidhlig a’ toirt buaidh mhòr air Ishbel agus nuair a bhiodh i a’ seinn bhiodh a’ bhuaidh seo gu math follaiseach. Cha robh an luchd-èisteachd uair sam bith fada gun a bhith a’ tuigsinn cho luachmhor ’s a tha na h-òrain seo.

Chaochail Ishbel na dachaigh ann an Inbhir Nis air 31 Màrt 2011.